Ligusticum is a traditional herb used in Chinese and Korean natural medicines. Ligusticum goes by many other names but its scientific name is Ligusticum levisticum. Ligusticum is also known as Chinese lovage, Italian lovage, Cornish lovage and Old English lovage. In China, ligusticum is called Chuan Xiong. The Lakota Native Americans call ligusticum, Osha.1,2,3 Ligusticum grows all over the world, but originated in southwestern Asia and part of Europe, including Great Britain and the Mediterranean.4
The ligusticum plant belongs to the Apiaceae family, which is the parsley family of herbs and other edibles.4 The ligusticum plant reaches over 20 inches tall. Its root is recognized by its irregular clumping formations. It produces dark green leaves on tall, thin stalks that shoot upright. In the summer, the ligusticum plant produces yellow flowers.1
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the rhizomes (roots) of the plant are used to create healing tonics and extracts.5
Ligusticum Health Uses and Health Benefits
The ligusticum plant contains organic plant compounds that provide important ligusticum benefits for health. Traditionally, ligusticum is used as a tonic to protect the liver, gallbladder and heart.2 Many TCM practitioners also believe in ligusticum benefits for menstrual problems and headaches.
Other ligusticum benefits for health include:
- Protecting the kidney against kidney stones
- Reducing inflammation due to injury and rheumatism
- Improving breathing and oxygen intake
- Reducing problems associated with colitis
- Fighting against skin conditions
- Combating harmful bacteria
- Alleviating indigestion and bloating
- Providing natural allergy relief
Ligusticum uses include being a natural remedy for the following conditions:
- Menstrual Problems - Ligusticum has been used in Chinese medicine to help alleviate painful periods, cramping and other menstrual problems.
- Anemia - Ligusticum has been used as a blood tonic to help treat anemia by boosting iron levels.
- Migraine - Ligusticum can help alleviate migraines by drinking tea or taking it as an inhalant. It does this by dilating blood vessels in the brain.
Ligusticum Side Effects and Precautions
Ligusticum side effects may include gastrointestinal problems such as stomach and abdominal pain. Other ligusticum side effects may include dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness and allergic reaction.5