Kwiashili occupies few, very specific
roles within Tongva culture. The bark of the plant is more
commonly used for medicinal purposes than other parts.
Kwiashili leaves produce allergic reactions (including itching and irritation) among many people,
and this may explain the preference
for the bark.
Kwiashili bark is commonly used to treat
throat ailments. The bark is made infused to produce a soothing tea
for the throat. The Tongva also make an infusion from the inner bark
that acts as a detoxifying agent to clean
out one’s system. Finally, sores are relieved by applying a
poultice made from the inner bark.
In addition, kwiashili has very important non-medicinal
uses in the Tongva community. The fiber contained in the outer bark
of the plant is made into cordage, which can be used in the creation of