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LovageLevisticum officinale

From An Herbalist in the Kitchen

Other Common or Ethnic Names

  • Bladder Seed, Cornish Lovage, Garden Lovage, Italian Lovage, Love Parsley, Old English Lovage, Sirenas
  • Lovage root appears in old herbals and apothecaries as "Folia Levistici" or "Radix Levistici." An old scientific name (in fact, the name bestowed by Linnaeus himself) is "Ligusticum Levisticum."
  • Denmark: Loevstikke
  • Estonia: Harilik Leeskputk
  • Finland: Libbsticka, Liperi
  • France: Ache de Montagne, Celeri Perpetuel, Gaya Atige Simple, Liveche
  • Germany: Badekraut, Liebstock, Liebstockel, Luststock, Maggikraut
  • Hungary: Lestyan
  • Iceland: Skessujurt
  • Italy: Levistico, Ligustico, Maggi, Sedano di Montagna, Sedano di Monte
  • Mexico: Levistico, Zazlipatli
  • Netherlands: Maggiplant, Mankracht, Lavas, Lubbestok
  • Norway: Lopstikke
  • Poland: Lubczyk Ogrodowy
  • Romania: Leustean
  • Russia: Goritsvet, Guljavitsa, Krovavnik, Ljubistok, Zorja
  • Spain: Apio de Montaña, Ligústico, Levistico
  • Sweden: Libsticka
  • Turkey: Selam Otu

Related Species

  • Ligusticum monnieri: Gieng Sang or Xa Sang (Vietnam)
  • Ligusticum porteri: Chuchupate, Osha (Mexico); Lovage, Masterwort, Porter's Lovage
  • Ligusticum scoticum: Scotch Lovage

Growth Habits

Origin: Southern Europe
Range: Naturalized from Pennsylvania, south to Virginia, and west as far as
Montana and New Mexico

Culinary Uses

Seeds are used as flavoring for breads, cordials, potatoes, poultry dressings, rice and salads. They appear in the recipes for some French liqueurs. They are sometimes pickled in brine.
Aromatic edible flowers used in confections, as are the crystallized stems.
Roots are sometimes brewed as tea or shredded for use in salads. They are also preserved in honey.
Leaves are used in cheeses, eggs, salads, stews and with chicken. A small amount can be added to Bechamel-based sauces, such as Mornay, for use on baked fish.
In Turkey, a kind of meatloaf is made using Allspice, Garlic and Lovage in the forcemeat. It is served with yogurt and Mint.
Lovage leaves can be used in any recipe that calls for Celery Leaves -- just use less, as Lovage is about twice as strong in flavor. As always, don't take my word for it -- always taste your ingredients. Don't be an unthinking slave to anyone's recipe.
Lovage tastes and smells of celery (because the two species both contain Cedanolid), with a hint of yeast, but with a spicier, sweet-hot character derived from Coumarin (up to 43,000 ppm), Hexanol (up to 600 ppm), Copaene (up to 300 ppm), b-Phellandrene (up to 250 ppm) and a-Pinene (up to 200 ppm). Its warmth is reminiscent of Caraway, due to minute quantities of Carvacrol and Eugenol.
Scotch Lovage, Ligusticum scoticum, is used like Angelica (q.v.).

Other Uses

Ornamental in herb gardens.


All of these Lovages are targeted by Parsleyworms (see Comments, under Dill).

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