Toobe has many medicinal as well as non-medicinal uses.  It is particularly useful to alleviate respiratory symptoms.  For damaged or weak lungs, the bark is dried, ground into a powder, and made into a tea.  For coughs and blood-spitting, the Tongva take a decoction made from the bark of this tree. 

Toobe helps varying types of pain.  A decoction from the bark of toobe soothes stomachaches.  Dried sap from the plant inserted into the ear alleviates earaches.  For kidney pain and ulcers, a tea made from the inner bark is ingested. 

To treat burns, sores, cuts, and wounds, the Tongva apply a poultice made from the green wood onto the affected area. An infusion made from the bark and roots treats venereal diseases. Women with gynecological problems take a decoction made from the leaves.  Tea made from the inner bark will purify blood, and is also an excellent eye wash. A cold decoction made from the bark makes a light tonic. 

Toobe is useful for its many non-medicinal properties as well.  Its bark and roots provide red and brown dyes. The dyes are made by soaking the materials for several days and then simmering them. Wood from the plant makes digging sticks, fish spears, and arrowshafts.  Finally, it is said that a piece of toobe tied to headbands or carried in a bag will protect a person traveling into the mountains from lightning.

Cercocarpus betuloides

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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.