OSHA ROOT

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OSHA ROOT

Postby Ananda » Wed Feb 16, 2005 10:11 am

Today I am making Osha syrup.

Once a year my daughter comes down with the annual February flu. I saw it coming. I madly emailed other wise women asking if I could use Hemlock instead of Pine to make a syurup, and although they assured me it's not poisonous, I wasn't convinced it would work the same as sister white Pine. So Instead I have been making her regular old teas. Overnight the bug came on and this morning my rugged little blondie is a hot blooded red faced package of "uuuuugh, mommy, I feel awful".

Like the bear spirit I see Osha as, it came in strong, as a crisp peppery breeze (since often my connections are made via olifactory sense), and an unbeatable musculature. AH! That's it! I felt a surge of hope when I realized I could make the powerful, reliable, decoction of brother Osha. This would ensure that not only McKenzie would get better, but that my husband would not get it to begin with, because if HE gets the flu, it's nothing short of a hot lava volcanic houshold nightmare.

He is one of my earlier made plant allies. Ligusticum porteri. I read about it somewhere, Llewellen perhaps, about it's ability to protect one against malicious people (the book probably said 'evil' but to my 14 year old mind that equated most of the people in my classroom). So I bought a chunk of it from the local health market bulk herb section. I smelled it passionately, inhaling the easily absorbed srength that it resonated. I LOVED the earthy, peppery, rooty smell, it was empowering. I was sure that this, tucked into my private crocheted pouch, would protect me from 'evil'.

That was the first year I remember feeling a sense of victory. Self-assurance started to grow inside, this connection I had made with Osha began rooting itself throughout my veins, down into the earth, and into the roots of the plant kingdom. I started collecting glimpses of memories, snuck in silently and fragrantly by my mom, that reminded me of the power of herbs and plants. I started to feel that, along with my place in the world as a dancer, that I had a place in the world as a woman, a green woman, with ancestors, tribes, families before as well as ahead of me, part of the cosmic family tree. I became. It was my herbal puberty.

I'm not suggesting that Osha has any effect on the actual hormones. But to me, it had an effect of self empowerment and inner strength. A calm, unobrusive confidence. Deep health. Bear Medicine.

Osha, is the Bear's choice. It's the first thing they do when they peel out of hibernation, they sniff out Osha root, and eat it and it alone for a good 24-48 hours. It cleans their digestive system, heats thier circulation, grows new fur, brushes thier teeth, and exfoliates every part of them until they are refreshed, strong and re-empowered. Then they face the woods for thier season of bearhood.

In February we are trying to come out of hibernation too. We are trying to melt the snowcaps on our emotions, our work habbits, our closets of bulky sweaters, and too often are attacked by nasty viral bugs.

Osha's prized properties include Diaphoretic, stimulant, carminative, expectorant,and emmenagague.

An ideal ally for a winter flu, with his potent spicy, bitter, warm energy it quickly scares out even the worst virus' of the respiratory or digestive sytems. Tonsilitis and bronchitis are rendered helpless, parasites and food poisoning are overrun efficiently.

The vapors of simmering osha cleanses the air of germs, and most definitely wards of evil of any form. Osha provides strength for smooth transitions, from moon cycle changes to major life changes. It's a strong, fatherly, non-judgemental, bear hug just when you need it.

Although he doesn't come out of my cabinet hibernation very often, he makes a grand impression when he does. I absolutley love this wonderful root, and thank Goddess I have it today! McKenzie will be back to her Ox-self in no time.

Micheal Tierra in Planetary Herbology pp.153 writes:

"It (Osha) is used to treat colds, flus, fevers, coughs, cold phlegm diseases, indigestion, gas, delayes menses, and rheumatic complaints. This is one of the most important herbs of the Rocky Mountains, considered sacred by the Native Americans and widely esteemed by them for it's broad and effective warm healing power. Many tribes burned it as incense for purification, to ward off gross, pathogenic factors, and subtle negative influences. The energy of this North American herb is immediately apparent from it's strong odor, which illustrates superiority of fresh North American herbs over many of the older and weakerChinese Ligusticums that are exported for use.
Dosage: standard infusion or 3-9 grams; tincture: 10-30 drops"

In good green health,

Ananda
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Postby Judy L » Wed Feb 16, 2005 1:48 pm

I have chewed, sucked on, carried, slept with, sprayed in my throat, held, enjoyed and loved this root. Definite Bear Medicine.

I was sadden to find that it has been way over harvested and now is considered one of the endangered. It is one of those I wanted to grow but from what I hear it grows only over 8000 ft.

I consider it one of those special medicines not one I grab regularly.

Blessings,
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osha root

Postby yarrowfern » Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:35 pm

Who cannot just love the smell of Osha? I have a question for all..... I grew up in Alaska, we have a lot of bears up there. As near as I know, Osha does not grow up there... Does anyone know what the choice is for those bears and if it too is a power plant?
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Postby Ananda » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:01 pm

JudyL~ Thanks for bringing up this important point. Indeed I save this precious root for when it's really needed. Also it's strong enough that you don't need very much do make a good medicine from:)

Fern, I don't know anything about Bears in Alaska sorry! Wish I did though it's great question!

Anyone know more about bears?
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Postby desertmedicinewoman » Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:01 pm

i LOVE osha too, it is a beaitulful plant, which grows actually rather abundantly in the mountains near me. THe problem is that it is ONLY abundant in small regions of the country, and could easily be overharvested, and it is VERY hard to cultivate. Best used with permission and respect definately.
i tinctured some fresh a few years back right there in the field , surrounded by aspens, osha leaves waving in the wind and it was just lovely.
not only does the root smell good,but the leaves make a lovely infusion/tea or spice ( much like parsley, but different....)

being one NOT to waste any part of the plant, i took home my osha greens and use them in rice a lot, and soups. they taste good. I havent tested them at all for medicinal use, but energetically bear is all in it.
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Postby desertmedicinewoman » Wed Feb 16, 2005 5:02 pm

oh yeah, and bears....

i got some info via spiritual guidance that the arcostaphylos genus also resonates with bear medicine. I'm usign my local manzanita , bearberry and uva ursi as well would probably work.

:)
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Postby heidi » Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:05 pm

i was told this story almost ten years ago and it has always remained in the forefront of my mind... a woman i attended herb school with was once walking in the mountains...she came upon a trail of blood and instinctively followed it (looking back she wondered why she was not afraid and turned around)...at the end of the trail lay a baby bear, no longer alive, with huge wounds (perhaps from a mountain lion)...all the wounds were stuffed with osha root, as this little one was trying to save its own life...ahhhhh, each time i recall her telling the tale of this little bear tears come to my eyes...the sweet power of the plants, life and death, forever spiriling around eachother...
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Postby Ananda » Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:28 pm

WHOA that's itense, sad, hhmmmmm.

beautiful too....
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Postby crystal woman » Thu Feb 17, 2005 5:42 pm

Found this great information. Really interesting history about what bears do with Osha. There are other plants that grow in more northern latitudes, like Alaska and B.C., that are similar to Osha and would be used by northern bears as a substitute. Other species, Ligusticum canbyi and Ligusticum scorticum, can be used interchangeably with Ligusticum porteri.


http://www.innvista.com/health/herbs/osha.htm

Lygusticum canbyi (licorice root) grows in Alaska http://plants.usda.gov/cgi_bin/topics.c ... mbol=LIGUS
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Postby Ananda » Thu Feb 17, 2005 6:34 pm

That is FANTASTIC! Thank you so much for posting that. Very thorough!

mmmmm, licorice-osha brew, now THAT's a good idea! :D
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0sha root

Postby yarrowfern » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:06 pm

I can just SMELL osha everytime I even think of it..... Thank you for the post on the licorice root...... I'll have to research a bit more of that plant... I used to see the candensis version ( the tall version) quite a bit. i thing that it is one that in Alaska we would call wild celery. Of course it has a cousin that is poisonous.... Hmmmmm sounds a lot like Osha and hemlock to me..... thank you for the info
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Postby crystal woman » Thu Feb 17, 2005 10:32 pm

Yarrowfern - you're thinking of 'Water Hemlock', a member of the Parsley family. Looks a bit like the wild celery you mentioned, but the water hemlock is hightly toxic. There's tons of the stuff all throughout BC, Yukon and Alaska. I don't think I've ever seen bears going near it.

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/cropprot/weedg ... erhmlk.htm
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Postby LadyB » Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:10 pm

Osha root tincture will also STOP an anaphylactic allergic reaction in very short order. It saved my life repeatedly when I spent five years allergic to cats. Anaphylactic, throat-closing, non-breathing allergic. I never once wound up in the emergency room. I had little bottles stashed everywhere and only use it in true emergencies. It also worked wonders for any number of folks who knew they were seriously allergic to bee stings.

When I apprenticed with Susun, we talked about how, if Osha is SO spectacular with serious allergic reactions yet grows in SUCH limited places, would a plant LIKE it (I was thinking Lovage, Levisticum officinale, which looks like the Celery that ate Chicago and has an IDENTICAL smelling root) that is easily cultivated work for COMMON allergy symptoms. Being Susun, her answer was "Go Find Out".....and so I did.

And so it does!!

I have NO IDEA how bears feel about Lovage, we must ask one :)
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