HealthUnlocking the secrets of lovage: From kitchen seasoning to natural healer

Unlocking the secrets of lovage: From kitchen seasoning to natural healer

Lovage is a herb with versatile uses.
Lovage is a herb with versatile uses.
Images source: © Getty Images | Creativ Studio Heinemann
9:51 PM EST, January 10, 2024

Lovage is an aromatic herb that forms the basis of various types of preparations, broths, and extracts with diverse functional benefits. It is primarily recognized for its soothing and antispasmodic properties, effectively treating food poisoning, stomach ulcers, abdominal pain, and bloating.

Owing to the terpene compounds it contains, which exhibit an antibacterial effect, lovage aids in combating poisoning and detoxifying the body. Moreover, it enhances intestinal peristalsis and accelerates metabolism. 

Lovage is also renowned for its diuretic attributes. As a result, it is commonly recommended as a supplementary treatment for kidney diseases, specifically for individuals with kidney stones or sand. Its content of phthalides, which protect liver cells, allows it to be beneficial for individuals dealing with different liver conditions.

Lovage contains phytosterols and coumarin compounds that have an anti-thrombotic effect, thus, it is particularly beneficial for individuals with cardiovascular conditions. This herb reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels and also helps prevent atherosclerosis. 

Externally, lovage is ideal for individuals dealing with acne or psoriasis. Washing your skin with a lovage brew reduces inflammation, relieves irritation, and alleviates itching. Due to its antioxidant properties, this herb also delivers an anti-aging effect on the skin. 

Using lovage to treat colds

Lovage is a vitamin C-rich herb whose usage has a positive impact on the immune system. Additionally, it acts as an expectorant, making it suitable for use during infections accompanied by a cough. Lovage not only aids in loosening lung secretions but also eases breathing during a cold. 

Using lovage in cooking

In the culinary world, the young leaves and stalks of lovage are most commonly used, as they are the components that help to extract the umami taste, a combination of sweetness, saltiness, acidity, and bitterness. However, due to its strong aroma, it's important to use lovage judiciously. It pairs excellently with sauces, stews, and traditional soups like chicken broth or tomato soup. Additionally, it can be used to prepare marinades for meat, vegetables, or fish.

Lovage as an aphrodisiac

In folk culture, lovage was often used as an aphrodisiac to boost libido. Presently, its root is a common ingredient in many dietary supplements that enhance sexual activity. The aphrodisiac effect of lovage is tied to its antispasmodic properties. 

Pricing for lovage

Lovage is an affordable herb. Typically, dried lovage leaves are sold in paper packs weighing around 0.3 oz—prices for a single pack range from 46 cents to approximately 77 cents. 

Potential side effects and precautions for lovage usage

One reported side effect of using lovage is photodermatitis. Following consumption or skin application of the herb, your skin may become more sensitive to sunlight, warranting extra precaution when exposed to the sun. Additionally, individuals with kidney issues should be cautious in consuming large amounts of lovage, mainly due to its diuretic properties.

Given that this herb has antispasmodic properties, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid consuming it in large volumes. Furthermore, individuals sensitive to glutamic acid should also abstain from lovage. Of course, those who show any hypersensitivity to lovage should not use it.

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