Levisticum. Levisticum officinale. Lovage.
Levisticum. Radix Levistici, P. G. Liveche, Ache de Montague, Fr. Liebstöckel, G.—Several species of this umbelliferous genus are employed as domestic remedies. The stout perennial herb, Levisticum officinale (L.) Koch, or lovage, of the south of Europe, is extensively cultivated for its aromatic fruits. It ia aromatic in all its parts, but only the roots and fruits are used. The fruits are small, ovate-oblong, somewhat flattened, curved, strongly ribbed and of a yellowish-brown color. Lovage is a stimulant aromatic, and has been employed as a carminative, diaphoretic, and emmenagogue. The best form for administration is that of infusion. The coloring principle has been isolated by M. J. Nickles, who gives it the name of ligulin, and suggests an important application of it that may be made in testing drinking water. If a drop of its alcoholic or aqueous solution is allowed to fall into distilled water, it imparts to the liquid its own fine crimson-red color, which undergoes no change; but if limestone water be substituted, the red color disappears in a few seconds, and is followed by a beautiful blue, due to the alkalinity of the latter. (J. P. C., 1859, 329.) The root of Ligusticum sinense, under the name of kao-pen, is largely used by the Chinese. In the Northwestern United States the large aromatic roots of Ligusticum filicinum S. Wats., Osha, Colorado cough-root, are used to a considerable extent as stimulating expectorants. (See A. J. P., 1890 and 1891.)