Osha – Ligusticum porteri

Growing Bear Medicine in Australia

A few years ago I had a crack at growing Osha (Ligusticum porteri). Its a well known and also revered medicinal herb in North America among the Indian Nation people and the Native people of Mexico. It is used in their ceremonies and is well known as a Bear Medicine.

I was successful and managed to grow the plant for a couple of years before it went to sleep one Autumn and never woke up again in Spring.

Talked about in the book featured above ‘ Growing At risk medicinal Herbs’. Cultivation of the herb is tricky. It likes the Mountains where it grows, rich soil and plenty of water.

So time to try again, and I recently ordered a couple of packets of seed. They arrived yesterday (all 30 seeds) and I busily made them at home.

First is a two month stay in the fridge to simulate a cold winter, then treatment with Mycogold fungal preparation then into the soil for planting.

Stay tuned as I report my progress. Lots of prayers to the Bear Medicine spirit for a wonderful germination of these seeds.

P.S. When I opened the packet a wonderful aroma hit my nostrils. The smell of Osha! which is like a feral rank celery smell. If you have ever grown lovage, that is very close. I took this as a good sign that the seed is fresh and vital.