Yatatko is a very versatile medicinal plant.  The Tongva use it to treat skin problems.  They make a poultice from roots and barks and apply it to relieve sores.  The bark alone is used as a lotion for skin diseases.  Root juice is applied to wounds.  The Tongva use chewed leaves to treat acne by applying them directly on the affected areas.  A decoction of the stems helps heal skin infections. 

Yatatko may also be used to treat sore throats. The Tongva use bark and roots to make a tea.  These, when crushed, also serve as a wash for rheumatism. The roots of the plant are used as a tonic to stimulate appetite.  To relieve fever, the Tongva use the crushed fruits and hang the leaves in the sweat houses.  In addition, the bark is used as a laxative. 

The Tongva also use yatatko for many non-medicinal purposes.  They make an acidic drink with the berries. They also dry them for use during the winter.   Yatatko is also very useful to produce a dye for ceremonial objects, basketry, and for bow and arrow paint.  The stems provide a yellow dye for basketry.  Additionally, the shoots are split into fibers for basketry.

Berberis nevinii

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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.