Lovage Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
The lovage oil benefits are innumerable. It is used for medicinal, culinary, and household purposes, and is documented for its rich properties since ancient times. Lovage essential oil plays a great role in treating as well as prevention of diseases.
Let’s understand about this oil in detail.
What Is Lovage Oil?
Lovage oil is an aromatic liquid isolated from its roots, aerial parts, and seeds through the process of distillation. Through hydro distillation, the percentage yield of the oil includes:
- Immature Fruit – 1.5 %
- Green Mature Fruit- 1 %
- Ripened Fruit – 0.6 %
- Flower – 0.1 %
Scientific Name Of Lovage Oil
The botanical name of lovage is Levisticum officinale.
History Of Lovage Oil
Levisticum officinale is an aromatic plant, which is popular for its use in food and medicine. Lovage is a perennial herb (lives longer than two years) and belongs to the Apiaceae family.
It originates from Iran and Afghanistan but is found growing throughout the world today. Lovage is also known as bastard celery in France and love parsley in England. The plant can grow up to a height of 6 feet and resembles plants such as fennel, coriander, and parsley.
It bears yellow-green flowers and seeds. Lovage oil is well known for its medicinal uses since ancient times. Currently, a lot of scientific research also has proven the age-old efficacy of Levisticum officinale oil. (1)
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Lovage Oil
- The color of lovage oil is pale yellow or brown.
- The consistency of lovage oil is spicy and herbaceous, with a hint of celery.
- The smell of lovage oil is distinct, sharp, and yet floral.
Properties Of Lovage Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of lovage essential oil include:
- Antimicrobial – Kills harmful bacteria
- Antioxidant – Prevents diseases
- Anti-inflammatory – Prevents inflammation
- Antitumor – Fights cancer
- Antithrombotic – Prevents unnecessary clotting
- Expectorant – Helps you to spit out sputum
- Diuretic – Helps you to pass urine
- Diaphoretic – Helps cool your body by passing sweat
- Stomachic – Treats poor appetite
- Carminative – Helps get rid of excess bloating or gas
- Emmenagogue – Helps ease painful menstrual cycle
- Analgesic – Pain reliever
- Antifungal – Kills fungi
- Antispasmodic – Relieves spasms
Chemical Compounds In Lovage Oil
Here’s a list of some of the major components of lovage oil:
- E- and Z-butylidenephthalide
- E- and Z-ligustilide
- Phthalides including n-butyl-phthalide, n-butylidene phthalide, and sedanonic anhydride
- α-terpinyl acetate
- Monoterpene hydrocarbons
- Terpenoids like α-terpineol & carvacrol
- Phenylpropanoids like volatile acids and eugenol
Health Benefits Of Lovage Oil
Though lovage oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones include:
1. Prevents bacterial infections
According to a scientific paper published in the year 2010, the essential oil derived from mature and ripened lovage fruits showed potent antibacterial activity against the bacteria Bacillus subtilis. The Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) was 0.90 mg ml in mature and ripened fruits. The Levisticum officinale oil is effective against the following bacteria:
- aeruginosa. T
Applying diluted lovage oil on your skin reduces skin problems such as acne, and gives you a beautiful and radiant skin. The antioxidants present in lovage help reduce wrinkles and boost blood circulation in the skin cells. (2, 3, 4)
2. Fortified with antioxidants
Oxidation is a process that results in free radicals, which, in turn, paves the way for various diseases and early aging. Antioxidants are the substances that help in neutralizing the free radicals, preventing deadly diseases from attacking you, and making you healthy.
Thanks to the compound z-ligustilide in lovage oil - it is a potent antioxidant. (5)
3. Reduces inflammation
Inflammation is a painful response by your body, which causes swelling, redness, and loss of movement. Inflammation can result from infections or diseases.
However, the compound z-ligustilide present in Levisticum officinale oil helps in preventing inflammation, no matter what the cause is. It is popular for treating inflammation of eyes and throat. (6, 7)
Another compound called quercetin present in lovage essential oil has anti-allergy properties. Thus, lovage oil helps in the treatment of allergic reactions like a runny nose and watery eyes by acting against a compound called histamine, which is responsible for these kinds of symptoms. (8)
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, lovage oil helps you to beat all the inflammatory diseases including rheumatism and hemorrhoids.
Besides these, Levisticum officinale essential oil has been a popular medicine for its use in rheumatism.
*Rheumatism is an autoimmune condition where there is nflammation in the joints.
*Autoimmunity is a self-destructive condition where the body cells act against themeselves and destroy them.
*Hemorrhoids is a painful condition where the blood vessels in the anus bulge and sometimes bleed, making it difficult for the person to pass stools.
4. Effective against tumor cells
Your body is made up of building blocks known as cells. These cells have a defined function to support your system. The cells live for a certain period and then die. Later, new cells take their place, and this is how your body maintains its structure.
But when there is a disturbance in this process, the cells don’t die but keep on multiplying causing a lump known as a tumor. When the lump spreads, or when it turns deadly, it is known as a malignant lump/cancer.
The compound z-ligustilide present in lovage oil has antitumor properties. It helps the cells to behave like other normal and healthy cells.
A study published in 2011 confirms that Levisticum officinale is very effective against squamous carcinoma in the head and neck.
Squamous carcinoma is a type of cancer that occurs in the squamous cells that are present in the skin, mucous lining of the mouth, nose, and neck.
When it spreads, it can be deadly and has a low survival rate. The research concluded that lovage oil prevents the growth of HNSCC (Head & Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma) by inhibiting the growth of cancer cells. (9, 10, 11, 12)
5. Prevents blood clots
Usually, clotting is a good thing because it clogs or blocks the process of bleeding and prevents unnecessary blood loss. But blood clots within the blood vessels, especially within the ones that supply blood to the vital organs such as heart can be deadly.
Thrombus is a blood clot within the blood vessel. A thrombus can block or prevent the blood supply, causing the death of the tissues to which it supplies blood. However, the compound z-ligustilide in Levisticum officinale has antithrombotic properties, which helps in the prevention of blood clots. (13)
6. Treats GI disorders
Lovage oil treats all kinds of stomach problems or GI (Gastrointestinal) disorders – be it stomach pain, constipation (difficulty to pass stools), and other different types of colic.
It reduces bowel irritation and helps the stools to pass smoothly. Lovage is highly effective in the treatment of bloating or excess gas. (14)
7. Heals UTI infections
One of the best lovage oil benefits is its ability to prevent and UTI (Urinary Tract Infection). UTI is a condition where the person experiences pain in his or her pelvic (below navel) region along with a burning sensation while passing the urine. Also, the person feels the need to pee more often than usual.
However, lovage has a component called Canephron N (CAN), which is useful in treating as well as preventing UTI in adults, children, as well as pregnant women. (15)
UTI is common in pregnancy, and though there are many medicines to cure it, it should not be used by pregnant women and kids without consulting a doctor. However, the CAN that is naturally present in lovage is safe for all.
8. Used as a food preservative
9. Adds flavor to a dish
Lovage is well-admired for its aromatic and food-flavoring properties. It is also used for adding flavor to tobacco products, and other major food products like beverages, frozen dairy desserts, candy, gelatins, pudding, meat, etc.
The lovage plant and its seeds, leaves, and roots are useful in vegetarian cuisine to give a signature savory flavor. They are also popularly used in soups, stocks, casseroles, salads, and even as a substitute for meat.
Dried lovage seeds are ground using mortar & pestle, and sprinkled as a spice. They are also used for seasoning different kinds of breads and biscuits before baking. (17)
10. Prevents & Treats kidney stones
Different studies have proven how effective Levisticum officinalis extracts are in treating kidney stones. Besides treating them, lovage also prevents the formation of kidney stones by restricting cystinuria.
Cystinuria is a condition where there is an excess secretion of an amino acid called cystine in the urine.
Cystine forms a building block of most of the proteins that are essential for your health. Usually, when your body forms urine, it reabsorbs cysteine from your kidneys, but in cystinuria, your body cannot absorb the cysteine back. Hence, there is an excess secretion of cysteine in the urine.
When the urine is stored in its concentrated form in the kidneys, the excess cysteine causes crystal formation.
Larger cysteine crystals further form "stones" and may lodge in your bladder (the organ that stores your urine until you pass it) or in your kidneys.
Larger stones prevent the urine from emptying properly. When this happens, eventually, it may also attract bacteria, leading to bacterial infections.
A research article published in the Journal of Urology & Research states the efficacy of Levisticum officinale on kidney stones and colic. (18)
Patients who had kidney stones were enrolled for the study. They had a tablespoon of lovage liquid extract twice a day for two weeks.
Before the study, the participants had to collect their 24-hour urine sample for measuring the urine cysteine, urine creatinine, and urine volume. Then, during the study, 24-hour samples were again assessed once a week for the same.
At the end of the study, there was a significant reduction in the levels of cysteine, creatinine, and the urine volume in the participants who had lovage extract.
What Blends With Lovage Oil?
Lovage oil blends the best with:
How To Use Lovage Oil?
- Add a few drops of lovage oil to your bath water to have a relaxed or aromatic bath.
- You can even add a few drops of it to olive or sesame oil. Use this mixture to massage your body.
- You can inhale its aroma to experience its medicinal benefits.
- You can also use the lovage oil for anointing.
Side Effects Of Lovage Oil
It is good to do a patch test to see if you are allergic to this essential oil. Apply a small amount of oil with the help of an earbud over an invisible area – perhaps, your palm. Wait for about ten minutes. If you do not see any of the following, you are not allergic to the oil:
- Unusual appearance
Lovage oil makes your skin photosensitive (more sensitive to the light). If you are planning to go out in sunlight for 48 hours after the application of lovage oil, let the dilution be 1%, which means 1 drop of lovage oil in 99 drops of carrier oil.
Do not use lovage oil if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Avoid the usage of oil in children.
Always speak to your doctor before you begin using any oil, especially if you are suffering from any diseases or on certain medications.