By the end of February, winter is still dragging on and so are the germs and sickness we pass along to our fellow family members, co-workers and strangers on the street. As we slowly enter warmer weather our immune systems are still fighting hard, so why not send in some reinforcements? Osha root is the perfect natural throat remedy to soothe a sore throat, cleanse the lungs and ensure that your immune system is safely guarded!

What is Osha Root?

Osha root, also termed Bear root, was historically used by Native Americans to treat sickness and respiratory issues. It came to be called Bear root after the Native Americans observed bears eating osha when they were sick or weak after hibernation. Osha seeds and leaves served as food to indigenous Americans and many chewed the roots to increase endurance. Parents even wrapped the roots with leaves and burned them to cleanse the air that newborn babies breathed. Today, the osha root benefits are countless. It is primarily used as an alternative medicine to help treat a variety of illnesses.

Osha Root Benefits

Osha root contains antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, therefore supporting healing for respiratory conditions like coughs, colds, tonsillitis and bronchitis, and numbing a sore throat. Osha is excellent for cleansing the lungs by increasing expectoration to clear mucus from the sinuses and lungs. Osha root has been known to increase blood circulation to the lungs, which increases dilation during constriction. It is excellent to take when travelling at high altitudes or hiking to promote easier breathing. Interestingly as well, the active osha root compound “Z-lingustilide” has been scientifically proven to treat herpes.

Where You Can Find it

Native to the Rocky Mountains and northern Mexico, osha root is very difficult to grow in commercial cultivation environments so it’s most often sold as wildcrafted and available in sprays, tinctures and capsule forms. You may be getting osha root without even knowing it, inside your lozenges and cough drops. Osha root is also a key ingredient in Everyday Throat Spray!

Osha Root Tea Recipe

Creating your own osha root decoction/tea is extremely easy!

  1. In several cups of water, bring to boil a handful of wildcrafted dried osha root.
  2. Once it starts to boil, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about an hour. The longer you simmer, the stronger and more beneficial it becomes.
  3. Remove from heat once the water turns a translucent grey-brown color.
  4. Enjoy!

Use the leftover decoction to create lattes or broths!

To find more natural throat remedies and tips for fighting off sickness this winter, check out our free Winter Immunity Guide and get it before it gets you!