Before the development of prescription drugs, treatments and preventions came from home remedies passed down from generations of ancestors.
The trouble with those remedies was that there was no way of knowing whether they were safe until they were tested.
The Osha root is an herb that has been around for many years, having stood the test of time. Also called bear root, Osha is an herb from the parsley family, mainly used for medical and spiritual purposes.
Let’s find out more about Osha and see how it can be a natural health remedy.
Origin of Osha
Used by most Native American tribes in the valleys of North America, Osha root was highly regarded and crucial in the natives’ everyday needs.
Mostly found in the Rocky Mountains, the leaves from the roots were first used as food for Native Americans.
Others decided to use them in a spiritual way by burning the leaves to protect themselves from bad spirits or omens. The root was known for its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Osha’s Ancient Uses
Native Americans used Osha root for medical purposes as well.
Many of the native runners and hunters chewed on the root to increase their physical endurance.
Mothers used to wrap the Osha root with leaves and strings and hang them over newborn children to cleanse the air that they breathed in.
Osha’s Modern Uses
Today, the Osha root is still recognized for its antiviral properties. It is still used when early symptoms of the flu or the common cold are felt—mainly when constant coughing or sneezing take place.
It can also be used for sore throats, sinus congestion, and swelling in the lungs. Because of Osha’s valued properties, mixing the root with honey makes a great cough syrup.
In addition, the syrup can be taken when traveling to high altitudes to increase your stamina and promote easier breathing.
Osha Root’s Health Benefits
Aside from clearing out your sinuses and the mucus from your throat, the herb can also aid in deepening your breathing.
Having to take many short breaths as opposed to longer, deeper ones is uncomfortable and actually exhausts you quicker.
Osha can increase blood circulation to the lungs, thereby increasing dilation during constriction.
The added circulation is said to be from the increased gas exchange through the alveoli in the lungs. Deeper breaths can help you relax if you have anxiety problems, further reducing your chances of having a severe anxiety attack.
People who have asthma, allergies, emphysema, and pneumonia have reportedly felt the health benefits of the herb.
One of the more common ways to use Osha is mixing it into tea. Osha tea can increase the circulation not only in the throat, but in the kidneys and uterus as well.
The tea can also be used to help treat tuberculosis, headaches, and toothaches. The health benefits have also gone as far as curing motion and air sickness.
So if you’re ever on a boat or cruise, it might be best to have Osha root on standby to deal with motion sickness the natural way.
A Hint of Caution
If taking Osha root for extended periods of time, it’s a good idea to take a break every couple of months or so. Even though it’s not a prescription medicine, you don’t want your body to become immune to its medical benefits. Women who are pregnant or nursing should avoid the herb, as it can cause uterine contractions.
An herb that has been one of the best-kept secrets is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves. It can be a good substitute for popular painkillers, as well as a new option for avid tea drinkers. For the sake of increased productivity, as well as all the aforementioned health benefits, it’s worthwhile to give Osha a try.
Meyer, N., “This Mountain-Grown North American Herb Makes for Highly Effective Natural Cough Syrup,” November 27, 2012, http://althealthworks.com/263/health-benefits-of-osha-root-a-natural-cough-syrup/.
Edward, F., MD, “The Lung Cleansing Benefits of Osha Root,” February 21, 2014, http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/lung-cleansing-benefits-of-osha-root/.