Sashat is a tree which has many important uses for the Tongva.  A mild tea made from the leaves and flowers will help colds and sore throats, as well as aches, pains, and fevers.  To reduce fevers as well as alleviate asthma, sashat bark is made into a decoction.  In addition, tea made from the bark eases headaches, and chewing the bark relieves toothaches.

Sashat is also useful for symptoms related to the skin.  For swellings, fever, infections, and bleeding, the Tongva combine sashat leaves with bark, twigs, and roots, and use them as tea, powders, washes, and poultices.  Stems are also combined with the bark and twigs in making poultices.  In addition, the Tongva make the bark into a poultice to reduce skin eruptions.  The bark can be boiled and spread onto itching skin and bleeding cuts. Sashat leaves can also be used in a wash to relieve sore eyes.

Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea are treated with sashat.  Sashat roots are made into a decoction that eases both diarrhea and fevers. An infusion of leaves and flowers can also be used to treat diarrhea. The Tongva use a thick tea made from sashat root to induce vomiting, which they believe “purifies” infected blood. This tea must be made with caution. In some cases, drinking sashat root tea may result fatal.

Sashat is a very important plant to the Tongva for its non-medicinal uses. Sashat leaves may be smoked as tobacco. The great branches and trunks from sashat trees provide the basic material for house and granary construction.


Turtle icon.jpg (2856 bytes)


Back Up Next



©  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.