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 nets.

Fremontodendron californicum

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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.