Updated: Jul 18, 2019
Monday, it could only happen on a Monday. Rushing all morning to get the kids to their homeschool martial arts class on time. Making sure the youngest had shoes. Getting everything done before the downpour. We were finally on our way home. While driving via a different route, I noticed a clothes donations box and did a quick turn around, happy I could drop off the couple of bags I had in the back. A pretty good Monday after all. One of my sons helped me open the trunk and get the bags out and I started throwing them in…at the same moment I felt something sharp in my side. Then, I saw them coming out of the clothes drop box…..WASPS!!!!aaghhh!!! I screamed to my son to close the trunk and get into the car fast and I ran as fast as I could too. Thankfully, he actually listened right away and was so fast that no wasps got inside the car to sting any of the other kids! As soon as I sat down, I was overcome with PAIN! Ouch, wasp stings, Really. Do. Hurt. I felt like screaming, but remembered I had a car full of kids and yes, they were my kids and we homeschool and all that, sooo, I need to set a good example of being calm and might as well turn it into a “learning experience”. So I took a few deep breaths in and exhaled calmly ( somewhat calmly) and asked my other son to please pass me the first aid kit. Yes, I do carry a first aid kit around. Yes, it is an herbal first aid kit too 📷 I opened it up and rummaged through band-aids of all shapes, colors and sizes, you know you can never have enough band-aids. And there it was. That small 1/4 oz cobalt blue glass bottle of Osha root tincture. I took about 2-3 dropperfuls and also poured some on the sting. I took another droperful about 10 minutes later and applied it externally again. At that point the pain was subsiding and the redness and slight swelling were slowly receding. I had taken a pen and made a mark around the initial inflammation to show my kids, how to tell if swelling is progressing or receding. Such fun to have real life lessons like these, I am not sure who was having more fun… 📷
Anyway, as the saying goes, all is well that ends well. Drama of the day was now over and I was free to drive uneventfully home and carry on with the rest of the day. I will add that I knew I was not allergic to wasps and bees, having been stung before, so I was not in danger. I do also, usually carry benadryl and an epi-pen around too, since one of my sweet boys has a peanut allergy.
I first learned about Osha root, Lingisticum porteri from herbalist Susun Weed; and more about its applications in first aid from herbalist 7Song. This plant grows wild in the beautiful Rockies, typically at the higher elevations. One of its primary uses is for insect bites and stings, due to its anti venomous properties. Osha also has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It is also used as an expectorant, for colds, sore throats, other respiratory conditions and even altitude sickness. While not everyone loves the flavor, I do! It is a little like maple syrup sans the sweetness. I always envision adding it to a cold brew coffee for a unique taste. For a cough, it could be made into a delicious syrup.
Osha is very useful in first aid due to its many applications. It is more practical and convenient to schlep less and take just the few herbs that you can get more uses out of. A small bottle of Osha tincture can easily be slipped into a small purse or diaper bag and voila! You are then prepared for any scrapes, stings or other not so fun things you might encounter along the way.