Miish is considered useful among the Tongva in treating many ailments.  Many parts of the plant can be used to treat wounds, cuts, and other injuries.  Hemorrhaging wounds may be healed by applying rhizomes from the plant.  Burns are calmed by applying miish leaves that have been chewed.  Swellings as well as rheumatism are treated by bathing the area in a wash made from the leaves.  Another way to treat burns, cuts, or sores is to apply a poultice made from the stems.  Alternatively, cuts and sores can be covered by “fluff” taken from miish. 

 The Tongva people also use miish to help gastrointestinal ailments.  To treat diarrhea, stems are cooked and eaten.  The flowers may also be eaten to treat diarrhea.  To get rid of intestinal worms, the stems are cooked and eaten. 

Many important non-medicinal uses for miish exist as well.  Seeds from the plant, as well as the rhizomes, may be eaten as food, raw or cooked.  The pollen from miish can be made into small cakes.  Ceremonial paint may be created by using pollen.  Also, diapers may be made using the leaves as a basic material. 

Miish provide important material for construction.  The leaves are used as a caulking material for the red-wood plank canoes (Ti’ats), as well as for the reed and willow homes (Kich). 

Typha angustifolia

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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.