While most commercial cough syrups are loaded with artificial sweeteners like aspartame and high fructose corn syrup (don’t let anyone tell you it’s truly“natural” or equivalent to regular sugar), there are natural alternatives available.
One such choice is a syrup made of osha root, one of the more powerful and effective, but lesser known, herbs native to the United States.
Also known by the names loveroot, Colorado cough root, Indian root, mountain ginseng and any number of other monikers, the native herb is found in higher-altitude river areas and meadows, especially near the southern Rocky Mountains, and has a long history of medicinal use with Native American tribes, who ate the seed and leaves.
Many oils are contained within the root, which is used in a manner similar to the popular cold and flu remedy echinacea: Camphor, ferulic acid, terpenes and phytosterols.
It is perhaps the best American herb for lung and throat problems according to the Global Healing Center website, but it has yet to gain the type of widespread use that many of its cousins have so far in the United States.
Specific Health Benefits of Osha Root
With so many people struggling from mucus, cough and congestion problems, it’s a wonder that the healing potency and benefits of osha root are not more well-known.
Among its benefits include the ability to clear mucus from the sinuses and lungs, relieving congestion and making breathing much easier. Osha root also helps to increasing oxygenation within the body, allowing users to take deeper breaths according to the GHC.
It is also reportedly used by people suffering from asthma, allergies, emphysema and pneumonia, and cough and cold sufferers are also among those who would do well to discover its benefits. Sore throats can even be soothed by the calming effects of an osha root tincture or syrup.
Osha root has the ability to knife through even the thickest phelgm, and it provides such a wide range of benefits that it comes highly recommended for virtually all types of colds, flus and coughs considering the wide range of beneficial compounds it contains.
The root should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women but very few if any side effects have been reported.
The GHC notes that the plant and remedies may be lesser known because of the difficulty in growing osha root in commercial cultivation situations.
That makes it one of the best-kept secrets, however for improving your lung health, overall oxygen capacity, for treating colds, flu and especially coughs, and much more.
Mountainous and other higher-altitude indigenous peoples are among the healthiest in the world as detailed in a recent interview I conducted, and herbs such as osha root and others like ginseng and maca are often big reasons for that.
Osha root can be found in pre-made cough syrups or also taken a whole root for making your own tinctures or teas to enjoy its health benefits. While it’s rare at many health food stores, it may be special-ordered or found online.
Photo: Monterey Bay Spice Company