Huherhetchut is a very useful plant for the
Tongva. They boil the leaves into a strong tea to relieve coughs and
sore throats. The same preparation also serves for stomachaches and
diarrhea, as well as a tonic or blood purifier.
For rheumatism, the Tongva make a
liniment from leaves and stems. They also use fresh leaves to
produce a poultice, which they apply on the skin for sores, insect bites,
and the rash from poison oak.
The Tongva also use the plant for
non-medicinal purposes. They make a mild weak tea from dried leaves to
obtain a refreshing drink. The leaves are chewed as a thirst quencher. The
Tongva also smoke the dried leaves as tobacco and hang branches in the
sweathouses for general purification.