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Toxic parts

Lovage is said to contain the alleged 'psychotroph' myristicine[13].

Edible uses


Unknown use

Flowers are reported as edible[1]. No details regarding preparation or specific use are provided by the source.


Raw, Dried as a Tea, Broth

The leaves can be used fresh or dried and are available from late winter until late autumn. To ensure a good supply of the leaves in the summer, it is best to cut the plants down to the ground when flowering in the summer[K].

A tea is made from the dried leaves. A strong savoury flavour, it tastes more like a broth[2][1].


Grated as a Tea, Flavoring, Vegetable

Root is eaten cooked as a vegetable[3]. It has a strong savoury taste and can be used as a flavouring[4]. It is reported to be best grated[3] and used when 2 - 3 years old[4]. A tea can also be made from the grated roots[1].

Distillation as a Flavouring

An essential oil from the root is used commercially as a food flavouring[1][11]. Yields of 0.5% are obtained[12].


Raw, Cooked, Ground as a Flavouring

The seed has a strong yeasty flavour, it is used as a flavouring in cakes, soups, salads etc[5][2][6][3]. It can be used whole or ground into a powder.

Leaves, Stem

Raw, Cooked as a Vegetable, Flavoring

Leaves and stems are edible raw or cooked as a vegetable[5][7][8][2] and can be used as a savoury flavouring in salads, soups, stews etc, imparting a yeasty/celery flavour[9][10].

The young stem can be blanched and used like celery in salads[10][1].

Material uses

An essential oil from the plant is used in perfumery[12][11].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

Lovage is a warming and tonic herb for the digestive and respiratory systems. It is used primarily in the treatment of indigestion, poor appetite, wind, colic and bronchitis[14]. The roots, leaves and fruits are antispasmodic, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, mildly expectorant and stimulant[7][12][2][6][15][11]. They are used internally in the treatment of disordered stomachs, especially cases of colic and flatulence in children, kidney stones, cystitis, painful menstruation and slow labour[7][11]. Externally, the root is used in the treatment of sore throats and aphthous ulcers[11]. The roots of plants 3 years old can be harvested in early spring or in the autumn and are used fresh or dried[9][11]. The leaves are harvested before the plant comes into flower and either distilled for their oil or dried for later use[11]. The leaves, either eaten in salads or dried and infused as a tea, have been used as an emmenagogue[7]. The essential oil from the seeds is used by aromatherapists to remove freckles and spots from the face[16].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Bee attractor

Insect predactor attractor


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow spring or early autumn in a cold frame. The seed can be slow to germinate so it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring or autumn. This can be quite hard work due to the size of the roots but the plant grows away very well afterwards. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.



An easily grown plant, it prefers a rich moist but well-drained soil in a sunny position[7][10], though it tolerates some shade[8]. Lovage has very aromatic leaves. It is often grown in the herb garden as a culinary herb[12] and is occasionally grown commercially as a food flavouring[K]. If the plant is cut back to the ground during the growing season it will produce a new flush of young leaves[3]. If the weather is dry at this time, it will be necessary to water the plants in order to encourage fresh growth[K].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Levisticum officinale. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Levisticum officinale.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Levisticum officinale
Imported References
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
  • Flowers (Unknown use)
  • Leaves (Tea Broth)
  • Root (Tea Flavoring Vegetable)
  • Seed (Flavouring)
  • Leaves Stem (Vegetable Flavoring)
  • Root (Flavouring)
Material uses
  • Unknown part (Essential)
Medicinal uses
  • Unknown part (Antispasmodic)
  • Unknown part (Aromatic)
  • Unknown part (Carminative)
  • Unknown part (Diaphoretic)
  • Unknown part (Digestive)
  • Unknown part (Diuretic)
  • Unknown part (Emmenagogue)
  • Unknown part (Expectorant)
  • Unknown part (Skin)
  • Unknown part (Stimulant)
  • Unknown part (Stomachic)
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    1.8 x 1
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (32202/01/01)
    2. ? Lust. J. The Herb Book. Bantam books ISBN 0-553-23827-2 (32202/01/01)
    3. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (32202/01/01)
    4. ? Brouk. B. Plants Consumed by Man. Academic Press ISBN 0-12-136450-x (32202/01/01)
    5. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (32202/01/01)
    6. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (32202/01/01)
    7. ? Grieve. A Modern Herbal. Penguin ISBN 0-14-046-440-9 (32202/01/01)
    8. ? Holtom. J. and Hylton. W. Complete Guide to Herbs. Rodale Press ISBN 0-87857-262-7 (32202/01/01)
    9. ? Launert. E. Edible and Medicinal Plants. Hamlyn ISBN 0-600-37216-2 (32202/01/01)
    10. ? Larkcom. J. Salads all the Year Round. Hamlyn (32202/01/01)
    11. ? Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (32202/01/01)
    12. ? Chiej. R. Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants. MacDonald ISBN 0-356-10541-5 (32202/01/01)
    13. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (32202/01/01)
    14. ? 14.014.1 Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London ISBN 9-780751-303148 (32202/01/01)
    15. ? 15.015.1 Mills. S. Y. The Dictionary of Modern Herbalism. ()
    16. ? 16.016.1 Phillips. R. & Foy. N. Herbs Pan Books Ltd. London. ISBN 0-330-30725-8 (32202/01/01)

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