By Richard Peterson – For the Journal
“Bear root, also known as osha, is considered one of the most powerful medicines among the plains and intermountain tribes due to its ability to attack viruses and bacteria.
With a white umbrella shaped flower at the top, bear root grows from two to three feet high in the higher elevations. It does not grow on the plains, according to the Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine.
During a recent session of the Traditional Uses of Medicinal Herbs and Plants class at Fort Peck Community College, taught by Fort Peck tribal member Lois Red Elk, the subject was bear root.
The root was often harvested by the Salish, Blackfeet, Crow and Nez Perce in the mountain regions. “It was a trade item for us and considered one of the best medicines for us,” Red Elk said.”
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