Probably the most commonly used herb of the southwest United States, Osha will not mold, regardless of how it is stored or dried, apparently because of the strong anti-fungal effects in the large amounts of oil in the plant.
Osha is used at the first sign of illness to help kill the disease and induce sweating to eliminate it. It is as strong a blood cleanser and antibiotic as Echinacea, but with a specific affinity for the mucus membranes and respiratory tract.
When the active constituents in Osha build up in the body, the excess is secreted through the lungs via respiration, so any Osha taken goes to those areas. Additionally, Osha is a good topical painkiller, so it can be a blessing for coughs and sore throats, relieving both symptoms and cause.
It is also considered a very reliable, nearly instant expectorant and decongestant, and often gives immediate relief from hay fever symptoms.
Caution: Osha can be extremely heating, so if high fever is already present, it may be unsafe. Some herbalists recommend against Osha in pregnancy because its extremely stimulating effects could lead to miscarriage.
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