Lovage is a plant belonging to the carrot family and is not eaten often as a vegetable. The scientific name is Levisticum officinale Koch of the family Apiaceae. This plant is well known for its aromatic pungent smell and also because of the essential oil. The plant tastes like celery and is of Mediterranean origin the name Love-ache is Italian which means love parsley (1). We are going to explore the advantages of lovage seeds and how they can be used in diet and daily life.
About Lovage plant
It is a perennial herb plant that grows up to 2 meters in height and has bright green leaves and small yellow umbrella-like flowers that occur in clusters. Both the leaves and roots of lovage plants are used in culinary dishes. The seeds of the plants are used to extract essential oils and also have a huge array of benefits. Lovage seeds have a flavor that is similar to fennel (2).
Nutritional profile of Lovage seeds
These seeds are packed with various nutrients that make them a valuable addition to your diet (4).
1. Essential Oils
Lovage seeds contain essential oils, including limonene, eugenol, and phthalides, which contribute to their distinct flavor and therapeutic properties (3).
These seeds are a good source of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
3. Vitamins and Minerals
It contains essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium.
The seeds are rich in phytonutrients, such as flavonoids and coumarins, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Health Benefits of Lovage Seeds
1. Digestive Aid
They have long been used as a digestive tonic. They can help alleviate bloating, indigestion, and other gastrointestinal discomforts.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
The phytonutrients in lovage seeds possess anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in managing conditions like arthritis.
3. Respiratory Health
Seeds of this plants are used in traditional medicine for their potential to relieve respiratory issues such as coughs and bronchitis.
4. Antioxidant Action
The flavonoids in lovage seeds act as antioxidants, helping to combat oxidative stress and protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
5. Aid for Menstrual Issues
Lovage seeds have been traditionally used to alleviate menstrual cramps and discomfort.
How to Use Lovage Seeds
Can be utilized in various ways:
Lovage seeds have a warm, earthy, and slightly spicy flavor. They can be added to soups, stews, and pickles for an extra layer of taste.
Crush the seeds and steep them in hot water to create a soothing herbal tea. This can help with digestive issues and provide warmth during cold seasons.
Ground seeds can be included in spice blends and used as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, or salad dressings.
Infuse lovage seeds in olive oil to create a flavorful and aromatic condiment for various dishes.
While lovage seeds offer numerous health benefits, it’s important to use them in moderation.
Some individuals may be sensitive to the essential oils present in these seeds, so it’s advisable to start with small amounts and monitor for any adverse reactions.
Not suitable during pregnancy
Pregnant and nursing women should consult a healthcare professional before incorporating it into their diet (5).
In conclusion, lovage seeds, often overshadowed by other herbs and spices, are a treasure trove of health benefits and culinary delights. Whether you use them to add flavor to your meals, create herbal remedies, or promote digestive health, these seeds are a versatile and valuable addition to your kitchen and wellness repertoire.