FoodFrom ancient luck to modern health: The wonders of lovage

From ancient luck to modern health: The wonders of lovage

Our grandmothers valued this plant
Our grandmothers valued this plant
Images source: © Adobe Stock

7:47 PM EDT, May 5, 2024

Lovage, a plant popular since ancient Roman times, was believed by our grandmothers to bring luck in love. Today, its taste is valued in kitchens worldwide.

According to old beliefs, lovage dug up on the first of October at 6 AM (Eastern Time) was thought to bring good fortune in love. This effect was similarly attributed to adding lovage to the first bath of a newborn girl. Traditionally, it was pinned to the wedding dress or woven into the bride's hair to ensure that luck and love never abandoned her marriage. Lovage was also believed to promote faithfulness and devotion from a loved one.

Health benefits of lovage

Lovage is a potent source of starch, sugars, plant acids, and essential oils, coumarins, resins, and phytosterols. Its positive impact on human health is notable, especially the root's medicinal properties. It functions as a diuretic, enhancing urine production and alleviating symptoms of kidney failure, making it beneficial for individuals dealing with kidney stones or gout.

The plant also has a favorable effect on the digestive system. It boosts appetite and digestion by stimulating gastric juice secretion and reducing bloating. Moreover, it's an effective remedy for stomachaches, menstrual pains, and migraines. Thanks to phthalide compounds, lovage holds calming and anticonvulsant properties. Its essential oils and phytosterols aid in reducing bad cholesterol levels and protecting against atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

Lovage in the Kitchen: Not Just for Broth

In culinary uses, lovage is versatile. It can stand alone or be combined with other herbs and is most commonly incorporated into bouillon cubes, herbal blends, or liquid spices like Maggi.

Lovage
Lovage© Pixabay

Its distinctive aroma adds a slightly spicy flavor to dishes. It pairs excellently with meats (including poultry, pork, and beef), enriches soups and sauces, and is a flavorful addition to salads or bread. It also complements fried fish, rice dishes, spinach, and carrots beautifully. Given lovage's robust aroma, it should be used sparingly.

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