Levisticum officinale, Lovage
A Classic Victorian Herb
These days lovage has become something of an under-appreciated herb, perhaps because the similar tasting celery is now so easily obtainable. However, this has not always been the case, the Roman's valued it enough to bring it with them and introduce it to England. Since then it became an essential feature in any herb garden, and an impressive one too, it grows quickly to a height of 6ft. or so.
The actual origin of the plant is unclear, it had been widely cultivated before such things were considered important. It's possible that it's native to Europe, although it could well have started of in Iran and Afghanistan, nobody really knows.
All parts of the plant can be eaten, and all have a flavour reminiscent of celery but stronger than celery itself. Starting with the roots, these can apparently be eaten as a vegetable. Also the stalks can be blanched an eaten like celery but the main uses are for the leaves, which are good in both salads and soups, and the seeds which can be use as a spice.
Medicinally the modern world has been unable to find a suitable use, in earlier days though the powdered root was thought to 'sooth the stomach', especially, it seems, when it formed part of some alcoholic beverage. One wonders if that was wishful thinking!
Just because doesn't have recognised curative properties doesn't mean Lovage is lacking in health benefits, recently it's been noticed that it makes a very healthy substitute for salt, so a return to favour is definitely on the cards.
Camstar Herbs will be offering best quality UK grown dried Lovage leaf as soon as the 2015 harvest becomes available.
|Martin Hoxworth - Group Sales Manager: martincamstar.co.uk|
|CP116LO||Lovage Root Powder||Various|
|CP283LO||Lovage Rubbed 3-4mm|