(Levisticum officinale) Perennial herb in the Umbel Family. Lovage has been used by humans for thousands of years. Although it has been known as a treatment for flatulence and as a diuretic, we got into this herb because Richo Cech of Horizon Herbs says it has been used as a gentler version of Dong Quai (reference) and as an analog for Osha, a powerful lung herb (see “Growing At Risk Medicinal Herbs“). In our own experience, we have found it to be an expectorant with immediate results, due to its strong aromatic properties, it seems. Smells and tastes like super-charged celery. Flowers in second year, from 5-10 feet tall.
Cultivation & harvesting suggestions: Direct seed or sow in flats from late Autumn through early Spring. Transplant out when plants have 2-3 true leaves. Space two feet apart. Not particular about soil type, but benefits from compost and good drainage. Full-sun to part-shade. Young green stalks can be harvested and used like celery. Hollow stalks are what actually belong in a Bloody Mary instead of celery. Seeds are a culinary spice, and are sometimes what is actually found in store-bought ground “celery seed”. As a lung herb, dig up the root in the second or third year. Richo Cech of Horizon Herbs suggests doing that before flowering (in the late Spring), but we have so far harvested in the Autumn and been satisfied with the results.
Contains 200 seeds.