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Lovage seedsLevisticum officinale
Lovage

Malignant spirits in Roumania were kept away from the home by hanging either lovage or wormwood on the door or window. Because of its name, which is sometimes transformed into "love-ache," lovage has been used for love charms. Its root is also often combined with other roots, like High John and Queen Elizabeth root, in mojo bags. The root is boiled and the resulting tea added to a bath for love; such a bath is indulged in for 9 days in a row for greatest effectiveness. Culpeper considered this a Sun herb ruled by Taurus. It is a warming herb, and a big one, with yellowish flowers. However, it has a camphorous (Moon) quality to its scent as well, so consider this an herb with some planetary complexity. Top

Mundane Uses
The taste has been described as a combination of celery and angelica. Greeks and Romans used the leaves, seeds, and roots in cooking. The leaves and young stalks are nice for flavoring soups, vinegar, and pickles and have been added to tomato sauce. Seeds can be crushed and added to baked goods. Young stalks and leaves are sometimes crystalized like angelica. Roots are peeled before eating, as the root skin is bitter. Grieve says that together with yarrow and tansy, lovage was the basis of an English cordial that bears its name, but I found a couple of other recipes for lovage cordial. One from 1818 listed lovage, valerian, sweet fennel, celery, caraway, and savin(!); another from 1865 didn't even include any lovage: celery, cinnamon, mace, and caraway. Whatever the ingredients, lovage cordial was usually mixed with brandy rather than drunk straight. Medicinally, this herb is good for the digestion, especially in cases of colic (pain that moves around the body), and it is a diuretic. An 1881 herbal described a lovage infusion as good for "hysteria and nervous affections." Another herbal (Botanicum officinale by Joseph Miller, 1722) describes it as a heating and drying herb that warms and comforts the stomach and expels "Wind." You can make straws from the stalks. Top

How to Grow Lovage
Sow in fall or spring to germinate in 10-14 days at room temperature. You can sow directly in the ground or start from transplants. Set out in full sun or partial shade. Lovage gets 48-78"/125-200cm tall and should be spaced 18-24"/45-60cm apart.  This perennial herb is hardy to zone 4. It usually flowers its second year, and the blossoms draw bees and other good bugs. In the past, the stalks of this plant were blanched like celery by either mounding up soil around them or by wrapping the lower part of the plant with paper. General growing info Top

Levisticum officinale
Lovage
50 seeds $3.25



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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection
Love Charms
Sun Herb

2010, 2017 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission  

Lovage vinegar (1914)
2 oz. peeled lovage root
1 oz. lovage seeds
10 oz. vinegar
Digest (let sit in warm place) for one week & filter.