Ashuwet has many medicinal uses
within the Tongva community. The plant alleviates some forms of
pain. For stomach pains, bark and leaves are steeped in hot water to
The same tea can serve as a seasonal tonic and ease other body pains.
Also, applying mashed ashuwet to sores eases pain. Infected wounds are
washed using an infusion of bark and leaves.
Ashuwet also helps for gynecological
problems. Pulverized flowers are steeped in hot water to make tea, which may be
taken to ease ailments.
The Tongva have many non-medicinal uses
for ashuwet as well. Ashuwet berries are eaten fresh, roasted, or
boiled. After boiling, the berries are baked in an earthen oven
for 2 or 3 days. The berries are also made into cider.
The plant may also be used to create everyday
tools. Wood from the plant is made to build arrows, awls, wedges,
and scrapers. Cooking utensils like spoons, mashers, and
stirrers can be made from ashuwet. The berries are used for
making dye: they are simmered and crushed. The dye may be applied
to fishnets. Finally, menís hairpins are made of ashuwet with flicker feathers tied to the ends.