Sustainability study of wild populations of Osha, Ligusticum porteri.
Ligusticum porteri, commonly known as osha, bear root, or chuchupate, is a slow-growing member of the parsley family (Apiaceae) that was used by Native Americans to treat a variety of ailments, particularly those relating to the lungs and heart. Its roots currently are wild-harvested by individuals and herbal product companies for sale and use in treating influenza, bronchitis, and sore throat. While there are many concerns that populations of osha are declining due to unsustainable harvest practices, baseline data are needed on osha populations and their resilience to different harvest pressures. These data can determine what conservation measures may ensure the long-term viability of this species.
This project is a collaborative effort among the University of Kansas, the Missouri Botanical Garden, and the Rio Grande National Forest Service to study osha populations and sustainable harvest for the natural products trade.
Funding: U.S. Forest Service (Rio Grande National Forest); $17,000; 2012-2014
American Herbal Products Association Foundation; $10,000; 2012-2013