Teaching Tuesday- Under the Radar EO's- Lovage Leaf

We are working our way through my list of essential oils that may not have ever been on your radar before. Today we will be looking at Lovage Leaf. If you are from the UK you are probably wondering why it's in this series, because it is commonly used there. But, if you are from the US you may never have even heard of it. So we are going to remedy that today!

Lovage leaf, botanically known as Levisticum officinalis, is often called "wild celery", and is native to much of Europe and southwestern Asia, with Hungary and France being the largest producing countries. The word "lovage" comes from "love ache", "ache" being a medieval name for parsley. This plant has been cultivated in Europe for centuries, where they utilize the entire plant. The leaves are used as an herb, the roots as a vegetable, and the seeds as a spice (especially in southern European cuisine), similar to fennel seeds. Lovage tea is drunk to stimulate digestion or applied to wounds as an antispetic. And, in the UK, an alcohol lovage cordial is traditionally mixed with brandy (2:1) as a winter drink.

Lovage is a perennial plant that grows five to six feet tall in just a matter of five years time. The stems and leaves are shiny green to yellow, and flowers are produced in umbels at the stem tops, and are yellow to yellowish-green. It flowers in late spring, and the fruit matures in the autumn. 

This herbaceous plant has a strong celery flavor (and scent), with a hint of anise. Its unique flavor profile can be used much like you would use celery or parsley, just use a lighter hand because it is strong. It adds great flavor to soups, stews, salads, meats and potato dishes. It is also used as a natural salt substitute, and said to be an aphrodisiac.

While every part of this plant is edible, it is only the leaves that are steam distilled for the essential oil. The Eo, just like the herb itself, has a long history of being used to treat digestive problems and skin conditions. The essential oil is considered to be a middle note,  and it has a warm, fresh, sweet and spicy green fragrance.  

 It possesses antimicrobial, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, stimulant, and stomachic properties.  Lovage is a strong oil with a distinctive aroma, therefore not much is needed in your blends. 

Lovage using formulations benefit conditions of amenorrhea, anemia, congestion, cramps, dysmenorrhea, edema, flatulence, gout, indigestion, poor circulation, rheumatism, spasms, water retention, and muscle aches and pains

A few drops in a massage oil blend will take advantage of its antispasmodic properties, and offer you an unique formula. Like wise, aging skin care formulations also benefit from the addition of this EO for its circulation building and edema decreasing attributes. I am sure you will find all kinds of formulations that will benefit from the addition of this Eo, now that's on your radar! 

Oh, don't use this EO during pregnancy. 

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