Osha root is also known as loveage, loveroot or bear medicine because bears, after chewing it for health reasons, are side-affected by its “lovage” properties and take to nuzzling each other. This perennial herb — Ligusticum porteri, known as osha is found in parts of the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico.
A member of the parsley family, Osha's seeds and leaves were food to indigenous Americans. It also served as a symbol for different beliefs: some communities burned Osha as a sacrifice for protection against dangerous spirits and omens; others washed it in waterways near vegetation during rituals for producing rain.
Osha's roots were often chewed to increase endurance - which has since been attributed its respiratory system supportiveness. Native American Indian parents even used to wrap Osha roots with leaves and strings and placed them near newly born babies to cleanse the air they breathed.
Additionally, Osha root contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties and therefore supports health or healing for respiratory conditions (coughs, colds, tonsillitis, flu, and other types of viral infections). Its antiviral properties are well recognized today, and as an alternative medicine, it's often prescribed at the first signals of the common cold or flu. Osha can also be taken when traveling to higher altitudes or for long-distance hiking to promote easy breathing.