Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lovage








Botanical name: Levisticum officinale

Description
Lovage is a lofty perennial aromatic herb plant belonging to the Apiaceae family. The herb bears dark green leaves and greenish yellow flowers. All parts of the plant are highly perfumed. Its scent and flavor are similar to celery. The plant grows up to 6 feet tall, but the leaves can be harvested once the plant is at least 1 foot tall. Leaves and stems are edible. The leaves and seeds or fruit of Lovage are used to flavor food, especially in South European cuisine.

How to grow
Lovage can grow in most soil but prefer moist and well-drained soil. Full sun or partial shade. Temperature is 64-70 F. Keep soil moist for germination and it takes about 14 days to germinate. Sow seed 1/4 inch depth and spacing is 18 inches apart. Regular watering is essential.

Uses
Medical uses
lovage is an extremely beneficial herb for the digestive and respiratory systems. Lovage also possesses considerable diuretic and antimicrobial properties and hence it is normally administered for healing urinary tract problems. Apart from these features, lovage stimulates menstruation and alleviates menstrual pain. The warming quality of lovage helps in improving the poor blood circulation system.

Culinary uses
Lovage is an excellent ingredient to add flavor or tang to your favorite soups, particularly those that contain potatoes, peas, beans and lentils. The herb and its derivative may also be used to spice up stews like chili, chicken pot pie, stir-fried vegetables and all favorite seafood cuisines. Addition of lovage to tasteless vegetables like summer squash adds flavor and savor to it.

1 comment:

Extension Gardener said...

I would like permission to use your image of blooming lovage in a publication on edible flowers. Please contact me Lucy_Bradley@ncsu.edu