The American Herbal Products Association Foundation for Education and Research on Botanicals (AHPA-ERB Foundation) has committed to funding a multiyear study on the sustainability of harvesting wild osha (Ligusticum porteri) by Kelly Kindscher, Ph.D., a scientist and professor at the University of Kansas.
AHPA has tracked the annual harvest quantities of osha and several other North American native species since 1999. The current research will add to this existing knowledge by evaluating the effects that harvest of the roots of osha, a perennial plant, has on populations where harvests occurs.
The research is a collaborative effort by the University of Kansas, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the U.S. Forest Service, and the AHPA-ERB Foundation to determine the impact of current wild harvesting practices on osha populations, the rate of regeneration, and the optimal harvest practices needed to maintain the long-term viability of this species.
In September 2012, the AHPA-ERB Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to study osha sustainability and Dr. Kindscher produced an initial report, "Harvest Sustainability Study of Wild Populations of Osha." This report highlighted the need for a multi-year study to monitor regrowth and estimate the resiliency or susceptibility of osha to different harvest pressures. In March 2014, the foundation committed an additional $10,000 annually for three years to complete the study.
The AHPA-ERB Foundation encourages interested individuals and companies to contribute funds to finance the study. Current supporters include Ms. Jackie Greenfield, Botanical Liaisons LLC, Gaia Herbs, Herbs Etc., Mountain Rose Herbs and Vitality Works.
"Osha's medicinal properties and historical significance make it a valuable North American plant," said AHPA-ERB Foundation Chair Beth Lambert. "Because osha is difficult to cultivate and has a limited range within a sensitive environment, we need to learn more about how to protect these populations and support healthy regeneration rates."