Lovage officinalis


Popular names: bathing grass, bear, love stem.

Parts Used: Primarily the rhizome, sometimes the entire above-ground part of the plant.

Pharmacy name: lovage root – Levistici radix (formerly: Radix Levistici), lovage herb – Levistici herba (formerly: Herba Levistici).

Botanical description.From the thick vertical rhizome of this large umbrella plant comes a tubular, smooth, branched stem in the upper part, which reaches a height of 2 m. The lower leaves have long petioles with a wide sheath at the base, the apical ones sit directly on the sheath. The lower leaves are twice and thrice pinnately dissected, the middle ones are less dissected, and the uppermost ones are simple. The inflorescence is a complex umbrella. Umbrellas and umbrellas have numerous leaves of wrappers and wrappers bent down, respectively. The flowers are pale yellow. Blooms from July to August. Homeland – Southern Europe. In the East, in Western Asia and throughout Europe, and at present in America, lovage is bred in gardens as a seasoning or grown on plantations to obtain pharmaceutical raw materials. Sometimes this plant is found in a wild state. (Define carefully:

Collection and preparation. When growing lovage in the first year, only a few leaves are taken from it – for seasoning. Only in September of the following year, the rhizomes are dug up, cleaned, strung on cords and hung out to dry; larger ones are cut in half lengthwise to speed up drying. Pharmaceutical raw materials, often affected by insects and, moreover, hygroscopic, must be stored in tightly closed vessels. The fruits are harvested in late autumn when they are fully ripe. Leaves for seasoning can be taken all year round. The aerial part is taken when the roots are dug up, but they are air-dried separately. active ingredients. The most important active ingredient is essential oil.

Healing action and application. Lovage acts as a diuretic, due to the essential oil, which is up to 1% in the root. However, the root is only very infrequently used by itself. Usually it serves as a valuable component of diuretic tea mixtures. Sometimes the root or herb of lovage is included in the composition of stomach or blood-purifying teas – either because of their action, or because of the pleasant aroma that small amounts give these teas already. The German National Health Service cites as an indication only digestive disorders (belching, heartburn and a feeling of fullness), as a contraindication – inflammation of the ureters and kidneys, as well as kidney failure.

Use as a condiment.Much more often than for medicinal purposes, lovage (root, herb, leaves in fresh and dried state) is used as a spice for flavoring liqueurs and bitter gastric vodkas. “It improves the stomach and banishes the winds,” wrote a cook already in the time of Charlemagne, who constantly grew this plant in his garden. Anyone who has never used lovage as a seasoning should try it. Fresh herbs or just fresh leaves added to shredded vegetables or some dish at lunch, contribute to their better absorption and flavor. Just beware of overusing them. Lovage should be cooked together with the main dish. For example, when preparing meat broth, meat sauce or minced meat, put a little lovage root, and this seasoning will improve and enhance the taste of meat. AND,

Use in homeopathy. The original tincture, Levisticum, is prepared from the fresh root, but the tincture and its dilutions are used very infrequently. Loss of appetite in small children, flatulence and stomach pains can be dealt with with this remedy, although there are better remedies for these purposes.

Application in folk medicine.In folk medicine, this plant (mainly the root) has found a safe haven. Here it is extremely highly valued and has been used since ancient times for stomach ailments that are associated with weakened digestion, for diseases of the bladder and kidneys, for pain in rheumatism and gout, for menstrual irregularities, and also for migraines. If necessary, they take a little (at the tip of a knife) powdered root and take it with a few sips of water, or they drink love stock tea from the dried root. o Lovage tea: 2 teaspoons without the top of the chopped root pour 1/4 liter of cold water, heat to a boil and immediately strain. It is enough to drink 2 cups of tea every day. The name “lovage” constantly suggests that this plant may have potency-enhancing effects. And indeed, in the Middle Ages, they tried to make a love drink from it, but without success. Apparently, this name is a distorted Latin word Levisticum, and then, in turn, a distorted Ligusticum, originating from Liguria (the region in Italy is the birthplace of this plant).

Side effects. In therapeutic doses and when used for a short period, there is no reason to fear any side effects. Pregnant women should not use lovage!

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