Takape kakaaka has many important
medicinal uses for the Tongva. The plant relieves many types
of aches. To treat headaches, takape kakaaka leaves are bound to the
or crushed into little tubes and placed in the nostrils. Tea from the leaves
is used to treat headaches. Leaves
bound to the abdomen will alleviate stomachaches.
Takape kakaaka can also help to treat other
kinds of pain.
For sore muscles, the Tongva apply a poultice made from the seeds to the
painful area. Menstrual cramps are treated with a decoction made of cooked leaves.
Rheumatism may be treated using an infusion of leaves for a bath.
The leaves of takape kakaaka are very effective in
treating skin ailments. Oil from the leaves, made into a decoction,
can be rubbed onto the skin as a coolant and also as an insect repellant.
For swellings of the skin, a poultice made of takape kakaaka flowers helps
Finally, in places where someone has suffered an illness, wet
takape kakaaka branches are burned and the smoke is used to purify the area.
The Tongva also have non-medicinal uses for
takape kakaaka. The fruit is eaten after being roasted, crushed, and
pounded into small cakes. Takape kakaaka burls may also be carved into
bowls since the hard wood can stand heavy polishing.