Osha Root- Featured in our Lung Support Tonic
Osha (Ligusticum porteri), also referred to as Bear Root, Chuchupate, Colorado Cough Root, Indian Parsley, Wild Celery Root, and Mountain Lovage, is a perennial herb and a member of the carrot or parsley family (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae).
Osha is a mountain plant, and can be found in deep, moist soils rich in organic matter at elevations between 9,000 –10,000 ft. in New Mexico and other Rocky Mountain regions of the Southwest. Osha plants form large clumps, and in areas of New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, can reach heights of 6 to 7 feet. They produce circular colonies with dozens of root crowns growing from a central root mass.
Osha is extremely threatened in many areas due to over harvesting. Since osha defies cultivation outside of its unique habitat, commercial osha root is almost entirely harvested from wild stands of the plant. Our Zuma Nutrition osha is ethically wild crafted to protect the plant population of this very important and sacred root.
Osha Root Benefits
Native Americans of North America often observed that bears would look for osha and consume the plant roots directly after emerging from winter hibernation or when wounded or sick. Osha is a Native American word for bear and is referred to as "Bear Medicine," since the plants are eaten by bears for what appear to be medicinal purposes.
Osha has a long history of use by Native American and Hispanic cultures for pneumonia, colds, bronchitis, influenza, tuberculosis, hay fever, and coughs. Today, Osha is commonly used as a decongestant and to boost the immune system, as well as for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, common cold, influenza, swine flu, and pneumonia. It is also used to treat other viral infections including herpes and AIDS/HIV.
One of the health benefits of osha root is that it also contains a number of volatile oils including camphor. It supports a healthy immune system and associated mucous membranes, and has a particular affinity for the respiratory system. A powerful antiviral and antibacterial agent, osha root tincture should be one of the staples in the herbal medicine cabinet for respiratory infections.
Its anti-inflammatory actions work to alleviate mucous membrane inflammation, opening bronchial airways to ease breathing. Osha root is used to help coughs become productive and can relieve congestion. Among its many benefits include the ability to clear mucus from the sinuses and lungs, relieving congestion and making breathing much easier, increasing oxygenation within the body.
Medicinal Potential of This Mountain Herb
Osha root has the ability to cut through even the thickest phlegm, and it provides such a wide range of benefits that it comes highly recommended for virtually all types of colds, flus and coughs. Additionally, there are reports of favorable use by people suffering from asthma, allergies, emphysema, pneumonia and chronic coughing. One of the most notable actions of osha root is its numbing effect, used to help soothe a sore throat.
Osha root is a powerful medicine that has been used traditionally for centuries for respiratory ailments and to boost immunity. Many modern studies are also confirming this plant healing abilities. It is recommended not to use osha root if you are pregnant or breast feeding, as it may trigger menstruation which could lead to a miscarriage.