shopping Osha - one variety
Osha root, whole, wild crafted image
[ 367 ]Ligusticum porteri

Osha Root Whole, Wild Crafted

1/4 Pound:  $65.62 Pound:  $145.82 
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Ligusticum porteri
plant overview
sacred and restorative

Osha is a flowering plant in the carrot and parsley family that inhabits the mountainous regions of the southwestern United States. Native Americans considered the herb sacred, as well as practical for many everyday uses. This may explain why the plant has so many common names, such as Mountain Ginseng, Bear Medicine, Love Root and Colorado Cough Root. Specifically, osha is called Bear Medicine and Bear Root because bears frequently seek out and dig up the roots to eat when they are wounded, sick or in need of sustenance after spending a long winter in hibernation.

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A Bit of Botany

a little botanical information

Ligusticum porteri is a perennial herb of the Apiaceae family that grows from 50 to 100 cm tall or more. During winter months, the above-ground parts of the plant die back to a thick, woody and very aromatic rootstock.

The plant has deeply incised, elliptic or lance-shaped leaf segments that are 5 to 40 mm in width with larger basal leaves. The white flowers appear during late summer, and are approximately 2 to 5 mm in diameter with five petals. They are grouped in flat-topped, compound umbels and are followed by reddish, oblong, ribbed fruits 5 to 8 mm in length.

common names & nomenclature
The species name porteri is in honor of the botanist and Christian clergyman Thomas Conrad Porter (1822–1901). It is believed that osha means "bear" in a Native American language. However the original language is not known.

Also known as:
osha root, loveroot, lovage, porter's lovage, porter's ligusticum, osha, chuchupate, chuchupatle, wild parsley, colorado cough root, mountain ginseng, mountain carrot, nipo, indian root, wild lovage, empress of the dark forest, bear medicine. loveroot, colorado cough root, porter's licorice root

Cultivation & Harvesting

considerations for growing and harvesting osha

Osha is strictly a mountain plant. This plant is dependent on mycorrhizal fungi, and attempts to artificially cultivate the plant outside of its habitat have not been successful. Osha requires partial shade.

Prefers a deep, moist soil rich in organic material.

The seed is best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn. Plant the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and then plant them out into their permanent locations in the summer if they have grown large enough. Otherwise, keep them in a cold frame for the first winter and plant them out in early summer. Can also propagate by division in spring.

The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried.

Store the dried root in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Where in the World

habitat and range for osha

Ligusticum porteri is found in parts of the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico, especially in the southwestern United States.

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.