Osha Root

Osha Root

Also known as- Ligusticum porteri, Bear Medicine, Colorado Cough Root, Chuchupaste, and Porter's Wild Lovage


A native of the higher altitudes of the Rocky Mountains 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.


Furanocoumarins, mucilage.

Parts Used

Dried root.

Typical Preparations

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. Like other bitter herbs, osha stimulates appetite ("feeds a cold").

Health Benefits of Osha Root

  • boosting the immune system,
  • alleviating breathing difficulties, and
  • treating digestive issues and
  • pain like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Bronchitis
  • Colds
  • Influenza
  • Sinusitis


Not tested for safety for pregnant women, nursing mothers, or children under the age of 6.
This herb is sold by the ounce

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