Osha is a plant associated with good luck and protection and the whole root was carried as a talisman to ward off rattlesnakes and witches’ spells. Modern man is not aware of the power of his own mind in effecting others and influencing phenomena. Nor are we sufficiently trained in perceiving the influence of another’s thoughts upon us. Our intellect has curtained the workings of magic in ordinary life. When the veil is opened, we see ways in which a plant that works to remove gross pathogenic factors also successfully dispels subtle negative energies.
Historically, the root has been used as medicine by indigenous and Hispanic cultures for sore throat, bronchitis, cough, common cold, influenza, swine flu, and pneumonia. It is also used to treat other viral infections including herpes. Some people use it for indigestion and other have applied a balm of the root to the skin to keep wounds from getting infected.
Elders have always like to receive osha as a gift. The Navajo call it “deer eye”, the Hopi call it Bear root but osha is its Spanish name. White man has called osha “Porter’s Lovage”, “Colorado Cough Root”, “Bear Medicine” and “Indian Parsley.” Nearly every tribe in North America uses a species of Ligusticum, medicinally, ritually or symbolically. It is revered by all traditional healers and medicine people living in the Southwest for its broadly effective and powerful healing abilities.
OTHER NAME(S): Bear Root, Chuchupate, Colorado Cough Root, Indian Parsley, Ligusticum porteri, Mountain Lovage, Perejil de Campo, Persil Indien, Porter’s Licorice Root, Racine d’Ours, Wild Celery Root.