We are celebrating a milestone this year ! It’s been 15 years since our business Osha Mae Soap began !
In 2002 I began dabbling in alchemy ! I had returned from British Columbia with a few skills in my pocket, Soap making, Herbal medicine making, & Basic Botany. I strongly felt the need to put the skills I had learned in BC to good use in my life. It began in my apartment on Chebucto road Halifax making my first small batches of soap.
My Vision had always been clear : the need to work with herbs every day, use only the finest quality ingredients I could grow, or purchase & work with! That was it! .. Cold process 100% natural Vegan soap. Synthetic Free, Preservative Free, Dye free formulas. Made with herbs rather than dyes and scented with pure essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances.
With time, the tiny batches of soap gathered to be a collection that I needed to do something with.
My friend challenged me to find a place to sell them. I began to display them at the Forum Sunday market. It was so thrilling to hear the compliments from customers. It’s the public’s enthusiasm that continues to fuel the progress of my business! The kindness, the support, & the hope I receive from every person each time my products are out on display.
It’s the wonderful people that helped me along my way that gave me confidence to continued all my studies in the fields I love… Professional Aromatherapy with Allana & Lee of Casaroma Wellness center & Herbalism foundations with Danette Steele. Level 1 & 2 Herbalism with Savayda Jarone.
Thanks to my Mom & Dad, Mom always has believed in me and always trusted my instincts. She was the first investor into my vision and business idea of Osha Mae Soap. Mom loaned me a bit of money to make some ingredient purchases to begin my first batch of soap. My Dad’s proud support is so valuable to me, he still makes wooden boxes for the store shelves and for my aromatherapy displays !
~OSHA (ligusticum porteri) or “BEAR ROOT” is a mountian perrenial herb relative of the parsley family. With a pleasant spicy celery aroma, it is found in the mountianeous regions Of Alberta & B.C. Osha is commonly used as a medicine by the Apaches & other native american tribes. According to the white mountain apache elders, they would use it as a snake and insect repellant. This herb root is an effective medicine used in the curing of common colds, flus, sore throats, cough, sinitis & other side effects of the winter season. Osha means “Bear root” in native american language. It is best harvested in the afternoon, as the plants are relished by bears who tend to graze in the mornings. Osha is also known by the following names: Love root, Indian root, mountain ginseng, empress of the dark forest, & washia. It is a wonderful antiviral antibiotic plant and simply…a wonderful name. Osha is strictly a mountain plant, and it is most commonly found in deep, moist soils rich in organic material. The plant requires partial shade & is widely distributed from British Columbia south into Oregon and Washington, and throughout the Rocky Mountains and the high mountains of New Mexico. It is most common in the upper limits of the subalpine zone, so in the southern part of its range, it grows at elevations from 7,000 feet to 10,000 feet (2100 m to 3000 m), while from Utah, Wyoming, and Montana northwards, it grows as low as 5,000 feet (1500 m).Osha root is a herbal medicine that has been used by various mountain-dwelling North American cultures throughout history. It is now prescribed by herbalists, but it’s not dangerous to self-prescribe it as well. Osha has many uses, and you can find it in tincture or dried form in herb stores across the U.S. The White Mountain Apache call it ha ‘il chii’ gah.
Drink osha root tea when you are feeling ill with a sore throat.
Osha root is used to induce a productive cough or cure a sore throat when chewed or sucked as a lozenge. Like other bitter roots, it is also used to soothe the digestive tract and even stimulate appetite. Chinese medicine has used an herb similar to osha to induce sweating during sickness in order move the sickness more quickly out of the body. Practical uses include treating pneumonia, a dry cough, altitude sickness and asthma.