Osha Root is among those rare herbs that cannot be readily reproduced outside of its natural habitat, where it is known for having an effect on bears akin to catnip. Indeed, bears have been observed rolling in it much like a cat will, and are known to eat it when they are first out of hibernation. Observers also report having seen bears chew it up into a paste of sorts, before cleansing themselves by rolling in it. Some also claim to have observed male bears digging it up and offering it to females in courtship! Native Americans often, understandably, held the root as sacred for these and other reasons. It is said to be great for purification and dreaming, with some Apache Tribes using it as snake or insect repellant.
Modern herbalists also hold Osha Root in high esteem, in particular because of its antiviral qualities. It can be used to treat cold and flu, as well as ailments of the respiratory system. It is often chewed for the medicinal quality of the roots and then spat out. Some also use it for treatment of fever, stomach ache, and heart burn.