Lovage is not a very common species of the wild plant. The botanical name of this plant is Levisticum officinale Koch. and belongs to the Apiaceae family. In the 9th century, evidence obtained that Lovage was one of the culinary and medical plants of the Capitulary de Villis. From centuries, Lovage gets a significant place in folk medicinal practice. It was well known carminative and stomachic.
During the period of the Middle Ages, the usage of Lovage in therapeutic purposes was evidential. This herbal plant was recommended to treat irregular menstrual cycle by stimulating the menstrual flow due to its emmenagogue property, flatulence issue due to its carminative property, and to treat various skin diseases. In the 11th century, the Schola Medica Salernitana had mentioned that the Lovage has skin lightening property and used as cosmetic preparation. Some country-specific application of this herb are as follows:
- Lovage is an approved medical treatment for kidney stones and inflammatory conditions in Germany.
- Lovage is used as carminative, digestive and as confectionary item in France.
- Apart from Germany and France, Lovage is used in the UK, Poland, Spain for herbal medicinal purposes.
Apart from these folk medicinal applications, ethnobotanical research conducted in Lovage have proved the health benefits of this herb.
Mechanism of action of Phytochemicals present in Lovage
- All plant parts of Lovage is used for medicinal purposes due to the presence of a variety of bioactive phytochemicals exerts some important mechanism of actions. Some important phytochemicals of Lovage are flavonoids, phenolic acids, furano- and pyranocoumarins, saponins, essential oils, alkaloids, and polyacetylenes. Polyacetylenes is consist of 3(R)-falcarinol and 3(R)-8(S)-falcarindiol and plays an important role in many bioactivities. Many trial results confirmed the spasmolytic and diuretic effects of Lovage.
- Some bioactive phytochemicals like falcarindiol, levistolide A, linoleic and oleic acids present in Lovage extract has antimicrobial property. This herbal ingredient can inhibit the germination of spores and active against both bacterial and fungal growth.
- The essential oil content like ligustilide present in Lovage has spasmolytic effect. Lovage inhibits the vasoconstriction by inhibiting the intracellular release of calcium ion.
- The phytochemical, n-butylidenphtalide present in Lovage has anti-proliferative property. This phytochemical arrests the cell cycle in Go/G1 phase and controls unwanted cell proliferation.
- The anti-inflammatory property of Lovage occurs by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase formation. Falcarindol is an active ingredient present n Lovage has this inhibitory effect. The anti-inflammatory property of Lovage confirmed by in-vitro research study also. Also, Lovage also effective to inhibit cyclooxygenase 2 (COX 2).
- TNF-α mediated NFκB activation is the basic pathophysiology responsible for tumor formation. The bioactive phytochemicals present in Lovage can prevent the activation of TNF-α mediated NFκB.
- Lovage has a psychological calming effect as it induces inhibitory effects on the binding of diazepam to the GABAa receptors.
Different dosage forms of Lovage
Lovage has the following herbal supplement dosage forms.
- Lovage powder: The daily recommended dose of Lovage preparation varies from 4 to 8gm.
- Lovage tincture: The daily recommended a dose of Lovage preparation varies from 0.5ml- 2 milliliters thrice a day.
- Lovage herbal tea: The herbal tea is formed with 2gm to 3 grams of lovage root. The required amount of lovage tea is added in a cup of hot water and wait for 15 to 20 minutes. The daily recommended dose of Lovage tea is thrice a day.
The essential oil is extracted from Lovage plant parts has a sweet, spicy aroma. This oil is collected through steam distillation. This oil is added in the cosmetic preparations like perfumes, soaps, etc. This oil is also used in massage therapy. Experts recommended Lovage essential oil should add with other carrier oil to avoid a direct application-related skin reaction.
Uses of Lovage
Kidney stone prevention
Lovage has potent antioxidant property and has an inhibitory effect against crystallization. Thus, administration of Lovage containing product is effective to prevent kidney stone formation and associated renal cell damage. A human trial conducted on 250 study participants confirmed that treatment with Lovage formulation reduces urine creatinine level, urine cystine. Thus it confirms Lovage treatment has a preventive effect against kidney stone formation.
The anti-inflammatory property of Lovage helps to provide a soothing effect. This benefit is effective to subside the allergic irritation and also reduce the allergic reaction associated swelling. Phytochemical quercetin is sufficiently present in Lovage which acts as a natural histamine inhibitor. Lovage is an effective treatment of allergic rhinitis and provides symptomatic relief from a runny nose, itchy eyes, etc.