I want to talk to you guys about this root. Honestly, Osha (Ligusticum ficinium is the one I work with here in the Rockies of Wyoming) is the reason that I moved to the rocky mountains. This plant is a potent medicinal Herb that has been worked with for centuries. A member of the Umbelifacieae family, or the Apiaceae family Osha is a plant to be respected and honored for what she holds in her fibers.
This family of plants can be relatively dangerous to get to know. Simply because this family holds deadly poison. Water hemlock resides in this here in the Apiaceae plant group and the distinction between different species in the Umbell family is very subtle.
I highly encourage working with a botanist, ethnobotanist or incredibly skilled herbalist in your area before ever harvesting any plants in this family specifically. One of the first and foremost rules of wild harvesting any thing, but especially for plant families that hold veneficium.
She is a very slow growing plant. Nobody knows how slow growing she truly is because studies are not conducted in the wild. But some of the plants have been seen to be 15 years old. We can tell this by where the old flowering stalks and leaf stocks have died off and how many more have grown around it.
Bear Root Medicine
Osha holds so much for our bodies in regard to strength of the bear. She can be used as food in the summertime, harvesting her leaves & seed heads. Medicine in the fall and Spring when we work with her awakening or slumbering root.
I do harvest this root every season for medicine. NHIM studies show that she is increasing lung capacity but up to 40%. Not only this awesome and inspiring effect of her constituents. Osha also works to help in strengthening the immune system. With intense circulatory encouragements.
The volatile oils contained in the resins of the Osha Root are known to be strong anti-microbial chemicals. All in all, Osha, being specific to the action of our respiratory system, is a great strengthener of lung qi.
This plant supports our immune system without stimulating the immune system in the way that Echinacea works. When a person has gone through rounds of chemotherapy, or has an auto-immune condition, stimulating the already taxed immune system only creates more problems. Results can be a further weakened immune system, further conditions of inflammation, digestive complaints and further deepening the chronic illness.
This is why I love working with Osha so much. She is a support system for our immune system. A tonic herb for our respiratory systems. Helping to relieve congestion through circulatory encouragement within the lung tissue. While adding her anti-microbial volatile oils into the lining of the lungs. All of these properties only adding to the strength of the lungs’ ability to fight away bacteria and infection from viruses
Through the increase in lung capacity, Osha contributes to delivering more oxygen to the brain. In this way, because of the circulatory components, osha helps our lungs to feed our bodies with more oxygen. This giving the body a sense of euphoria and energy. When you chew on this root you can feel the rush. Osha is amazing for strengthening our bodies especially those of us who live at elevation.
Nourishment for Our Times
I talk about this plant a lot because she is so successful in nourishing chronic bacterial infections of the lungs. As well as acute conditions like cold and flus. She helps us to bounce back from sickness that much faster. The anti-microbial properties are held in the resins of our Bear Root. Resins are broken down effectively in high alcohol solutions, thus in tincture form, these properties are readily available.
Time in the Mountains
Many years, here in the Rockies, I have spent harvesting this plant. Root dividing her rootlets & spreading seed. We have bonded over the years through this building of relationship. I have many patches that I tend to in the fashion of regenerative wild harvesting. The ones that contain osha are visited on a 4 year rotation.
This year I have been tapping into my ancestral lineage through ceremony. Working with the plants in this way as well. When it came to be Osha Season, I was visiting the first patch I tended to in the Rocky Mountain life. I asked her for her prayer. And this was her answer to my request…
Her prayer was to give us the strength of the mountain. For us to ask for strength when consuming her. Visualize the intensity of the Rocky Mountains, and the Grizzly Bear. In visualizing this prayer we only enhance her medicine by honoring her spirit. This is the prayer I asked of her in reverence to her spirit…
Osha, please give us the strength of the Rocky Mountains. give us the strength for our immune system to move through blockages. To move through the mountains with ease. The mountains of unknown viruses & societal shifts. Nourish our bodies with this enduring strength. Bless you Osha & let it be…Say this prayer when consuming Osha of all species in any form of medicine, tincture, tea or raw root.
Not Only Strength for the Immune System
I thought this was so perfectly beautiful and fitting for the times we are living through . She holds not only components and constituents that are nourishing to our bodies, but the spiritual strength for what we are going through systemically. Offering us the strength of the mountains to carry us through blockages we are fighting against.
We are encountering major blockages, intense congestion in our society. These blockages have been building for centuries and were fighting through it now. I feel that osha root not only will be nourishing to our cold and flu Winter this year but also to our stamina through the shifts that we are seeing on a global societal scale.
Sending you all blessings of green & health