Lovage Root: An IntroductionLevisticum officinale, commonly known as Lovage, is a flowering perennial plant native to Europe and Asia, where it has been used as treatment for a variety of ailments. The flowers, leaves, and fruit produce a scent that is commonly pleasant. It is commonly compared to celery, noted as sweeter and stronger, but is not located in the same plant family. It now commonly grows throughout the United States.
Lovage Root: The DescriptionThe plant Lovage grows to be 3 to 5 feet in height, accompanied by dark green leaves and flowers that are typically white in color. The root is typically utilized for herbal remedies, and has a brown outside appearance with a white inside. The root is accompanied by a strong odor and taste.
Lovage Root History: The English FolkloreIn traditional English folklore, lovage was utilized as a spell to bring love. The lovage plant was used in a variety of manners to attract this love, particularly in two ways.
The first involves the brewing of the lovage into a tea, that is put into a bath accompanied by prayers of this love.
The second use of lovage for love purposes was to ensure that love would remain within a relationship. This was accomplished by opening the root by a split and inserting two pieces of paper, with one written name of each lover on each piece. These paper slips are then inserted into the root, tied with three pieces of string, and buried near the house where the couple is to live. The string is important, and must include three colors; red for mutual passion, white for purity, so the lovers will remain faithful to the relationship, and green for offspring and prosperity.
Lovage Root: General UsesLovage root has been utilized for the treatment of many conditions. It is available in several forms including dried, in teas and herbal tablets, and as tinctures. However, true evidence supporting these uses is limited.
- Urinary difficulties
- Cough remedy
- Flatulence (gas)
- Digestive difficulties
- Kidney stones
- Lower back pain
Lovage Root and Menstrual CrampingLovage root has been associated with decreased signs and symptoms of menstrual cramping. It is also correlated as a natural method for returning normal and regular menstrual cycles. While the exact methods of how and why these effects are felt, is still unknown, however, the correlations exist.
It is generally thought that lovage root displays properties of known sedatives while preventing smooth muscle contractions known to cause menstrual cramping. Lovage root is also thought to enhance digestive system health, as it stimulates the digestive process by increasing overall production of digestive enzymes and saliva. It also displays diuretic affects commonly noted for treatment of urinary tract infections and other digestive difficulties. It is not recommended that lovage root be consumed by pregnant women, as it may cause difficulties.