The root of Osha (Ligusticum poteri), also known as 'Bear Root' and occasionally 'Snake Root' distinctively lies above the ground and is normally quite large, hairy and dark brown in colour. It's found growing in areas above 10,000 feet in altitude, often in rugged alpine clearings. It has acquired different names over the years, such as Porter's Lovage, Indian Parsley and Bear Medicine.
North Americans view the herb as having great power and luck, and as such it's often carried as a lucky talisman. When burnt, it produces a warm and slightly spicy aroma, which is believed to purify the air. Some Native American peoples carry the root of the osha plant (ligusticum poteri) because it is thought to protect against negative influences and negative thoughts. Osha is associated with dreaming and helps you to realise that there is magic in everything, including you. It helps to lift a veil between the conscious and unconscious worlds. Osha is a powerful, spicy-smelling root that may be sprinkled onto the rocks in a sweat lodge, or burnt directly. Traditionally, osha root was sometimes ingested to cause a sweat or fever that could release toxins from the body.
They Say: "Osha is used as an herbal remedy for a general array of problems by the Pueblo Indians. As a talisman, Native Americans believe osha wards off rattlesnakes when worn around the ankles."
Packet Size: 1 oz (36 g)
Country of origin: USA
More About the Symbol of the Bear
The bear hibernates and goes within, Bear energy is the energy that seeks your deepest truths. And with the finding of your truth comes the honey of life - the sweetness that comes with knowing who you truly are. Bear energy helps you to go within and touch the great void where creation and you come from. By entering silence we give ourselves the opportunity to return to the world stronger and wiser. Bear energy is also about taking the courage that to stop thinking is not to die because we are so much more than our thoughts. So take a break, go within yourself and introspect. From the true place of bear we can see that life is like a dream to us and that our deeper self is not so tied with earthly concerns.
Staff Review by Brett Almond
Osha root has a strong, pungent, cinnamon-like smell. Some people don’t like it and others just find it captivating. And I have to come clean and say I am in the captivated gang! You can burn the root directly and the end will smoulder gently producing wisps of smoke (you will need to keep relighting it) or you could break it up to put as part of a mixture. In the Native American tradition they sometimes chew it.
I find it to be quite deep and have an “opening up” kind of energy. It is also sometimes called “Bear Root” and bear energy is very deep and dream-like, especially when in hibernation. As such I feel that the energy of this root helps us access some of those deeper parts of ourselves that we aren’t always aware of. I like it because it reminds me of faraway places in myself and brings them nearer.
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