Osha Root
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Brian Keating
Posted on: December 27, 2003

We spoke -- you had just walked in the door from New York re: successful publishing trip, multiple titles -- congratulations by the way!

We’ve been doing natural product research and writing for many years... I write a trade report on tea, and also columns on natural foods, lifestyles, etc. I might be mentioned in one of your herb books as well according to people who call me from time-to-time.

A small client in Colorado has spent two decades studying Osha Root (Ligusticum porteri). Osha as you may know is a favorite of Native American peoples who value it for dozens of uses including bronchial problems, wounds, etc. Contrary to popular belief, Osha is not endangdered, although some populations of Osha are over harvested.

If the passionate scientists we’re working with are successful, there will eventually be a sustainable, cert. organic supply of Osha.

Do you have any contacts either studying, using or familiar with this fascinatiing botanical? W’re simply trying to conduct a basic market quantification (total global use is small... rumors of Japanese and German imports increasing) and qualification (who/what/where/etc.).

Any leads appreciated. Please let me know how I can assist your efforts in the areas of tea or spice research -- anytime.

Lomatium, or Osha root is collected here in Oregon, Washington, and parts of BC. Most buyers are of the tincture variety, where limited production are the rule. It is still in the "medicinal" category, so does not enjoy wide usage or markets.

I would say up to 6,000 lbs. might be collected in both WA and OR, with BC a bit higher total harvests each year. Very limited markets. Price usually is around $6.00/lb., although smaller harvests can sell for up to $12/lb., FOB.

This is not conducive for cultivation, but a Forest Certification can be gotten from LaGrande, OR’s County Extension -- with some effort. Gaia Herbs might be one of the primary buyers, and they might give better overviews.

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