Lovage (Levisticum officinale)
$1.00 - $5.60
Lovage comes from the mountainous regions of southern Europe, primarily Italy, Greece, and France. Though its English name refers to the ancient belief in its aphrodisiac powers, it received its Latin name from a small town in Italy where the plant may have first been cultivated before the first century AD. Lovage was often used in making cordials and liqueurs, both for culinary and medicinal use; every part of the plant, including the roots and seeds, is edible. Traditional medicine makes use of this herb to improve digestion, treat fevers and sore throats, and ease cramping. Because of their excellent deodorizing qualities, the leaves have often been used as an air freshener or to freshen the breath. Though lovage can grow in the wild, it looks very similar to poison hemlock and should be carefully identified before being used for culinary purposes.