Now I have a garden again, I’m trying to get some herbs going. This lovage plant was donated by a lovely gardening friend.
Then the weather happened and I really thought I’d killed the poor plant, but here we are… looks like the birds may have had a bite or two but hopefully its hardiness will see it through…
I’ve vowed to be nicer to my plants from now on and watch out for crazy weather forecasts 🙂
Lovage is a hardy perennial plant and will last for many years given the right growing conditions. It will also grow anything from 3ft to 7ft (1-2m) tall, so needs to be placed at the back of a bed so as not to overshadow lower growing plants.
Lovage has a strong taste, similar to celery, and is often used as a substitute for celery salt. The seeds are ground to make salt, and the leaves are generally used for flavouring stews and soups.
The leaves can also be added to the salad bowl. Some cultures strip the bark off the plant and eat the stem raw as a vegetable, although generally the plant is used for its foliage and seed. Lovage has a high level of vitamin C.
Originally from Mediterranean areas lovage has adapted well to cooler climates. It grows well in the UK and other parts of Europe. It is associated with, and often used in place of, celery and parsley.
Medicinal uses for Lovage
Lovage has been used for many centuries in culinary and medicinal preparations and has been the main ingredient in many medicines. It was considered to be something of a wonder drug.
Lovage is known to stimulate the appetite, and aiding digestion. It was also added to baths at one time to deodorize and cleanse the skin.
Culpepper claimed that the powdered roots mulled in wine would “warm a cold stomach, helps digestion, and consumes all raw and superfluous moisture therein” (Culpeper, 1814).
In fact, lovage has been used for many ailments from sore feet to digestive complaints – google the medicinal qualities of lovage – you’ll be surprised why this ancient herb has fallen out of fashion in recent years.
Then, get some growing 🙂 A healthy plant, or maybe two, is probably all you’ll need unless you’re going into production. Start off a whole packet of seeds, re-pot when ready and spread the love!
As this is one of my favourite herbs I had to include it in one of my herb books, of course. Along with 19 others, 20 Everyday herbs is a must-have before you start your herb garden, even if you’re just growing a few herbs in pots. (Book listed here)
If you have a UK address Thompson & Morgan have beautiful grown lovage plants so you don’t have to mess about with seeds! And the great thing about this herb is that it’s perennial. Buy it once and you’ll have it growing for years. (I hope mine looks like this one day)
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Perennial herb – Aromatic lovage seed can also be harvested for adding to savoury baked dishes. This tall hardy herb makes a useful addition to kitchen gardens. Height: 2m (79″). Spread: 1m (39″). Lovage at Thompson & Morgan UK