Osha root, a member of the parsley family, is a perennial herb found only in mountainous regions. Some Native American cultures use this plant to treat sore throats, colds, indigestion and skin infections.
Also known as ligusticum porteri, osha root is identified by clusters of white flowers and parsley-like leaves with a reddish tint at the base of each stem. Care must be taken when identifying osha root because it resembles several kinds of poisonous hemlock that grow in the same regions of the western United States. In Native American cultures, osha root may be ingested or applied directly to the skin to treat various maladies. Osha root can stimulate menstruation, so it is unsafe to use while pregnant.