Lovage is a plant. The leaves and seeds of this overgrown parsley-type plant are used for medicinal and culinary uses. Lovage gets its name because it was reputed to be an aphrodisiac, but also this is a corruption of Liguria, (the Italian Riviera) which was where the plant was first cultivated, it is believed.
This perennial plant is native to the Mediterranean and is also found all over Europe and North America and belongs to the Parsley family as dill, and angelica.
It adds flavour to soups, stews, chillies, sea food and stir fried vegetables. Lovage plant is a perennial herb, 40 to 60cm high. Well-developed root forms irregular nodular fist-shaped clumps, with a strong aroma.
Stems are erect, cylindrical, with longitudinal stripes, and with multiple branches in the upper part and swollen discoid internodes in the lower part.
Lovage Leaves at the lower stem are petiolate, about 3 to 10cm long, and with a sheath-like base. Leaves at the upper stem gradually simplify.
Lovage contains quercetin, which makes it a good garden remedies for allergies, respiratory problems, and is effective diuretic for treatment of urinary tract inflammation.
Traditionally the plant has been used to stimulate the appetite, stop flatulence, aid digestion and an infusion of the roots has been used for gravel and kidney stones and urinary tract inflammation for problems such as cystitis.
The leaves have been used for their diuretic properties and as deodorant. Lovage encourages menstruation, relieves menstrual pain and its warming nature also improves poor circulation.
Lovage works well as a poultice for pustulent wounds and swellings because of its antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Lovage is probably unsafe during pregnancy.
There are some reports that it might cause the uterus to contract or start the menstrual period.
This could cause a miscarriage. Not enough is known about the safety of using lovage during breast-feeding.