Lovage or Levisticum officinale is a herb native to the Mediterranean region of southern Europe. Lovage has an ancient history. It was introduced into Britain by the Romans and brought here by early English colonists. Lovage is also known as sea parsley, and the leaves and stem of the lovage plant add an intense celery-like flavour to soups, stews and stocks or meat and poultry dishes. It can also be used to enhance the flavour of potato dishes. Medieval travellers tucked its leaves into their shoes because of their antiseptic and deodorising properties. Curious? Read on for these Top 5 Health Benefits of Lovage!
1. Lovage is anti-inflammatory
It can inhibit histamines and alter the body’s allergic response. It helps alleviate itchy eyes, runny nose and other more serious allergic reactions. Lovage’s anti-inflammatory qualities may help re-balance the body. The herb is also beneficial in soothing upset stomachs and appears to stimulate the gastrointestinal system helping it return to a neutral state.
2. Soothes your skin
Direct application of lovage leaves (or with a salve made from them), onto the skin can be very effective for reducing the symptoms of psoriasis and acne, leading to smoother, better looking skin. Its antioxidants can also help minimize the appearance of wrinkles and improve blood flow to the skin.
3. Lovage encourages proper kidney function
Although the exact mechanism has not yet been determined, lovage has the potential to improve kidney health. It promotes healthier urination if you’re trying to detoxify the body without the risk of dehydration, eventually boosting kidney health. However take care if you are on medication as lovage is known to interact with diuretic drugs. Taking this and diuretics at the same time may cause the body to lose too much water, so it’s best not to take both at the same time.
4. Improves digestive health
The anti-inflammatory properties of lovage makes it ideal for soothing upset stomachs and returning your gastrointestinal system to a more neutral state. It can help to decrease bloating by reducing irritation in your bowels and promoting healthy, normal movement in the colon.
5. Helps with appetite loss
If your appetite isn’t at its usual healthy level, then incorporating lovage into your diet may help. As a bitter herb, it can help to boost appetite while also aiding digestion. Experts include lovage on a list of herbs that have been used to stimulate the appetite. However, speak with your doctor before using this herb medicinally if you’re currently taking any medications or being treated for any medical conditions.