Ahiko ahen is a parasitic plant that the Tongva use as medicine in
many different forms. It is used to relieve asthma. The stems of the
plant are boiled to produce a steam, which is then inhaled by the asthma
sufferer. Ahiko ahen is also good for nosebleeds. Fresh stems are
collected and crushed to make a juice. This juice is then mixed with the
powder of dried stems, which the patient inhales through the
The Tongva also use ahiko ahen as an emetic, brewing the stems and
then drinking the compound to induce vomiting. The whole plant can even be
eaten for use as a contraceptive. Finally, they use a special type of
ahiko ahen for treating spider bites. This type of ahiko ahen only grows on
buckwheat, and the Tongva gather and brew the plant into a tea to apply to
The Tongva consider ahiko ahen a very powerful plant, and its
effects may be very dangerous if the amount used is not monitored closely.
Too much ahiko ahen can lead to excessive vomiting and even death.