Monday, April 6, 2009
Lovage, Levisticum officinale, is another of the mimic plants of the herb world. It looks like celery, smells like celery, tastes like celery but with one very distinct difference. It is much easier to grow in our gardens then celery. This herb is one of the last to go to sleep in the winter and one of the earliest herbs awake in the spring. A quite tall perennial reaching 3 to 6 feet, it can be used fresh or dried in soups, salads, stews, fish dishes, -- anyway that celery can be used. The stems are bitter except in the very early part of the year so we use primarily just the leaves in our cooking. The stems are hollow tho - making them useful as a straw for your bloody mary!
In days gone by lovage tea was made with seeds, stems and roots of the plant and used medicinally for pleurisy, quinsy, and the augue, as a gargle, an eyewash and to remove freckles!
Today we use lovage as one of our primary ingredients in our Love Bath Balls, the ultimate in perfumed bathing, both soothing and invigorating.
If you are interested in learning more details about growing lovage or about some of the other wonderful herbs and their uses, we recommend Herbs with Confidence. It is a basic how-to book of excellent gardening tips, tried and true recipes and crafts.