|Osha (Ligusticum porteri) root and bottles, Magdalena, NM, Feb 2011|
I'm sorry to have been absent for a few days; my kids and I have been sick, yet again, and it has all just taken the life right out of me. Yesterday I finally brewed up a pot of Osha, a root long used for lung and immune system health here in the New Mexico-Colorado area and called "bear medicine" by the Ute Indians because bears have long been observed to consume the plant and roots after emerging from hibernation or when wounded or ill. This potent herb is not well known outside of this area and is not widely available, but I was fortunate enough to be able to dig some up myself in a friend's backyard two years ago, and the root in this picture is one of the few chunks I have left. So tonight and tomorrow I'll be sipping my strange sort-of-licorice-smelling decoction (lots of honey makes it a nice drink, actually), wrapped up next to my heater with the laptop on trying to finish two course projects due tomorrow night, and wishing I could just sleep till winter is over. Actually, I take that back: we're in for a warm week, up close to 60F and maybe even better than that, so I need to get better NOW so I can get out there and enjoy it. I hope you're all enjoying your weekend!