The Tongva people consider that mekachaa has useful medicinal purposes.  They use the root to cure stomachaches and toothaches.  For toothaches, the root of the plant is mashed up and applied directly to the painful area. The Tongva use the sap to cure headaches and sore throats.  They apply scrapings from the roots directly to the umbilical cord of newborn babies to stop the bleeding and heal the navel.  They also use the root of mekachaa to induce sleep. 

Mekachaa has many other useful properties.  It is a food source and if the leaves are gathered before the plant flowers, they can be cooked and eaten.  The flowers can also be eaten after thoroughly washing them.

The pollen from the flowers can be collected and used in facial cosmetics. A decoction of the flowers can be applied to hair to kill lice.  Finally, both leaves and flowers can be boiled to make strong sedatives, and other parts of the plant can be used to make hallucinogens.  For this reason, the Tongva are very careful and precise when using mekachaa.


Eschscholtzia californica


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  Mario Incayawar, M.D., 2010

Disclaimer: All material provided here is for educational purposes only. Consult your own physician regarding the applicability of any opinions or recommendations with respect to your symptoms or medical condition.