Osha Root Honey

Osha root is one of the most potent herbs out there and osha root honey is a great way to prepare it.

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When it comes to healing the the respiratory system, battling winter chest colds, and warding off deep chest coughs osha root is a master healer.

Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is a plant that grows high in the south eastern Rocky Mountains, often above 8000ft  beneath the canopy aspen trees.

Medicinal properties;

Osha is one of the best herbs for deep lung coughs and respiratory illness. Its a special herb, and a little goes a long way.

It has an incredibly strong and bitter flavor and quite the pungent smell, and this follows through in its taste as well as in its ability to be a powerful ally in keeping the respiratory system healthy in the winter.

The root contains oils, including camphor, saponins, ferulic acid, terpenes, and phytosterols which all aid in its ability as a respiratory healer.

Osha acts as an expectorant, clearing mucous from lungs and sinuses to aid in decongestion. It also may increase the flow of blood to the lungs, helping to relieve constriction.  It may also have a mechanism that helps the lungs to uptake more oxygen, in other words deeper and clearer breaths.

Preparation

The common method of drinking your herbs in tea does not really go so well with osha, although I am sure there are some people that could do it and like it, but the flavor is intense. The other common method of preparing a tincture out of Osha also maybe not the best. Some herbalist and herb sources out there say that the properties of Osha are not readily obtained from the common method of tincture preparations.

So how do you take it?

My favorite method is to chop up dried Osha Root and cover it in raw unfiltered honey. This serves the purpose of mellowing out the intense flavor and makes it easier for consumption, which is great for the less hardy and for children.  Synergistically the osha root and the honey combine together to make a medicine that can be taken by the spoonful, mixed into tea, or the pea sized chunks of osha root in the honey may be chewed on.

It is said that upon waking from winter hibernation that bears in the high rockies dig up osha root and eat the root as their first meal.  Bears love honey, bears love Osha, osha does well in honey, its a little bit o’ magic.

 

Harvesting and Use

Please please please be aware that harvesting Osha needs to be done with extreme caution.

It looks very similar to Poison Hemlock and although the root of osha has an unmistakable pungent odor that poison hemlock does not have, the foliage looks the same and can be toxic to the touch. So please be very careful when identifying these plants; consult an expert.

On another note, osha root can easily be over harvested. Its growing environment is very specific and limited. Its hard to reproduce the environment of the high rockies on a farm or garden so over harvesting is an issue.

If you do wild craft your own, only take what you need. And keep in mind that a little bit of osha goes a very long way.  A single root is enough to keep you, your family, friends, and neighbors healthy all winter and probably into the next winter too. If you get it from a friend or an apothecary please use it sparingly, it is powerful medicine and a little lasts a long time.

 

Osha Root Honey

Chop about 2 inches of osha root into pea size pieces.  Next place the osha into a half pint mason jar. You want about a 1/8-1/4 cup of Osha. You will have little dusty pieces leftover, swipe those into the jar as well. Cover with honey to the top of the jar. Use raw, unfiltered honey, as it has its own medicinal qualities. Seal you jar and let it sit for a couple weeks.

There is no need to strain the osha root out of the honey. The chunks can be sucked on and chewed on for its medicine.  One half to one teaspoon of the osha root honey for an adult is a good place to start for dosage. It can be taken straight or placed in tea. Take it when you first feel a cold/flu coming on and take a spoonful or two a day throughout as well.

(Don’t forget to label your jar with the contents and the date.)

 

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Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub

The name of this body scrub says it all, it smells like pumpkin spice perfect for the beginnings of longer days and cooler weather. In any body scrub the salts and sugars are meant to gently exfoliate the upper layers of dead skin so that the oils can more deeply hydrate fresh skin, something often needed as the weather dries out and the heaters come on. And in this body scrub we have the added benefit of herbs that gently increase our bodies circulation helping to keep us warm while at the same time adding the immune boosting effects of ginger and cinnamon.

Adding the essential oils of ginger and cinnamon furthers the beneficial effects and over all spirit warming effect of this particular body scrub.

You can use any carrier oil you like. For autumn I like a mix of pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil, these are both high in Vit E and deeply hydrating for the skin. But any oil could be used, just keeping in mind not to use a strongly scented one or the scent of your herbs will be masked. Also this is where using essential oils is nice, because they offer a stronger longer lasting scent.

pumpkin spice sugar scrub

 

When you use this in a warm shower the oils can soak right into your open pores while you are gently rubbing away dead dry skin to allow the oils to do an even better job of moisturizing your skin.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

¼ cup Carrier Oil

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Sea Salt

1tsp Cinnamon

1tsp Ginger

⅛ tsp Cloves

⅛ tsp Nutmeg

**A drop of Cinnamon and Ginger Essential Oils

Mix your salt and sugar and spices together. Then mix in your oil and essential oils.  Store in an airtight container.

**The essential oils are optional but their addition takes it to the next level of yumminess.

That’s it. You now have an incredible skin softening warming scrub for these lovely autumn months.

 

A few notes

Oils.

A Carrier Oil is any high quality vegetable oil, they all have beneficial skin properties, but for this recipe stick with the non-scented ones, like Sunflower or Almond. Stay away from the heavier ones like Olive Oil or Sesame Oil.

Water

Since this is to be used in the shower, you need to be careful to not get water in your container. I use my salts up fast enough that this is never a problem, but that said, allowing water in your container can introduce the yuckies (also known as bacteria).

 

~Enoy!

 

Finding Your Roots

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This world, this life spins so fast. Sometimes you have to find something bigger than yourself to hold onto. Trees are such things. Tall, strong, and patient they give great hugs.

They remind you of your roots, your ability to sink into the earth and gently take what you need, no more, no less.

They reach to the sky, and grow for the light, providing shelter, food, and housing for creatures around them.

They bend in the wind and sing silent songs.

They remind of us, to stand tall and breath it all in.

Trees remind of the stillness and breath that lies within all things. And our connection to all things.

Find yourself a tree, a forest if you can and go there.