Sobochesh has important medicinal and non-medicinal uses for the Tongva.  Skin-related symptoms are effectively treated with this plant.  A decoction made from the leaves is applied to burns, rashes, cuts, and bruises.  Sobochesh leaves are used to produce a lotion which may be applied to relieve poison oak rashes.   

For the treatment of gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and urinary infections, the Tongva drink a tea infused with the leaves. Headaches are treated by applying boiled leaves to the head.

Sobochesh is frequently used for food and drink.  The seeds may be ground into flour and made into mush or baked in hot ashes as cakes.  The berries are eaten raw or dried for use in the winter, mixed with acorns.  The Tongva people also make a cider by reducing the pulp to a powder and mixing it with water.  Finally, they prepare a soothing tea from sobochesh blossoms. 

The Tongva have other important non-medicinal uses for sobochesh.  Menís hairpins are made from the twigs of the plant.  Ceremonial headdresses are made with forked sobochesh branches decorated with feathers.


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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.