Osha Root Profile
Also known as
Ligusticum porteri, Bear Medicine, Colorado Cough Root, Chuchupaste, Porter's Wild Lovage, Indian Root, and Mountain Ginseng.
A native of the higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest in the USA, the root of the osha plant is a traditional Native American treatment for indigestion and upper respiratory infections. The related Ligusticum wallichii has been used for nearly 2,000 years in traditional Chinese medicine, and most of the scientific studies of osha were actually performed on the Asian species. Osha is sometimes confused in the wild with poisonous hemlock; the difference between the two is that the osha root is extremely "hairy" and smells like incredibly strong celery. Osha doesn't like to be domesticated, and is all but impossible to grow under cultivation. Virtually all commercial osha is wild harvested. Osha got he name "bear medicine" because it was noted by Native Americans and early settlers that bears would seek it out when they first emerged from hibernation as a means to stimulate their appetite, as well as chewing it into a "cud" of sorts and then dripping it down and rubbing it into their fur.
Teas, tinctures, encapsulations. Tinctures and extracts vary widely in concentration; be sure to follow instructions on the label. Also used is steams and saunas.
Ancient Chinese physicians used plants like osha to "open the interstices" or sweat out a respiratory infection. Like its Chinese cousin ligusticum, osha will induce sweating, thought to prevent the development of a full-blown cold or flu. Osha is also used to help coughs become productive. Native Americans used it as part of a smoking blend to soothe sore throats. Like other bitter herbs, osha stimulates appetite ("feeds a cold"). It has been used historically by Native Americans for stomach pain and cramping.
Not tested for safety for pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children under the age of 6.
For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
This product was added to our catalog on Thursday 18 March, 2010.