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Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri) – “Bear Medicine”, 10 g

 9.00 incl. VAT

Out of stock

Osha root (Ligusticum porteri) has traditionally been used by Native American and Hispanic cultures as a treatment for conditions like pneumonia, colds, bronchitis, influenza, tuberculosis, hay fever, and coughs. Today, the extract is commonly used as a decongestant and some believe it boosts the immune system.

A perennial herb and member of the carrot or parsley family (Apiaceae/Umbelliferae), the osha plant is most commonly found along forest edges and ravines of the Rocky Mountain Colorado Columbine and Aspen Bluehills and can grow up to three feet tall.

In North America, there are 12 species of Ligusticum. Among these, Ligusticum porteri is known as “true” osha.

Osha root is also known As

  • Bear medicine
  • Bear root
  • Chuchupate
  • Colorado cough root
  • Indian parsley
  • Perejil de Campo
  • Racine d’Ours
  • Wild celery root
  • Mountain lovage

Health Benefits of Osha Root

For centuries, osha was used by North American indigenous groups in a variety of ways, including as a ceremonial drug, incense, food, and medicine.

In Mexico, the Tarahumara tribe used Ligusticum porteri during ritual curing ceremonies for protecting people from witches and rattlesnakes. The Zuni people in the Southwest United States would chew on the root during healing rituals.

In traditional medicine, Native American and Hispanic cultures have used osha to treat medical conditions such as colds, coughs, sore throat, skin wounds, fever, gastrointestinal problems, and circulation and heart issues.

Today, some people believe osha root can help treat medical conditions including:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Sore throats
  • Digestive issues such as indigestion
  • Skin wounds
  • Cough
  • Viral infections such as herpes and HIV

These health claims have not been proven in studies.

Health purveyors and supplement manufacturers often make claims that osha root extract can help people with asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory illness.

Researchers are examining the composition of osha and how it might provide health benefits, such as whether it could have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. To date, there is no research proving that osha can heal specific health conditions.

Oxidative Stress

Some studies have looked at the root’s protective effect on oxidative stress, which is caused by an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants and can result in illness and disease.

In a 2016 study, researchers extracted human peripheral lymphocytes (a form of a white blood cell) and incubated them with different concentrations of osha root extract. They measured the protective effect of osha against oxidative damage by inducing oxidative stress.

They found that at the highest doses, 400 micrograms per meter (μg/m), osha might be a potential immune-modulating agent, perhaps providing protective effects against oxidative damage.

The following year, the researchers tested osha root extract on human promyelocytic leukemia cells to see its effects on oxidative stress and inflammation.

They incubated the leukemia cells with different concentrations of osha root and found that while the extract didn’t reduce or treat the leukemia cells, it did have a protective effect against oxidative stress and inflammation.

These studies did not include human trials, which are needed to determine dosages and safety of ingestion, among other things.

While oxidative stress can play a role in certain diseases, such as cancer and diabetes, more studies are needed to determine whether osha root would be beneficial for any of these conditions.


Osha root is sometimes used to prevent infections because it’s thought to have antibacterial and antiviral properties. It has been applied directly to wounds to prevent infections and help with healing.

While some studies have found that extracts of osha root can inhibit bacteria, more studies are needed to prove its effectiveness in this regard.

Osha root has also been used in the treatment of viral infections, including HIV/AIDS, due to its suspected antiviral properties. However, there is limited evidence to support this use.
Possible Side Effects

It’s unsafe to consume osha when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Ingesting osha may start menstruation in pregnant women, which could cause miscarriage.

Effects during breastfeeding are unknown, so it’s recommended that you avoid osha completely.

Taken in large doses over an extended period of time, osha may lead to kidney or liver toxicity. Some manufacturers’ labels say you shouldn’t use osha if you have impaired or inflamed kidneys.

You should consult with your pharmacist or physician before using this product, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking other medications.

Preparation and Dosage

Osha must be prepared carefully. The root can be confused with poisonous plant hemlock, which is fatal if ingested.

Osha and hemlock can often be differentiated by examining their roots.

  • In most cases, poison hemlock roots are smooth and purplish without leaf base remnants, though those features are inconsistent.
  • Roots from water hemlock are thought to be purplish, fibrous, and have a soft texture and parsnip scent.
  • Ligusticums, including osha, have root crowns with basal leaves and have a celery-like odor.

This product is an ethnobotanical specimen.

It is not approved as a nutritional supplement, nutritive or a drug. We are not responsible for the damage caused by the irresponsible use.

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