The Tongva people use tahor atatuma for various
medicinal purposes. To calm the stomach, they boil the entire plant
into a decoction to mix into a steam bath. To relieve
urinary problems, they make an infusion of the leaves and seeds or a
decoction of the bark. However, the seeds are poisonous and should
not be eaten.
Tahor atatuma also treats skin irriations.
The leaves are crushed and applied to irritations, to blisters
resulting from “poison oak,” and to blisters in general. An
infusion made of the flowers is applied to wounds to help them
heal. Finally, the leaves are used in a spring tonic.
The Tongva use tahor atatuma for some
non-medicinal uses as well. The leaves are eaten after having
been leached and cooked properly. Also, a green dye can be extracted
from the leaves and a blue dye from the flowers.
Tahor atatuma can be used to soothe fussy
babies. The roots are burned and the ashes are applied to
cradles to help babies sleep more soundly.