top of page
10 (3).png

These plants, funghi and insect illustrations
are part of my botanical oracle deck

Levisticum officinale | Lovage

Botanical Overview of Lovage

  • Scientific Name: Levisticum officinale

  • Common Names: Lovage, Garden Lovage, Wild Celery, Love Parsley

  • Family: Apiaceae

  • Description: A tall, perennial herb with hollow stems, large dark green, deeply divided leaves, and small yellow-green flowers arranged in umbels. Lovage grows up to 2 meters tall and has a strong celery-like scent. The plant produces winged seeds that are similar in appearance to fennel seeds.

levisticum officinale botanical illustration

Properties of Lovage

  • Chemical Constituents: Essential oils (ligustilide, phthalides), coumarins, furanocoumarins, phenolic acids, and alkaloids.

  • Edibility: All parts of lovage are edible. The leaves and stems are used as herbs, the roots as vegetables, and the seeds as spices. Lovage imparts a strong, celery-like flavor to dishes and is used in soups, salads, and herbal teas.

Distribution and Habitat of Lovage

  • Native Range: Mediterranean region.

  • Preferred Habitat: Prefers rich, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. Lovage is often found growing in herb gardens, alongside streams, and in fertile meadows. It thrives in temperate climates and is cultivated widely in Europe and North America for culinary and medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Properties and Uses of Lovage

  • Traditional Uses: Lovage has a long history in traditional medicine as a digestive aid, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory agent. It was commonly used to relieve flatulence, indigestion, and water retention. Lovage root was also employed to treat respiratory issues and urinary tract infections.

  • Modern Applications: Today, lovage is used in herbal medicine primarily for its digestive and diuretic properties. It is included in natural remedies to alleviate bloating, support kidney health, and improve digestion. Lovage is also used in preparations to ease menstrual discomfort and promote detoxification. The essential oil of lovage is applied in aromatherapy to relieve stress and tension.

Magical Correspondences and Uses of Lovage in Magical Practice

  • Element: Water

  • Planet: Mercury

  • Magical Properties: Love, purification, protection, and psychic clarity.

  • Uses: Lovage is traditionally associated with love and attraction in magical practices. It is used in love spells and charms to draw affection and enhance relationships. Lovage can be added to bathwater or carried as an amulet to promote attractiveness and self-confidence. Its purifying qualities make it suitable for cleansing rituals, where it helps to dispel negative energy and create a fresh start. Lovage is also believed to enhance psychic clarity and intuition, making it useful in divination and meditation practices.

Folklore, Legends, and Mythology of Lovage

  • Historical Context: Lovage has been valued since ancient times for its medicinal and culinary uses. It was a staple in monastic herb gardens and was often grown for its various health benefits and versatile applications in cooking.

  • Folklore: In European folklore, lovage was considered a powerful herb for love and attraction. It was said that placing lovage under the bed or adding it to a love potion could enhance romance and marital bliss. Lovage was also believed to protect against evil spirits and negativity when planted around homes or carried in sachets.

  • Mythology: Lovage’s name reflects its longstanding association with love and healing. In medieval times, it was thought to have magical properties that could mend broken hearts and inspire affection. Its robust growth and aromatic presence made it a symbol of strength and vitality in various cultural traditions.

Historical Literary Sources

  • Dioscorides’ "De Materia Medica": Discusses the medicinal uses of lovage in ancient Greek and Roman medicine, particularly for digestive and respiratory ailments.

  • John Gerard’s "Herball" (1597): Details the various applications of lovage in traditional herbal practices, emphasizing its value in treating digestive issues and its reputation as a love herb.


bottom of page