Osha is a perennial herb that inhabits the mountainous regions of southwestern North America and Mexico, with a particularly wide distribution in the Rocky Mountains. The root has a long history of use by the Zuni tribe of North America, who chew the raw root and use it to produce infusions. Osha root is also used to make teas, tinctures and extracts.
The roots are primarily used as a medicine to treat a broad array of medical ailments, and the roots currently are used commercially to treat bronchitis, influenza and other respiratory problems.* Depending on the ailment and area treated, the roots may be used to make a dressing, paste or liniment; made into an ointment; made into tea or a tincture; chewed; and even burned to clear the sinuses and relieve headaches.*