Takape soot is very useful to the Tongva.  To treat sores, they steep the leaves and flowers to obtain a wash.  For the same purpose, they also prepare a juice from crush fruit rinds or they use a paste made from ground seeds.  They roast the seeds and eat them for kidney problems and for rheumatism or place them in the ear for earaches.  In addition, the Tongva use oil from the seeds to treat thinning hair and as an anti-inflammatory.

Takape soot has also many non-medicinal uses.  The leaves can be eaten raw or boiled. The crushed roots provide soap lather and are also used to stupefy fish for easy cash.  The oil from the seeds is used as a fixative the bark and rock paintings.  Crushed seeds also produce a black paint that becomes a red paint when mixed with iron oxides.  Children play with the round seeds as if they were marbles.

Takape soot vines are wound into garlands to be used as headgear for women.  Young girls wear it around their necks during puberty rites.


Marah macrocarpus

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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.