Collecting the folklore and uses of plants


1. In the American Southwest a plant called osha is very important to the Hispanic population. I live in the area and have seen the locals use it (and have tried it myself). The plant’s scientific name is Ligusticum porteri.
Common names are bear root, cough root and chuchupate. The hairy root is the portion of the plant used medicinally. The greens are used for flavouring. It is taken internally for colds and flu. Externally it is used for various skin ailments (scrapes and rashes). The active ingredients are not water soluble. The root is either chewed or you make a tincture. Keeping a piece of the root in your pocket is said to keep rattle snakes away.
Osha is used extensively in southern Colorado and New Mexico [Golden, Colorado, U.S.A., May 2003].

Image: JerryFriedman, Wiki Commons.