Lovage is a herb in the Apiaceae
family of plants. Other herbs in this family include aniseed, carrot, celery, coriander, cumin, dill, fennel and parsley.
Lovage is used as both a herb and a vegetable in Europe, but in the UK it is used to make an alcoholic cordial.
Other herb and spices contain profilin
and Bet v 1
proteins, as a less commonly used herb there aren't any studies looking at the particular allergenic proteins in lovage, but it is likely that it does contain these allergens.
Like other herbs and spices lovage contains furanocoumarins
. These chemicals can get on the skin and in combination with ultraviolet light (sunlight) can cause a sunburn like rash. Furanocoumarins are found in higher concentrations in fresh herbs and are natural irritants which can cause allergic contact dermatitis. This is more common in occupations where you are frequently coming into contact with the food, like chefs, cooks, growers and pickers.
You can read more about other herbs and spices on the Herbs and Spices
Lovage is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP
stands for F
olyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.
Lovage is a food high in salicylates
. Salicylates have the potential to cause worsening of asthma, swelling, itching and hives as well as food intolerance symptoms in people who are sensitive to salicylates.
You can read more about Food Intolerances
on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.
Lovage is linked to allergic contact dermtatitis and phytophotodermatitis as it contains furanocoumarin, a natural skin irritant in some people.
Other foods in the
family of plants include angelica, aniseed, caraway seed, carrot, celery, coriander (cilantro), cumin, dill, fennel, parsley and parsnip. iF you are allergic to many of these herbs you may want to also avoid eating lovage.
Note these food lists are not exhaustive, you can find the most up to date information on the Cross Reactivity Tool.
DermNet NZ - Phytophotodermatitis
Science Direct - Furanocoumarin
Allergen Encyclopedia - Lovage
Science Direct - Lovage
Web MD - Lovage
Articles and Journals
Potential health benefits of the plant Levisticum officinale (lovage) in relation to its polyphenolic content, 2023
Botanical Sources, Chemistry, Analysis, and Biological Activity of Furanocoumarins of Pharmaceutical Interest, 2019
Contact dermatitis caused by lovage (Levisticum officinalis) essential oil, 2013
Relevance of pollen-specific IgE levels to the development of Apiaceae hypersensitivity in patients with birch pollen allergy, 2007
Two cases of apiaceae spice allergy, 2007
Characterization of allergens in Apiaceae spices: anise, fennel, coriander and cumin, 2006
Food allergy and IgE sensitization caused by spices: CICBAA data (based on 589 cases of food allergy), 2002
Spice allergy in celery-sensitive patients, 1991
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