This American native herb is found in upland meadows and ravines, and thrives in many, many areas with an affinity for the southern Rocky Mountains. It was both a sacred and indispensable herb to many tribes of Native Americans including the Zuni, Aztec, Chiricahua, Yaqui, Tarahumara, and Mescalero Apache tribes. The seed and leaf were eaten.
Some burned it as a purifying incense for protection from evil spirits and dangerous pathogens. Osha has been fervently used for centuries, in ways similar to Echinacea.
Native American runners chewed roots for increased endurance.
Attached to moccasins or tied about the ankle it was used to protect the wearer from rattlesnakes.
Flathead tribe members ritually washed freshly harvested roots in streams near plant growth locations to precipitate rainfall in times of drought. Fresh or dried root brings a tingling sensation to tongue and gums.