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Osha (Ligusticum porteri)


antibacterial, antiviral, hemostatic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, diaphoretic

Areas of application:

Headaches, Asthma, Colds, Flu, Viral Infections, Strep Throats, Bronchitis, Cough, Fever, Herpes, HIV, Altitude Sickness, Altitude Changes, Wounds, Infections, Boils, Aids Skin Healing, Arthritis, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Nicotine Dependence

Plant parts used:


Collection time:

Late summer to autumn

To find:

Osha is a purely mountain plant and is most commonly found in deep, moist soils rich in organic matter.


Z-Ligustilide and Senkyunolide A


Osha grows to 6 to 7 feet tall and smells strongly of celery. The parsley-like leaves have a unique reddish color at the base where they attach and look fern-like. The flowers have the classic white umbels of the carrot family with many small, 5-petalled flowers. When identifying them, care must be taken not to confuse them with other poisonous plants, such as hemlock or water hemlock. The roots are very hairy and fibrous and have a wrinkled, black or chocolate brown outer skin. When the outer shell is peeled, the inner root tissue is yellowish-white and strongly fragrant. The green of the plant dies off every winter except for the hairy, brown rhizome.

🛑 The safety for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers is not known. Osha can trigger menstruation, so it should be avoided during pregnancy.

In the kitchen, the leaves and seeds can be used as a spice or to flavor various drinks such as mead.

Osha can also be used for smoking for headaches.

Osha is said to mean bear in the Native American language.

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