Fight Cough and Cold With Osha Root Extract

As I make a trip west I always look for this plant on hikes or even on side market herbs stands in Colorado, New Mexico or northern Arizona.  This root has a spicy celery smell and flavor that is very distinctive.  I once shipped a few bottles of tincture, one of which was Osha.  The bottle broke en route and soaked one of my wool sweaters…to this day it still has a faint aroma of osha root…almost 4yrs later.  It is potent, magical and can stop a cold in it’s tracks.

Few herbs go by as many names as Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri). This traditional Native American medicinal plant is also known as Bear Root, Chuchupate, Indian Parsley, Wild Celery Root, and Colorado Cough Root. A member of the parsley family, it has been used to treat respiratory and digestive conditions for centuries.

Osha contains antiviral and antibacterial compounds that can relieve inflammation in the bronchial tubes. It helps alleviate symptoms such as sore throat, sinus congestion, and cough, and has been used to treat bronchitis, flu, and pneumonia. Take it as soon as your symptoms appear and when you are coughing and sneezing the most. That’s when it seems to be the most effective. Prepare a tea from crushed and dried Osha Root or mix root extract with honey to make a cough syrup.

Osha grows in a limited region in the U.S. so it can be hard to find in typical grocery stores. Ask for it in specialty or natural foods grocers or look for it online from a source that specializes in the herb. If you’re unsure about the source, don’t buy it (or pick it in the wild), as Osha leaves resemble Hemlock, a poisonous plant.

Many factors determine the appropriate amount of Osha to take, including a person’s age, weight, and symptoms. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take Osha root. Talk with your holistic healthcare professional before taking Osha Root.

Resources “The Lung Cleansing Benefits of Osha Root.”

Colorado State University Plant Database. Accessed 3 January 2017:  “Medicinal Fact Sheet: Ligusticum porteri/ Osha”. Accessed 3 Jan 2017:

Gagnon, D. “Osha Root Sustainability.” 2015. Accessed 3 Jan 2017: “Osha Root” Accessed 3 Jan 2017: