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Title: The Botanical Lore of the California Indians - with Side Lights on Historical Incidents in California
Author: Romero, John Bruno, Tawee, Ha-Ha-St of
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                             BOTANICAL LORE
                                 of the
                           CALIFORNIA INDIANS
         with Side Lights on Historical Incidents in California

                           JOHN BRUNO ROMERO
                          “HA-HA-ST OF TAWEE”

    [Illustration: Vantage Press Logo]

                         VANTAGE PRESS, INC., NEW YORK

                 COPYRIGHT, 1954, BY JOHN BRUNO ROMERO
           _Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 54-8325_

                             _To My Uncle_
                          Chief William Pablo
                      _of Mahum and Guana-pia-pa_


  Preface                                                             vii
  The Story of the Indians of the Pacific Southwest                     1
  Book of Herbs                                                         6
  The Legend of Console Mineral Springs near Homuba Canyon             72
  Index of Herb Applications                                           77
  Index of Herbs                                                       79


Of all the books written concerning the Indians of North America, I
don’t know of one which treats of the Indians’ great knowledge of
medicine, the vast store which was theirs of plants and herbs which
possessed curative and healing qualities, many of them far superior,
even today, to the medicine used by the white physician.

There is a reason. In some instances the white man did not get the
correct information from his Indian brother due to the latter’s
inability to make himself understood—this was, of course, also true of
the former. Again, some information given was intentionally wrong due to
the ill-feeling the Indian had for the white man. And again, many of
those healing plants were held in such veneration by the Indians, that
to impart their virtues to a white man was an unpardonable crime, and
the punishment meted out to the offender was of the severest form.

I am an Indian, proud of it and of my forefathers, whose bitterness
toward the white man was only too well justified. But time changes all
things and bitterness and hatred never made for understanding nor

In this spirit I wrote this book, in the spirit of doing good. And in
this I have the help and permission of my dear uncle, Chief Pablo, of
the Mahuna tribe of Indians of Southern California, who permitted me to
describe certain plants whose curative properties have been kept a
secret by the Indians for over one hundred years. This is the first time
they are made known.

The Indian, living close to and with nature—the greatest teacher of all
for those who have eyes to see—became nature’s most intelligent pupil.
Gifted with the keenest observation and the ability to reason, he
searched the discovered plants which nature herself had provided for any
ailment, sickness, or mishap which might befall him.

I am sending this book out into the world not for fame, but as a
messenger of goodwill and peace. May it be received in this spirit and
accomplish its mission.

           The Story of the Indians of the Pacific Southwest

A gruesome, terrible year, the year of 1825! The fatal year when
thousands of Indians of the Pacific Southwest were destroyed by that
merciless, frightful scourge, smallpox. And the tradition of its ravages
is kept alive even today among the descendants of the few who escaped

The tribal herb doctors at that time were wholly unprepared to combat
this disease which wrought such fearful havoc. Sweeping along the entire
Pacific Coast, it exacted a heavy toll of human lives, so heavy, in
fact, that the number of Indians destroyed exceeded that of the American
lives lost on the battlefields during World War I.

The epidemic ravaged not only the Pacific Coast. It even spread over the
adjacent territories, carrying death everywhere it struck.

Not until the end of that terrible year did some of the Indian herb
doctors begin to devote their attention to the disease. And then,
calling upon all there was in their knowledge of medicinal plants, the
chieftains, accompanied by their medicine men, held a council at which
the matter of curing this destructive disease was brought under serious

That memorable meeting took place in the world-famous Palm Canyon,
bordering the eastern slopes of San Jacinto Peak—better known to us by
its true native name of _Tahquitz_—situated at the extreme eastern part
of Riverside County.

After the adjournment of the meeting the chiefs and medicine men
dispersed, returning to their respective tribes to resume their regular
duties, each one with instructions to study ways and means which would
effectively eradicate the scourge so greatly feared by all Indians.

Now, among those who had attended the meeting was Senior Chief Andres
Lucero, of the Mahuna tribe, who was looked upon by all Indians as the
possessor of the greatest knowledge of botanical medicine, and a
master-teacher among his fellow tribesmen who rightly considered him as
being without a peer in his field—thorough research and experimentation.
In his experimental work he was more successful than any other, having
had many years of experience. In addition, he possessed valuable medical
knowledge which for centuries had been handed down from generation to
generation, each recipient becoming a true master in the field of Indian
medical science.

The men trained in the science of medicine were those who had a natural
aptitude and inclination for the care of the sick—that is, men worthy of
being selected to be taught anatomy and the various ailments of the
human body.

Evidence of this is to be seen in paintings and hieroglyphics found in
our Indian caves, which, in due time, it will be my duty to use in
photographic illustration in order to correct many erroneous
interpretations existing in collections and writings.

To return to the beginning of our narrative, Andres Chino Pablo, while
deeply pondering one day on the problem of what to give his stricken
people, bethought himself suddenly of how in previous years he had
treated violent fevers.

One was the fever which accompanied pneumonia and which was, at times,
fully as dangerous as any fever known to mankind. But it was easily
overcome through the administration of compounded herb steam baths.

In the course of time “Black Measles” made, by mere accident, its first
appearance in the Pacific Southwest, again causing widespread terror
among the Indians. However, Chief Andres Lucero had already decided what
to do to check the epidemic. Standing calm and cool one morning and
facing the rising sun, he called his people to him, everyone, young and
old. Like a shaft of granite he stood, straight and erect, his eyes
scanning carefully each member of his tribe. At last, with tears in his
eyes, showing how deeply moved he was at the woe of his people, he
announced his decision. His words were few:

“My sons and daughters, as the Great Spirit arises in the East, he comes
to help us and he has given me the medicine and the power to cure all
those of you who are sick. You will now go to the big cave where you
will receive proper care and treatment. All of you shall go, even those
who are not suffering from this devil’s disease. And you will all be
treated alike so that your blood shall be purified to guard you against
the disease.”

In other words, to render them “immune,” in our language of today.

Now, one of the many caves in the San Jacinto mountain range, one which
formerly had been used for religious studies in Chino Canyon, was
converted into a cave-hospital and thousands of Indians were treated

Due to the supposition, at the time, that the measles, then an unknown
malady among the Indians, was really another form of smallpox—the
diagnosis made didn’t differ materially from the latter—the conclusion
arrived at was to treat the disease accordingly.

A tireless and stubborn fight was waged by Chief Andres Lucero. Day and
night he labored indefatigably, not only attending to his people, but
also instructing other chieftains what to do and what to use, thus
letting them share in his success in healing the sick.

Later on, the disease appeared in Twenty Nine Palms, in Borrego Valley,
Indio, Coachella, Yuma, Temecula, Mojave, Tehachapi, Soboba—in fact, in
all the small Indian settlements throughout the desert and mountain.
Chief Andres Lucero was extremely satisfied with the results of his
labors which had laid the cornerstone of knowledge and preparedness for
the year of 1859, when a true epidemic of smallpox made its appearance

Investigations revealed that the scourge had started (_Temamaka_) to the
north and had come (_Kichamba_) southward. Again the eye beheld the sad
scenes of dead human bodies strewn along the valleys and mountains. The
worst suffering was among the Indian tribes dwelling to the northward,
who had shown a complete disregard of Chief Andres Chino Pablo, and paid
no attention whatever to his messages and warnings.

However, the Chief stuck to his post until he saw his people safe. Those
who died were comparatively few. The dead were those who, becoming
panic-stricken through memories brought to their minds of former
happenings, had fled into the desert. Had they but conquered their fears
and obeyed the Chief’s orders, nothing would have happened to them.
Those were the victims of the plague—the deserters from the tribes. The
smallpox was kept well under control in the settlements with only a two
per cent death rate, which means practically nothing when compared with
a previous death rate of fifty per cent caused by the same kind of
plague. In some localities it rose to almost ninety per cent. Truly
those were dark days indeed for the American Indians.

I shall now give, roughly, the medicinal plants used then and again in
the same manner in the year 1918 when the “Black Plague,” commonly known
as “Spanish Influenza” was raging throughout the American continent and
Europe. It was a strange coincidence, indeed, that a great many of those
who escaped death from the enemy’s bullets on the battlefield perished
from the “Black Plague.” The Indians, however, again won their battle
against this frightful disease by the same means which had been employed
against measles and smallpox with no loss of life whatsoever.

What a worthy and successful experiment it had proved to be under the
wise guidance of Chief Andres Lucero, of the Mahuna Indians of
Guana-pia-pa! He was truly a noble character whose labors, love for his
people, and self-sacrifice saved the lives of thousands of Indians, and
without whose loyalty and kindness to other tribesmen, the American
Indian in the Pacific Southwest would be an extinct race of people
today, with no one to tell what had actually taken place in the wild
mountain regions and the desolate desert, which were neither inhabited
nor trespassed upon by the white race.

The Indians compounded steam-bath herbs for the cure of “Black Measles”
and smallpox from the following:

                                            Indian Name
  _Artemisia tridentata_                    Ulu-ca-hul-vall
  _Larrea mexicana_                         Ato-col
  _Piperacea_                               Chu-co-pot
  _Eriodictyon glutinosum californicum_     Ta-que-bel
  _Adiantum capillus-Veneris_               Tal-wal

Herb tea given to the patients was made from the following:

  _Ephedra_                                 Tut-tut
  _Sambucus pubens_                         Haa-saat

Please bear in mind that the Indian name Tut-tut bestowed upon the plant
_Ephedra_ means something that pertains to the very sacred in Indian
medicinal art. This sacred Indian name befitted the plant for the great
medical value it possessed and for the important part it played in
stamping out the horrible smallpox plague of 1857.

Thus came about the saving of Indian lives.

Help us save and preserve the wild plants for the benefit of mankind.

                                                Chief William Pablo, III
                                                          _Medicine Man_
  _Mahum and Guana-pia-pa_
  _White Water and Palm Springs area, California_

                             Book of Herbs

          Stomach disorders, worms, dysentery, diarrhea, etc.

                           (_Ind. Man-ta-ca_)

Commonly known as Blue Star Flower Grass. Found widely distributed along
the rich southern slopes of the lower coastal ranges. Effective in the
treatment of functional affections of the stomach. In the form of tea,
the entire plant was used to eradicate all kinds of stomach worms.
Flowering season from March to April.

                          DIPSACUS GLUTINOSUS
                        (_Ind. Vaah-se-le-coo_)

Known also as Monkey Flower, a plant not indigenous to any particular
soil, grows abundantly in California in the lower coastal ranges, and
also in the upper regions. Leaves, flowers, and stems were taken in the
form of tea, and effected a thorough cure in severe cases of diarrhea.

                       VITIS VULPINA CALIFORNICA
                        (_Ind. Esq-urana-quat_)

Also called Wild Grape. It occurs mostly along rich river bottoms and
marshy soils generally. Usually associated with Wild Berry Vines.

                             RUBUS VILLOSUS
                           (_Ind. Pick-lam_)

The Wild Blackberry. The roots of either of the two genera, boiled into
a tea and given the patient, will afford permanent relief in mild cases
of diarrhea. The roots may be gathered and used at any time of the year.

                        CAPSELLA BURSA-PASTORIS
                            (_Ind. Pa-sil_)

Also called Shepherd’s Purse. Probably one of the most common of all
plants in Southern California soils, growing throughout the year on
irrigated lands and on arid soils. Boiled into a tea it is a certain
cure for even severe cases of dysentery. No more than two to three cups
should be taken. This little plant is a blessing to mankind and should
be made use of. It is the medicinal queen, and surpasses all others in
cases of dysentery and diarrhea.

                          HEDEOMA PULEGIOIDES
                            (_Ind. Mo-cash_)

American Pennyroyal. Considered as the greatest nuisance by farmers. As
a curative agent in severe cases of dysentery it ranks next to _Capsella
bursa-pastoris_. It is general throughout California, and blooms from
August to September.

                            ANTHEMIS NOBILIS
                         (_Ind. Sa-mat-pl-ol_)

American Field Camomile. A very common plant growing everywhere in
California. It was used extensively for babies suffering from colic, and
also to regulate unsettled stomachs.

                   Painful congestion of the stomach.

                           MALVA ROTUNDIFOLIA
                            (_Ind. Mal-val_)

American Common Mallow, compounded with blossoms of California Wild
Rose, or the seed.

                            ROSA CALIFORNICA
                            (_Ind. O-chul_)

American California Wild Rose. This beautiful wild rose-bush inhabits
the coastal ranges, and may be found far inland along open spaces in
heavy woodland abounding in rather rich and mulchy soil.

Used in cases of stomach fevers, the ripe seed is given in the form of
tea to relieve the stomach clogged with food as well as in so-called
cases of painful congestion.

                           MONARDELLA VILLOSA
                          (_Ind. Tah-lis-wet_)

Skirting for its habitat the high mountain lands, it is very seldom
found anywhere else. It is a native of California, and is used chiefly
for the relief of ordinary stomach-ache. When in bloom it is very
fragrant and blossoms from late May till June. (American
Horsemint—sometimes called Pennyroyal)

                Fevers and constipation of the stomach.

                         ERYTHAEA MUEHLENBERGII
                        (_Ind. Co-oniche-la-wa_)

Its habitat is confined to a few localities in San Diego County, the
coastal regions in Santa Barbara, Orange County, and in San Bernardino
along the southern border of the Mojave Desert.

It was used in the form of an infusion in cases of constipation caused
by fever of the stomach.


                         JUNIPERUS CALIFORNICA
                         (_Ind. Gla-wat-pool_)

American Juniper Berry. Its habitat extends from our high mountain
ranges in northern San Diego County to Monterey County. The berries have
a short season, ripening in these regions from late in July until early
in September. They were used for making tea or simply chewed in cases of
La Grippe fevers. They may be gathered, dried, and stored for future

                              Lung fevers.

                            PAEONIA BROWNII
                          (_Ind. Quel-ta-bat_)

American Wild Peony. It inhabits shady canyons growing only on deep,
rich, decomposed mulch. The blossoms are of deep red color, and the
blooming season lasts from May until June. Its roots bear a strong
resemblance to young sweet potatoes and were gathered to be used in the
form of tea for complicated lung fevers. The tea has a decidedly bitter

                            Stomach fevers.

                            VERBENA HASTATA
                          (_Ind. Muy-u-vees_)

American Wild Vervain. Inhabits the lower coastal ranges and pasture
lands. Its blooming period is from late in May until July. This plant is
remarkable for bearing three different colored blossoms—in some
localities white, in others, pink, and then again, blue—all this owing
to the mineral soil formation. The root is used for complicated stomach


                            (_Ind. Saa-al_)

Grows along rivers and lake borders. This plant, being of a semiaquatic
nature, resembles some of our wild orchids and blooms but a short
season. The entire plant is used in cases of fevers complicated with

                            Eruptive Fevers.

                            SAMBUCUS PUBENS
                            (_Ind. Haa-sat_)

American Elderberry. Indigenous to the coastal regions. The yellow
blossoms were extensively used by all Indian tribes only in cases of

                         MIRABILIS CALIFORNICA
                       (_Ind. See-wish-pe-yack_)

American Four O’clock. The root of this plant served the same purpose as
American Elderberry. Its habitat is Santa Barbara County, Calif., and it
is not found anywhere else in a wild state.

There are no records that it was used for other eruptive fevers such as
smallpox, scarlet fever, etc. These were introduced into this country
later on by white European adventurers and settlers, the first cases
being recorded in 1825. These diseases were greatly dreaded by the
Indians, and whenever any of them contracted this malady, they would
invariably vacate the locality they were in, and move many miles away to
virgin country.

And, as a warning of danger to fellow tribesmen and to keep them away
from the abandoned camp, all the rock mortars and clay pots were turned
upside down and partly buried in the ground.

                            Plant poisoning.

                          GRINDELIA CUNEIFOLIA
                           (_Ind. Mie-chowl_)

Grows in alkaline soils and its blooming season is from August to
September. The plant was used a great deal in cases of itching skin
eruption caused by poison oak, and is a cure for such disorders.
(American Gum Plant)

                            RHUS DIVERSILOBA
                             (_Ind. E-yal_)

Botanical Serum. This is the poison oak itself, of which the roots,
during the dormant period, are cut and properly dried. When taken in the
form of tea in a quantity of not more than four ounces, it will render a
person immune against any further poisoning. This is a bona fide Indian
formula.[1] Blooming season from May to June.

[1]I ask my readers not to try this serum pending further laboratory
    experiments. I plan to subject myself to exhaustive tests under
    scientific observation and to publish the results.

               Ulcers and diseases of the skin and feet.

                        ANTENNARIA MARGARITACEA
                         (_Ind. Te-bish-samat_)

American Cotton Weed. Its habitat is all along the Southern California
hill slopes, and the beautiful pearly flowers are used for ulcers and
sores of the feet which fail to respond to treatment by other
medicaments. The blossoms must be boiled. The liquid obtained is used to
bathe the feet, and all parts of the skin affected. A very effective
cure. The blossoms are also ground into a powder and applied to the part


                           SOLIDAGO NEMORALIS
                        (_Ind. Pa-co-se-cheeh_)

American Western Goldenrod. Its habitat is the river and creek bottom
lands. Quite common in California, this plant has great healing power,
especially in cases of old raw burns that have failed to heal properly,
as well as major rotten ulcers. The leaves of the plant may be boiled
and the liquid used to bathe the affected parts; while the pulp, as a
poultice, is to be placed upon the burns and ulcers to promote
disinfection and to hasten a rapid growth of new healthy flesh.

_Solidago nemoralis_ has one other great virtue of considerable value.
Two to three baths in a strong solution, prepared by boiling, will cure
the Seven-Year Itch and free the victim from that terrible malady.

                      Fistulas and running sores.

                         PENTSTEMON CORDIFOLIUS
                          (_Ind. Ting-gi-wit_)

American Wild Fuchsia. A native of the coastal ranges, northward from
San Diego County to Monterey, Calif., this dark-green shrub is very
attractive to the eye. It bears an array of deep-red blossoms,
well-formed in clusters, at the very tip of long slender branches. It
was used as a poultice and a wash for fistulas and deep, pus-running

                        Eruptive scalp diseases.

                          (_Ind. Te-mal-hepe_)

A native of California, it is quite common on our inland fields. It is
used for minor skin eruptions and scalp diseases. Used as a wash only.
It blooms from early May to July.

                         AMBROSIA ARTEMISIFOLIA
                           (_Ind. Watch-ish_)

American Common Ragweed. Grows in abundance in swamps and along
waterways. There are two distinct species of this worthy plant, the
dwarf variety and the gigantic kind. Either may be used for the same
purpose as mentioned for _Euphorbia_. In full bloom from July to

              How to retain the natural color of the hair.

                          ARTEMISIA TRIDENTATA
                        (_Ind. Ulu-ca-hul-vaal_)

American Common Sage. Habitat, the California desert. For a good many
years this plant has been used to restore the color of hair, but the
method used and practiced is far from that of our people, the Indians.
And this can be traced back to the misunderstanding of the people who
first introduced this use of sage for that purpose. Of course, washing
the hair with it as a scalp treatment will do no harm, because the plant
itself has soothing and healing qualities; but to maintain the natural
color of the hair, or to restore gray hair to its former color, one must
drink the infusion when compounded in the way we know. The plant blooms
from April to June.

                           Women’s diseases.

                         ARTEMISIA CALIFORNICA
                           (_Ind. Hul-vaal_)

Habitat, the coastal regions. The infusion made from this plant was used
a great deal in cases of vaginal trouble. Blooming period from March to
May. (American Wormwood)

                           RAMONA POLYSTACHYA
                           (_Ind. Qua-seel_)

American White Salvia, playing a very important part in healing
internally and removing particles of the afterbirth. The infusion from
the roots was given to the patient to drink regularly in place of water.

                            LARREA MEXICANA
                            (_Ind. Ato-col_)

American Creosote Bush. Its habitat covers the entire length and breadth
of the Mojave Desert, San Bernardino County, and Riverside. This plant
was used in cases of cramps of the stomach due to delayed menstruation,
and in cases of this nature not more than one half of a cup of the tea
was drunk. This plant is in full foliage from May to October.

                        CHENOPODIUM AMBROSIOIDES
                          (_Ind. Epa-so-tee_)

Its habitat is in swamp bottom lands. The root of the plant was used in
cases where the menstrual period had been overdue for five or as many as
ten days. The plant itself has a rather offensive odor, but the boiled
root is quite agreeable to the taste and very effective. The patient may
drink as much of the tea as desired. Blooming season from March to late
fall. (American Goosefoot)

                           CRACCA VIRGINIANA
                            (_Ind. Po-hiel_)

American Garden Rue. A common garden shrub introduced into this country
at the beginning of the early mission days.

Although the odor of this plant is quite disagreeable to the sense of
smell, the infusion is very rich in flavor and not bad at all.

                     Flesh-wounds, knife-cuts, etc.

                         ANEMOPSIS CALIFORNICA
                           (_Ind. Che-vnes_)

American Swamp Root. Habitat, swamps. This plant is plentiful in
California—the territory where it grows wild could be measured in
thousands of acres. When cut, dried, and powdered, it can be used for
the disinfection of knife-cut wounds, and to draw and promote the growth
of healthy flesh. (Spanish _Yerba Mansa_)

                          GRINDELIA SQUARROSA
                           (_Ind. Tanga-wet_)

Habitat, low, sandy loam soils. For above-mentioned purposes this plant
is very valuable from a medicinal standpoint, as it makes all wounds
respond quickly to healing, when used as a wash and for disinfection of
cuts. A wet pulpy poultice must be applied to the wounds for quick
results. The plant blooms from June to August. (American Gum Plant)

                         (_Ind. So-cat-llami_)

American Deer Ears. Habitat, the high sierras and coastal ranges. The
infusion is used for the treatment of infected sores.

                            (_Ind. San-ca_)

American Green Sage. Its habitat is the Mojave Desert, San Bernardino
County and north of the southern borders of the San Joaquin Valley. This
plant is very valuable, being very powerful and of great medicinal use,
and much attention should be given it by men of science.

The Indians used it universally in cases of serious and major wounds—the
infusion being given the patient if symptoms of blood poisoning were
present. Tetanus, commonly known as lockjaw, was easily overcome, thus
eliminating the surgical operations so frequently resorted to by the
medical profession. The infusion was also administered in cases of
childbirth as a preventative of blood poisoning and gangrene with
_Ramona polystachya_.

                            (_Ind. Tu-nah_)

American Cactus Pear. Its habitat, the desert and dry lands. This plant
was fully as important as _Piperacea_. The large leaves were scraped of
their thorns and a plug made out of the leaf, according to the nature of
the wound, and inserted into it, healing it quite rapidly—a first-class
piece of botanical surgery.


                             PLANTAGO MAJOR
                          (_Ind. Pal-qua-ah_)

American Plantain. Its habitat is swamps and localities where there is
abundant moisture. The plant, like many others, was used to dislodge and
draw deeply embedded poisonous thorns and splinters from the flesh. The
operation was quite simple. It consisted of applying a light coating of
suet on one of the leaves, this was covered with another leaf and then
placed, tied down firmly, over the thorn or splinter to be removed. It
usually requires about 10 hours for the thorn to appear at the surface
of the skin. The same procedure can also be used by persons who have
accidentally stepped on a rusty nail—thus avoiding danger of blood
poisoning. The simple poultice described above will prevent that.

                        CLEMATIS LIGUSTICIFOLIA
                          (_Ind. Chee-va-tow_)

The California Clematis is a sister plant of the Eastern Clematis, a
very good healer in the treatment of skin eruptions, the infusion to be
used as a wash.

Inhabits the mid-coast and inland ranges, and, to the east, the
territory where Daniel Boone’s activities played their part and took
their place in American history. Nothing, however, is mentioned about
this plant at the time the Indians were pursuing him in the wilds of
Kentucky, and yet it was one of the strong vines of _Clematis_ which
enabled Daniel Boone to escape and save his life by cutting it with his
hunting knife above ground and hurling himself far out, thus putting the
Indians off his track.

Myself an Indian, I have always admired Daniel Boone for his cool
presence of mind. He was brave and fearless, although not a showman like
Buffalo Bill and others whose exploits were chiefly founded on personal

                     Coughs, colds and sore throat.

                           RUMEX HYMENOCALLIS
                           (_Ind. Ca-na-ma_)

American Wild Rhubarb. Thrives in dead, sandy soils, and is very common
throughout Southern California. The roots are long and bear a close
resemblance to sweet potatoes. The infusion made from it has an acrid
taste, and, when used as a gargle several times in cases of cough and
sore throat, it will be found to give complete relief. The plant blooms
in June and July.

                            PRUNUS SEROTINA
                            (_Ind. Is-lay_)

American California Wild Cherry. At home in the high mountain ranges. An
infusion of the bark in spring or summer while the sap is running, or of
the roots in winter when the tree is dormant, may be used for common

                           PRUNUS ILICIFOLIA
                            (_Ind. Is-lay_)

Holly-Leaf Cherry. Used for the same purposes as _Prunus serotina_.

                          SPIRAEA SALICIFOLIA
                         (_Ind. Ha-ba-ba-neek_)

American Queen of the Meadows. Its habitat is the low coastal ranges.
The root of the plant was used for common coughs and chest colds.

                          EUPATORIUM PURPUREUM
                         (_Ind. Sa-ca-pe-yote_)

American Joe-Pye Weed. It was used for the same purpose as _Spiraea
salicifolia_ in localities where that plant couldn’t be obtained,
although the latter was greatly preferred for the extra medicinal
qualities it possessed as a mild laxative. The root, when made into an
infusion, is extremely pungent and rich in flavor, but agreeable in
taste to most people.

                           MARRUBIUM VULGARE
                            (_Ind. O-o-hul_)

American Horehound. Its habitat is the woodland. Although the infusion
made from the leaves and flowers is rather bitter, it is very good for
ordinary coughs and sore throats.

                            Old dry coughs.

                        AUDIBERTIAS STACHYOIDES
                             (_Ind. Seel_)

American Black Sage. This plant is one of the most valuable of all for
the cure of deep dry coughs of long standing, which have settled in the
bronchial tubes. This does not mean coughs of two or three weeks’
duration, but those which have existed for a period of from four to six
months and which have, therefore, reached a chronic, dangerous stage.

The infusion was made full strength and given to the patient in small
doses, hot—never cold—in the daytime, and one extra big dose before

                    Blood hemorrhages of the lungs.

                       DENNSTAEDTIA PUNCTILOBULA
                            (_Ind. Ma-ciel_)

American Hay-Scented Wild Fern. Its habitat lies in the high California
mountain ranges. We are now coming to the tuberculosis line. Hemorrhages
of the lungs, and common diseases which prevail to a great extent among
people who, through neglect and irregular habits, intensify coughs and

It was nothing to an Indian to overcome these maladies of the lungs,
which in his case were usually due to accidental injury. This wild fern
bears oil nodules on the crown of the root system and they are available
only at a certain period, from May to June.

                           Coughs and asthma.

                          (_Ind. Tan-que-bel_)

Commonly known as _Yerba Santa_, this plant proved to be possessed of
great medicinal merits, and was very soon adopted by the mission friars
for its outstanding qualities in the cure of coughs, asthma, rheumatism
and pneumonia, being rightly considered as far superior in this respect
to any of the other medicines brought by them from Europe. In fact, so
great was the medicinal usefulness of these plants and hundreds of
others known to the Indians, that they soon became the objects of study
and investigation, which, however, met with failure, due to the severe
punishment meted out to any and all Indians for divulging any secrets
pertaining to the medical history of plants used by the tribes. A
penalty which was sufficient to deter them from any further misdeeds in
that direction, and which they always remembered. Quite a contrast to
the modern, elastic laws of our present civilization.

                        ERIODICTYON CALIFORNICUM
                            (_Ind. Que-bel_)

American White Woolly Holly Plant is the sister plant of _E.


                            ERIOGONUM ELATUM
                         (_Ind. Pa-va-coneel_)

American Bottle-Weed. Its habitat lies in the volcanic regions of the
Mojave Desert. This plant is rather peculiar in its growth, thriving on
poisonous volcanic soils, where no other form of plant life can exist.
The Indians of the desert regions used the plant as a physic, and it
outranks _Rhamnus californica_ in this respect. The mission friars
overlooked this plant for the reason that none of them ventured that far
into the desert, valuing their lives above everything else.

The infusion obtained from the plant was used in very minimum doses, and
when unable to do that, a small branch was cut and a very small piece
was chewed by the constipated person.

                          RHAMNUS CALIFORNICA
                        (_Ind. Hoon-wet-que-wa_)

American Coffee Berry. Its habitat is the canyons of high mountain
ranges along waterway banks.

The bark was stripped off the trees, shade-dried and then ground in a
_ca-wish-pat-os-vaal_, meaning the stone mortar and pestle generally
used in those days, and even by druggists today, though made of
different material. The prepared powder was used to a great extent at
full strength in cases of constipation, and was administered in
well-measured doses, but not in excess.

Owing to its medicinal properties this tree-plant was introduced into
European countries where it gradually became the outstanding cathartic
of all.

And this is the _Rhamnus californica_, the medicine of the Indians,
named by Junipero De Serra _Cascara sagrada_—“Sacred Bark.”


                           EQUISETUM HYEMALE
                           (_Ind. Po-po-ot_)

Its habitat is confined to swampy lands. This plant is very fond of
water, and attains a very vigorous growth under these conditions. Due to
its aquatic nature, the plant, when fully matured, was gathered,
shade-dried and an infusion made which was used solely in the treatment
of prostate gland trouble. (American Horsetail)

                            (_Ind. Tut-tut_)

Its habitat is the desert lands of California, northwestern Arizona, and

This evergreen, shrubby plant was held in high esteem by all the
Indians, and a good supply of it was always kept on hand for general
use. The infusion made from it was used regularly to flush the kidneys.
The tea is of a very delicious taste. A person cannot help liking it,
and it also helps to purify the blood. (American Tea of the Indian)

                          PELLAEA ATROPURPUREA
                           (_Ind. Cala-wala_)

American Purple Cliff Brake Fern. Its habitat: the high mountain ranges.
This useful little fern grows abundantly on most of the limestone
formations and is seldom found anywhere else. Like _Ephedra_ it makes a
delicious tea, which is used more or less for the same purpose, to flush
the kidneys and to tone and thin the blood in severely hot summer
weather as a preventative against sunstroke.

                       Blood pressure, sunstroke.

                          ERIOGONUM ELONGATUM
                          (_Ind. Te-ve-na-wa_)

This plant is an inhabitant of the Mojave Desert. There are two
different varieties, one of them being quite common on arid lands and
side hills along our coastal highways. The other is the best, however,
and, as a blood tonic, compares very favorably in medicinal worth with
all others recommended.

The latter was used by the Indian for special cases of high blood
pressure and hardening of the arteries.

It was generally used by Indian runners, and taken before and after a
long-distance run over rough country.


                          VERONICA OFFICINALIS
                         (_Ind. Ca-wish-hubel_)

American Speedwell.

                             MENTHA SPICATA
                       (_Ind. Ga-vish-ho-ba-jat_)

American Garden Spearmint. Habitat, the lower marshy coastal regions.

                         ILYSANTHUS BRACHIATUS
                          (_Ind. Samat-hubel_)

American Mountain False Pennyroyal.

                           MENTHA CANADENSIS
                             (_Ind. Samat_)

Both _Ilysanthus_ (above) and _Mentha Canadensis_ inhabit the high
mid-coastal ranges and are frequently found lining the borders of
mountain streams in beautiful settings of wild ferns. (American Mint)

                          MICROMERIA DOUGLASII
                         (_Ind. Ya-mish-hubel_)

Mint Family. A rare plant and found only in a few localities on the
mid-coastal ranges, as in Orange County, San Juan Capistrano, at Hot
Springs, situated on the southern slopes of the Trabuco mountains, Los
Angeles County, Fish Canyon, Pasadena in Santa Barbara County, the heavy
woodlands of Montecito Valley and in the Old Spanish Grand Rancho, San
Leandro. It is also found northward as far as San Francisco at Angel
Islands. The infusion was taken to soothe the nervous system in cases of

                Catarrh of the head and nasal chambers.

                         PLATANUS OCCIDENTALIS
                            (_Ind. Ci-vil_)

American Sycamore. It is an inhabitant of the California mountain
ranges. The underside of its leaves bears a very fine yellowish moss,
which the beautiful little hummingbirds like to use for building their
tiny nests. In fact, they prefer it to any other material on account of
its extreme softness.

These leaves are valuable as an effective cure for old chronic cases of
catarrh, when the catarrh has passed into internal ulcers, which
continually discharge material of an offensive odor.

The moss scraped from the underside of the leaves, carefully and
patiently enough to have a sufficient supply to compound it with the dry
powdered yolks of the eggs of quail and an infusion of _Andromeda
polifolia_ was also made and used as a nasal douche, to cleanse the
conduits, followed afterwards by sniffing the powdered compound before
retiring for the night.

                            (_Ind. Pe-bah_)

American Sneeze-Weed. Both inhabit swamps and mountain springs.

                          ANDROMEDA POLIFOLIA
                         (_Ind. Ho-bef-zo-bal_)

American Moorwort. This is found only at very high mountain altitudes.

                        Toothache and pyorrhea.

                          ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM
                            (_Ind. Pas-wat_)

American Yarrow. This plant bears a strong resemblance to the Wood
Betony, which is poisonous, and both may, in their wild state, be found
side by side in the same locality. It is indigenous to the mid-coastal
range woodlands.

Persons suffering from a severe toothache can cut the tips of the leaves
of _Achillea millefolium_, roll them into a small pellet and insert it
into the cavity of the aching tooth. You will be surprised how quickly
the pain disappears.

                           (_Ind. Pas-vaat_)

This inhabitant of the Mojave Desert, with its golden yellow flowers, is
a treat to the true lover of nature. Its blooming season is in its full
glory during the month of October when everything else in the way of
flowering trees and shrubs is lying dormant. Thousands of acres in the
desert may be seen carpeted with this golden color, blending with that
of autumnal foliage and geological soil formation which also glows in
many tints, offering wonders of inspiration to the artist—the greatest
interpreter of the works of nature next to the botanist, geologist and

For centuries _Pas-vaat_ has been used by the Indians to keep the roots
of the teeth and the gums in a state of health. Whenever pyorrhea was
present and the teeth threatened to become loose, an infusion of the
flowers and leaves of the plant was made and regularly used as a
mouthwash. Although its taste is very bitter, holding the liquid in the
mouth for a few minutes daily will prevent and cure pyorrhea and tend to
the firm setting of the teeth.

                             QUERCUS RUBRA
                           (_Ind. Qui-neel_)

American Red Oak. The juice obtained from the bark is a very efficient
means for straightening and setting loose teeth, but it has no effect on

                     PERSEA and VANILLA PLANIFOLIA

American Avocado, or Alligator Pear. Our Indian brothers of the North
Central American states use the seeds of the avocado in the treatment of
pyorrhea, although only in the form of powder. It is very good and
efficient for toothache, as is also an infusion made of the vanilla

                           Fever and chills.

                              ROSA GALLICA
                          (_Ind. Mal-va-pol_)

American _Malva rosa_. This rose tree has to some extent been the
subject of discussion among some of our botanical explorers and the
result was always one of indecision.

Now let us look back a few years before the founding of the California
Missions, and thus settle the dispute for all time. Twelve miles
eastward of the Santa Barbara Mission is a small village by the name of
Carpenteria, and at one time, this village was one of the largest Indian
settlements in existence.

Before the arrival of the mission friars this place was a dense forest
of the giant elm, _Ulmus pubescens_, a tree which is very soft and easy
to work and the Indian settlement became the scene of great
boat-building activity. The biggest and best trees were selected, hewed
out and shaped into boats, and their boats were later used to navigate
from Santa Barbara across the channel to Santa Rosa Island and other
points. The Indians traded with the inhabitants of these islands, and
thus they attained a great deal of magnetic iron in exchange for the
wild products of the Pacific coast mainland. The magnetic iron was of
general use among the Indians, being made into hammers, axes, scraping
and cutting knives, fighting weapons, etc., all made in true Indian
mechanical design.

Other valuable rock materials were also traded for, such as obsidian for
arrowheads and small mortars, metates made of the volcanic rock found on
the islands, and also ironwood. These were all materials much preferred
by the Indians to those of the mainland, which were rather unfit to
shape into stone utensils because they did not have the proper cleavage.
The Santa Barbara mountain ranges offered none of these materials—only
the minerals, Ullmannite, Oligocene rock and red jasper which sometimes
served as passably fair substitutes.

Referring again to the trade articles of the island of Santa Rosa, the
Indians, like their white brothers, liked to change and use different
medicines. While navigating the rough sea across the Santa Barbara
channel in their little boats, some of them would sometimes catch cold
from getting wet and being exposed to cold winds. When reaching the
islands some would have a high fever and chills, and then aid was given
them in the form of _Malva rosa_, this being the plant used to break up
the fever. And it will do so if properly administered. The Indians had
so much faith in its value that they brought some of the seeds to the
mainland where they were planted.

Later, on its introduction among other Indian tribes of the coastal
belt, the plant found its way north- and southward until the coming of
the California mission founders. They learned of the plant’s medicinal
value through Indian information, and were only too glad to adopt it for
their own use—that plant and many others which proved superior to those
brought by them from Europe and which they then discarded.

Thereupon the friars adapted themselves to the care and use of the herbs
of the Indians.

This is the story of the _Malva rosa_ after which the island of Santa
Barbara bears its name _Santa Rosa_, or “Holy Rose,” and botanically
_Rosa gallica_.


                            ULMUS PUBESCENS
                           (_Ind. He-wa-wa_)

American Elm. We have seen that the beautiful elm was used by choice as
a light, soft boat-building material. It played also a very useful and
important part in the adjustment and healing of broken and fractured
arms or legs. The work was very simple and effective. The patient was
placed in bed, or what was known in those days as the _un-wet_, meaning
bearskin mattress, to lie down and rest till the Indian runners returned
from the forest with the stripped bark of the elm, which was very
carefully selected and had to be free of woody knots, with the inner
side of the bark as smooth as silk. These large strips were cut to mould
and fit clear around the broken bones, then tied with wet buckskin. This
was done to allow contraction of the buckskin with that of the green
juicy bark of the elm, while the fevered and swollen joint absorbed the
juice of the bark.

Care was taken to add more juice extracted from the tree to the bark
strips to prevent quick contraction which would be very painful, due to
swelling and counterpressure from the drying bark. The time involved in
healing broken bones could well be considered two thirds of the time
taken under the hands of modern skilled surgeons.

In parts of the country where the elm wasn’t available a freshly killed
rabbit, its skin quickly removed and slipped onto the broken joint
served equally as well, only it required more time to heal.

                  Blood specific, purifier and tonic.

                          FOUQUIERIA SPLENDENS
                          (_Ind. Gaiesh-pohl_)

American Desert Candlewood. Spanish, _Ocotillo_. This plant’s habitat is
the southeastern wings of the Mojave Desert, and the locality best
suited to its growth is Borrego Valley at the northern border of San
Diego County. This great valley, at one time very rich and fertile, was
used by the Indian tribes of Chief Hobo-yak of Ca-we for the raising of
considerable livestock. This particular spot commanded an extensive view
of the desert territory, as well as the mountain peaks surrounding it.
From the top, a clear view could be obtained toward north, northeast and
southeast to the Mexican border, and it afforded a natural fortification
for the aggressive Ca-we Indians.

There still remain a few of the sand-dune forts heavily overgrown with
creosote bushes. These forts are deeply recessed, formed in the shape of
a horseshoe, its outlet serving as an entrance at the same time.
Pointing northward toward the high mountain ranges, the graves, or
burialground of the Indians, are located just outside of the fort and a
few feet to the left from the outlet on a well-arranged plot of ground.

The interment was simple. After a grave had been dug, it was filled with
dry wood and set on fire until a good bed of charcoal was attained;
after which, the defunct together with his belongings was placed upon it
and left to burn as the grave was covered.

Cremation took place slowly but surely.

Little evidence was left for the grave robber or the anthropologist. And
still less for the archaeologist, as the defunct’s pottery and rock
mortars also were disposed of by being broken into thousands of pieces,
and then scattered over the grave.

There is more to be said about this historical valley in that it was the
main artery of caravan travel of the intrepid American and Mexican
pioneers, and of the Spanish explorers, who all in turn were met and
held up by the Indians for information. Those not offering resistance
were allowed to pass through the territory unmolested—provided, of
course, they wouldn’t hang around the valley.

However, quite a number of bloody battles took place there, between
Indians and whites, as the latter, having had some experience with
hostile Apaches when crossing the desert, misunderstood the signals of
the Ca-we Indians. Instead of waiting to see what they wanted, the
leading scouts of the caravan ordered every man to stand by and, as the
Indians came near, they opened fire on them. This didn’t prove of
benefit to the pioneers and only resulted in disaster, thus putting an
end to their journey.

Even to this day many of their belongings are kept well secured in the
bosom of Borrego Valley. Sand dunes uncovered now and then by desert
winds prove there is a possibility of their all being recovered in time
and preserved as historical relics of days gone by.

At the northwest end of the valley are the historical camp grounds of De
Anza, the Spanish explorer, who was the only one ever known to have put
up camp in the valley in those days.

And this marked the beginning of darker days for the Indians. First came
the Spaniards, then the Mexicans and last the American gringos. They all
passed there, but none had the least suspicion of what was to take place
in the future. De Anza, while resting up for a short period, explored
among the surrounding mountains in search of a pass which would lead
westward. In this the Indians helped him by pointing toward the Pacific
coast. De Anza reported to his superiors the finding of emeralds, but in
this he was mistaken as the precious stones found in those mountains are
mostly tourmalines in a great variety of tints, including green. This
probably accounts for De Anza’s naming them emeralds. They also occur in
red, pink, yellow, white and black, with spodumene crystals in violet
and purple.

The floor of the valley also yields carnelian milky quartz, bloodstones,
as well as fossilized wood and jasper. These beautiful precious stones
have found a place among the gems of the world and are well-known among
mineralogists. In the traditional history of the Indians, De Anza is
still remembered for the discipline and control he kept over his men, a
fact which greatly facilitated his progress. And his goodwill and
kindness toward the Indians were of the purest humaneness, standing out
brightly as attributes of genuine manhood. Very few Spaniards could
boast of such qualities—they ordinarily were brutal, and their history
was written in blood in those days.

The Mexican soldiers who arrived later, by way of this valley, committed
frightful excesses among the Indians, even assaulting and outraging the
fair daughters of Ca-we. A horrible tragedy marked the sequel to those
days of terror and bloodshed.

Then, in the rising dust on the northeastern horizon appeared a
newcomer, General Kearny, in command of his gallant dragoons, following
the course De Anza had taken. He had no trouble making the pass as his
men were under strict military discipline and the blue uniforms worn by
officers and troopers caused much admiration among the Indians. Little
did they know, however, that behind this army was a power and authority
which could be exercised without cause or provocation in the name of the
government of the United States—and that was exactly General Kearny’s
mission: to retake the lands held by the Mexicans as their own at San
Pasqual. He became engaged in a heated battle with Mexican soldiers and
civilians and his casualties were so heavy that he faced defeat. As a
last resort, he appealed to the Indians chiefs for help, and the Ca-we
Indians, remembering only too well the atrocities and brutalities
committed upon their women by the soldiers of Mexico, granted the
General’s request and dispatched five hundred warriors to aid General

Arriving at the battlefield, the Indian braves attacked the Mexicans
from all sides, thus saving the day for General Kearny who had but a few
of his men left.

As to the kind of report he made to the War Department, and whether he
took all the credit for having won this bloody battle whereas, by
rights, the Indians alone were responsible for the victory, is not known
to us. But we have every reason to believe that the report was in his
favor in order to shield the command from embarrassment were it to
become known that Indian aid and tactics had been the deciding factor.
At any rate, up to the present time, Indian records don’t show any
letter of acknowledgment ever having been received from the United
States Government for the service rendered General Kearny.

Instead of receiving at least a “Thank you,” they were from that time on
looked upon as “easy,” believing anything that was told them—and this
was proved to their own satisfaction in 1851-52. No doubt some of our
fellow citizens do not know what this means. Therefore, to elucidate a
little, let me say that this was the time when a benevolent government
sent a very able regiment of politicians out here in command of a few
army engineers.

These engineers executed their commission in a first-rate manner and
negotiated and signed 18 treaties with the signatures also of 400 Indian
chiefs. And the Indians turned over more than one hundred million acres
of fertile lands to the government, leaving a reserve of ten million
acres to the Indians. The larger acreage was to be paid for, as per duly
signed agreement, at the rate of $1.25 per acre, and to this day the
Indian is still waiting for it. The politicians, however, lost no time
but took over as much as they could of these rich Indian lands and
eventually the entire open country was known as the Ranch of Senator
“This,” or Senator, Congressman, or Colonel “That.”

That the longest road has a turning was proved by the battle of San
Pasqual: it opened the Indians’ eyes to many things—such as, that had
they but stayed out of it or used our forces otherwise, a different
story would be told. The Indians were expelled from the Borrego Valley.
We need no explanation here that they were good strategists and fighters
and their holdings there were needed for the purpose mentioned. The
valley has been donated by these patriotic and liberal politicians to
the State of California and, by law, has become its property, and a
state park.

And from high on its mountain top, the men of Ca-we may look down into
the valley and think of its past history with an ache in their hearts.
Only a few make a yearly trip there, for the purpose of gathering a
goodly supply of medicinal plants and the _Ocotillo_ or Indian
Poinsettia Candlewood.

                              Blood tonic.

                           SALIX WASHINGTONIA
                          (_Ind. Ke-cham-ka_)

American Willow Tree. This is a common inhabitant of most of our swamps
and rivers and is occasionally met with far inland. Like the elm tree,
it is very fond of water, and both species may be found growing together
in the desert or dry mountain gorges. We should, therefore, always look
for such places when in want of water—for it is sure to be close to the
surface and can be had by digging a few feet underground.

The Indians, when traveling across country, always stopped at such
places where these trees were growing, and water was obtainable very
quickly in sufficient quantities for domestic use. Don’t get discouraged
if you don’t find water seepages on the surface. You must remember that
the elm and the willow growing around that ancient fountain consume most
of the water coming upward to the surface.

These sources of liquid supply were once the watering places for
migratory birds flying east or northward, and by means of their
droppings these trees became habitants of these wild regions.

Concerning the medicinal value of the willow tree, the Indians would
take the leaves and pound them in the stone mortar, after which the pulp
was put into water where it was allowed to remain a few hours. The
liquid was then taken like any other beverage, the patient first having
taken a bath to prevent a cold, and to keep the blood at the proper

The tea has a decidedly bitter taste. During the dormant season of the
trees when the leaves were not available, the bark was stripped from the
tree and served the purpose just as well.

                           (_Ind. Pees-wel_)

This strawberry-leaved plant grew in our time in abundance throughout
the lower coastal ranges and valleys; but when the white pioneers in the
early days began clearing the land for agricultural purposes, it marked
the destruction of this and other valuable plants also.

Therefore, this plant is now totally extinct in the lower coastal
plains, but still available in a few remote places in the higher ranges,
where it is gathered by the Indians for home use.

Tea is made from the plant, and all the members of the family partake of
it for at least one full month each year.

The infusion made from the root is of a clear, wine-red color, and is
extremely beneficial as a blood tonic.

                            HOSACKIA GLABRA
                            (_Ind. Su-cot_)

American Deer Grass. Inhabiting the high coastal ranges, this beautiful
little flowering grass when in bloom, during the month of May, appears
to be almost a massive bouquet of carnations among the greenery of the
mountain slopes.

Deer are frequently found foraging in places where the _Hosackia glabra_
grows, as they are very fond of the grass, and the Indians, as a rule,
pick such localities to hunt in.

The infusion made from the plant is rather aromatic and, if taken
regularly, it will help to build up the blood.


                          (_Ind. Chu-co-pat_)

Habitat, rich northern mountain slopes. It grows mostly in underbrush,
but is sometimes found on cleared land. It was gathered, dried and then
ground in the rock mortar to a very fine powder, for use when our people
exchanged poisoned arrows for bullets on the field of battle. Our
poisoned arrows were more effective than bullets, as a scratch would
send an enemy to eternal rest. Today we still use this plant in the
treatment of trachoma, and rattlesnake, black-widow and scorpion bites.
(American Pepper Plant)


                       ESCHSCHOLTZIA CALIFORNICA
                           (_Ind. Tee-snnat_)

American Golden Poppy. The true native flower of our western domain—the
flower of the beautiful, rich golden color. However, being a poisonous
plant, the poppy fields were of no use to the good morals and medical
practice of the Indian doctors in the days gone by. But the notorious
witch-doctor, having more of the devil in him than of anything else,
made general use of this plant to compound some of his poisonous
medicines in his irregular and evil practice. This may be strange to
learn, but we had its counterpart among other races—the white race
included—where witchcraft with its incantations, love potions and
straight poisoning of humans played quite a role. And so it was here
among the Indians. For instance, if a woman became enamoured of a
certain man and the object of her affections paid no attention to her
advances, whether his regards were already placed in some other quarter,
or for other reasons, this was sufficient for the woman who, having had
her immoral desires thwarted, resorted to the witch-doctor. He would
compound a preparation with the poppy as one of its main ingredients.
This was then given to the innocent victim with the help of a second or
third party, either in a solid or liquid form, and in less than
twenty-four hours after partaking of it the poor fellow’s mentality
became befogged and powerless, and was thus easily controlled by the
evil woman.

When such a case was brought to the attention of the chief of the tribe,
orders were given to bring the malefactors in to be tried before the
rest of the chiefs.

The leaders of this evil practice, if found guilty, were condemned to
exile, and, under a guard of warriors, taken far out into the desolate
desert with the death penalty hanging over them, should they ever

The poisoned victim was placed in the hands of the tribal doctor who
gave him an antidote which counteracted the poison given by the
witch—something which no white doctor has been able to do in spite of
his knowledge of medical science and chemistry. Cases of such nature
have happened among Indians and yet the patient’s normal state of mind
and health was restored.

                         ASTRAGALUS MOLLISSIMUS
                            (_Ind. Po-gat_)

American Locoweed. A good many years ago this poisonous plant was
powdered and used to dope race horses, as the Spaniards were very fond
of this sport of kings. And since they were the great landowners when
the Americans began to come in, this sport became more popular than
ever. Money was wagered against large tracts of the Mexican-Spanish
lands in behalf of their favorite horses, and at times amounted to many
hundreds of acres of the richest and most fertile land. It was this very
poisonous _Astragalus mollissimus_ that was responsible for the
transference of large Spanish and Mexican grants into the hands of

The Indians, being well-informed and cognizant of the fraud being
perpetrated at the expense of their good friends, revealed to them the
tactics employed and, for a small compensation, offered to recover for
them some of their losses. This offer was gladly accepted and, in
consequence, the Mexican landowner would again challenge the former
American winner, whereupon a date was set for the race.

Under cover of night the Indian would watch over the horse that was to
run until the day of the race, when he would appear in order to redeem
his promise. Although this may cause surprise, it was only a little
Indian trick, playing its part of revenge on deceiving, dishonest

It was clean, honest revenge, not requiring the poisoning of one of our
most highly valued domestic animals, and this is how it was done.

The Indian rider concealed under the bosom of his buckskin shirt two
pieces of skin, one from a fresh bearskin and the other from that of a
mountain lion. When both riders were lined up for the race and right at
the moment of taking off, the Indian, with a quick jerk, would pull both
skins—which were hanging on a string—from under his shirt and his
opponent’s horse, quickly scenting them, would stop and balk, throw up
his head and look fearfully around in all directions.

The Indian made the wire easily and thus the other horse’s deceiving
owner lost the race and also his ill-gotten gains, proving again that
crime, in any form, doesn’t pay in the long run.

                  Hair tonic, hair and scalp diseases.

                            LARREA MEXICANA
                            (_Ind. Ato-col_)

American Creosote Bush. I have mentioned the use of this shrubby bush in
the beginning for another disease. It was used by the Indians for
various maladies which I shall describe toward the end of the book.

The plant was one of the principal herbs used to eradicate dandruff and
the infusion, when used as a hair-wash once a week for a period of about
two months, will be found enough to rid a person of dandruff thoroughly.
Its one drawback, if any, is that it will make the hair coarse, although
on the other hand, very strong. It was also used as a disinfectant and
deodorizer of bodily odors by sponging the body with the full-strength

                         LOPHOPHORA WILLIAMSII
                            (_Ind. Am-mool_)

American Desert Agave or Button Root. Indigenous to the Mojave Desert,
San Bernardino County, East Riverside County and the Borrego Valley
situated at the northern end of San Diego County, and thence
southeastward to the Mexican border. The Indians made special trips to
places where this plant grew, and spent several weeks at a time in
harvesting it. The root is very important and yields the proper
ingredients to compound one of the finest hair tonics known—greatly
superior to the best on the American market of today.

After gathering the plants, the Indians roasted the leaves in covered
underground rock pits. After this was done they underwent a sun-drying
process, following which they were cut into small square pieces and
stored away for winter use in hermetically sealed earthen _ay-as_.

The plant was put to many other uses which I shall not divulge at this
time, as it would probably invite total extermination of the desert
agave, as occurred in the case of the bison and the messenger dove.

              Ringworms and scalp germs of the hair roots.

                         MICRAPELIS MICRACARPA
                              (_Ind. Yal_)

American Thorny Cucumber. This beautiful vine is very common through the
lower and upper coastal ranges. Wherever you may go you will see the
thorny cucumber. It is very bitter to the taste and the seeds are very
pretty, running into the various shades of white, yellow, gray, black,
olive-green, brown, and red.

In the ’90s the white people discovered that they could be worked into
portieres, hanging ornaments, etc., as they looked so beautiful and the
fad became so strong that young and old would search for these seeds all
over the country with the result that the plant became almost extinct,
the usual net result when the white man took a fancy to certain plants
or animals. However, in this instance, kind Mother Nature hid a few
seeds away among and under the carpet of autumn leaves which in time
replaced the destruction wrought by the white man.

One should know that we, the so-called savages, never destroyed
wantonly, and when we gathered the flowers, seeds, leaves and bark of
plants, we did so for a useful purpose, not to strew them along the
highways as the custom is among certain humans of today.

_Micrapelis micracarpa_ was used in the treatment of ringworm in the
epidermis. Juices extracted from the rind of the thorny cucumber were
rubbed into afflicted parts—a sure and effective remedy.

For the treatment of diseased scalps and hair roots the oil extracted
from the seeds is massaged into the scalp and thus prevents the falling
out of the hair.

The juice of _Micrapelis micracarpa_ will remove human bloodstains, one
of the most difficult stains to remove. The Indian made quite frequent
use of it—when returning from the battlefield or a hunting trip—to
remove such stains from his buckskin clothes.

                        The soap of the Indian.

                         CUCURBITA FOETIDISSIMA
                           (_Ind. Meh-hish_)

American Wild Gourd. This plant, inhabiting the arid soils of the
coastal plains, is very hardy and at its best in worthless ground
unsuitable for agricultural purposes. Thanks to Mother Nature, by
thriving in otherwise dead soils, it was assured of continuous

The Indians regarded it highly as being useful in what washing they had
to do toward keeping their buckskin clothes and blankets clean. Very
soon after the vandals from Spain invaded our country, they adopted this
plant in place of their greasy soaps. When the gourds were fully matured
they were gathered and put away in the shade to dry for winter use. For
the day’s washing, one gourd was put in about ten gallons of water to
help bleach the clothes, while large, square pieces were cut from the
roots (which grow to an immense size) and were used as root soap bars
for rubbing the clothes laid on a smooth log or a flat rock. Another
plant similarly used was the fibrous bulb of the

                        CHLOROGALUM POMERIDIANUM
                            (_Ind. Mo-cee_)

A member of the Lily family, known as Soap Plant.

                         SAPONARIA OFFICIANALIS
                        (_Ind. Yu-look-ut-hish_)

American Soapwort. Inhabits the woodlands of the lower coast regions.
The juice extracted from the roots of this plant makes an excellent hair
tonic and cleanser, giving the hair a beautiful, brilliant gloss and, as
a shampoo, it exceeds most of the modern hair tonics which, in my
opinion, are more or less injurious to the hair roots due to an excess
of alcohol in the preparations. Blooming season: May to June.

Its leaves were also of much use in cases of pains of the spleen. They
were ground into a pulp and applied as a poultice-plaster directly where
the pain was, and kept there for from three to four hours.

                           (_Ind. Meh-wahot_)

Is an inhabitant of the lower coastal regions, and is one of the other
plants serviceable for making an excellent shampoo for the hair, the
bulb and flowers being used for the purpose. Blooms from March to May.

                     Protection against lightning.

                    (_Ind. O-Oot_)    (_Ind. Wa-at_)

The California Lilac—Spanish _Chaparral_—an inhabitant of the mountain
ranges, blooms like the common lilac and is very beautiful.

Attracting every nature lover, this gigantic shrub is possessed of a
strange power, which up to the present has escaped attention, due to its
having been kept secret among the Indians for centuries.

As I am writing Indian legends through botany, I, for the first time,
shall reveal the virtues of this shrub and it should prove of the
greatest interest to those engaged in scientific research, especially in
geology and botanical chemistry. And if the shrub is used as the Indians
used it—and still do—it will help to safeguard life when thunder and
lightning are at their worst at timber line of high mountainsides and

These monumental cones were at one time, in the early Archean period,
surcharged with volcanic activity, which was responsible for the
enormous iron deposits stored in the bowels of the earth. Electrical
storms, being attracted by the iron, burst at times there with terrific
violence, causing a truly phenomenal disturbance; while lightning bolts
strike the iron bodies, completely magnetizing them, turning them
gradually into the mineral, magnetic iron.

Now, let us bear in mind that cone-bearing pines and the _Chaparral_
grow side by side on and over these magnetic iron deposits. Of the two,
the pine seldom escapes destruction whereas the _Chaparral_ deflects
lightning. At the harvest season of the pine nuts, when these storms
were very frequent, precaution had to be taken against the danger of
being struck by lightning, and the _Chaparral_ was the tree chosen in
the pine forest by the Indians as furnishing both safety and shelter.

Now, some of our Red fellow men, through ignorance and a belief in
miracles, were superstitious and quite sincere in their belief in the
efficiency possessed by the magnetic iron mineral, and in its inherent
supernatural powers to guard their homes against prowlers and thieves.
So, much of it was gathered after its discovery and placed inside the
homes to protect them from such intruders. Therefore, whenever a man was
known to be in the possession of this mineral he became the object of
much reverence and respect by wrongdoers, the belief being that the
magnetic iron attracts and draws to it all other particles of
nonmagnetic iron. By the same token, if they entered strange premises,
the same thing would happen to them and they would be held until the
rightful owner appeared.

The author of _Chi-nich-nich_, Dr. John P. Harrington, of the Department
of Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, found himself against a
wall when he wrote something about this “wizard” mineral under its
Indian name without a sample from his Indian informant, Mr. Albanes. Dr.
Harrington was unable to give a firsthand description and had no
definite idea of what the mineral actually was until he requested me to
revise his work, a thing I did gladly at the printing office in Santa
Ana, Calif.

Later on, when my opinion was asked regarding the book I, of course,
drew my own conclusions and withheld any criticism. This I did, not
deeming it wise to make any remarks about parts of the work which did
not represent the true phases of Indian life, for, as I held the key
that would correct those parts, any criticism from me would only have
led to my being questioned as to my knowledge of things which I didn’t
feel at liberty to divulge.

Accordingly, my identification of the “wizard stone” broke up an
expensive Smithsonian expedition which was to be made by a group of
geologists, with all its branches well-represented, in search of
magnetic iron. Now, this is a mineral which has some commercial value in
the electrical field, the steel industries and in the manufacture of
scientific instruments, although some charlatans, like some of my Indian
brothers, claim the mineral possesses supernatural powers and the
so-called lodestone is sold today to a good many people as a talisman.

This lodestone is nothing more than common magnetic iron, yellow in
color due to the large amount of sulphur in the mineral. The silver-gray
magnetic ore which was the Indian’s “wizard stone” derives its color
from the arsenic it contains. Furthermore, many other spurious
contrivances are being sold, not to Indians but to white people of even
very superior intelligence and P. T. Barnum fell far short in his
estimate of the number of people just waiting to fall into the snare of
deception, with his famous remark that “a sucker is born every minute.”
Every second would be nearer the truth.

By personal investigation which I made I found that some of these
deluded victims, men and women both, carry upon their persons lodestones
for “luck,” whereas others think that by wearing them concealed close to
the flesh it gives them a strong magnetic personality and thereby they
command the attention they desire from others.

This is not likely to happen. You can magnetize your body, to be sure,
but not this way. The right way is the way of the Indians of wisdom,
nature’s way. If you are getting sluggish, low in vitality and vigor, it
simply means that the battery-cells of your body are low and need
recharging. Civilization has to some extent deprived us of this great
body builder and has isolated us until the flesh of our feet does not
make contact with the vast electrical currents of Mother Nature. To
receive any benefits from this natural resource you must not wear shoes
in the spring or early summer months, and, weather permitting, go to
some lonely place where you are sure there won’t be any interference by
the authorities, remove your clothing and then lie flat on the ground
with your muscles well relaxed.

While doing this, dismiss from your mind everything which would cause
you worry. Slowly but surely you will find yourself to be a different
man if this is repeated yearly. Thus you will have learned to
“magnetize” your soul and preserve yourself for the many years before
you, as most Indians do.

How to be free from daily annoying trivialities, which only serve to
undermine one’s health, weaken one’s body and render one an easy prey to
disease and misery, the Indian understood thoroughly. Instead, he
cultivated poise, and reached such perfection that he became the envy of
the white race in that respect.

             Antivenin for rattlesnake and tarantula bites.

                           DATURA METELOIDES.
                        (_Ind. Qui-qui-sa-waal_)

American Jimson Weed. This plant is an inhabitant of the California
coastal region and is not particular as to the nature of the soil or its
fertility, but thrives anywhere. This tuberous, bushy plant is highly
narcotic and when the leaves are properly cured they can be used either
in the form of tea or smoked, but withal, very sparingly, since an
overdose may very likely cause one to be committed to an insane asylum,
as it is a rank poison and its effect may even land one in an
undertaker’s mortuary. Therefore, my advice is to leave it alone.

My Indian brothers, being unable to give correct information to
hard-shelled scientists and writers through a poor knowledge of the
English language, were made objects of criticism, and science
deliberately declined to acknowledge the medicinal value of this cousin
to Datura stramonium which in modern medical practice is of great value
at the present time.

Considering, however, the value and uses of _Datura meteloides_, I
assert that this decision was very irregular and out of all proportion
as to what it was intended. We know that everything can be abused, yet
some of our Indian brothers who wished to live in ignorance and
superstition had a perfect right to do so. In truth, it wasn’t so with
all Indians and there were really some great minds amongst them.

When, for instance, the Chinaman wishes to see the beautiful lotus and
cherry blossoms of his native land, he does so through the smoke of the

Then, how about our boasted white civilization which is supposed to be
superior to all? Some, of course, like to see Yankee Doodle marching
down the street, others draw the hypodermic from its case to stimulate
the vision of desire—or sniff cocaine through the nostrils for the same

How much, I ask, has present-day civilization to offer the Indian? Kind
readers and hard-shelled scientists, I pray you, let us be rational and
let us go deeper into the field of investigation. And I advise you for
your own good to do so even if _Datura meteloides_ has failed to make
its appearance in the pharmacopoeia with its commercial mark [*Rx]
prefixed with the “M.D.” As I have said once before, there is very
little in the drugstores today for which the Indian cannot find a
substitute in the great field of nature. The plants I am writing about
in this book represent just one-fourth of the medicinal botany of our
Indians of the Pacific Southwest.

In support of my assertion, I only ask that you visit the Historical
Southwest Museum in Los Angeles, Calif., and see with your own eyes what
a medicine case consisted of for the general practice of medicine in the
early days, in those days when most people of the white race thought
themselves further advanced in medicine than the Indians. Such was not
the case by far, and for a comparison and evidence of my assertion I
submit a résumé of the contents used by the first white doctor to
practice medicine in the State of California. His name I omit. His soul
is at rest!

His medicine case contained a few vials: (1) Oil of Cloves, (2) Spirits
of Ammonia, (3) Spirits of Peppermint, (4) Wintergreen, (5) Jamaica
Ginger, (6) Castor Oil, (7) Quinine.

And that was all he had to serve as a comparison with what the Indians
used, and in this I prefer that you, kind reader, be the judge. I am not
exaggerating but speak only in the light of truth. A great deal of
misinterpretation of Indian life has been written by white authors who
gathered their information from Indians who knew a great deal but were
unable to give comprehensive data to the white writer. Others were there
who could have done so, but their lips were sealed where the white man
was concerned. This accounts for the mistakes which have been made and
whereby _Datura meteloides_ has failed to gain recognition for its
meritorious medicinal value. It is worth knowing that the plant is
antivenin and will effect cures of rattlesnake and tarantula bites. What
improvement has the hard-shelled scientist made to counteract the deadly
poison of the tarantula? None, of course!

Not so long ago a man in New Orleans, La., gave up his life for want of
a serum that would counteract the poison of a tarantula which had bitten
him. Three doctors, equipped with all the white man’s knowledge of
medicine and chemistry, strove desperately hard to save the man’s life
but finally gave up in despair and frankly admitted that to date no
serum had been discovered to conquer the poison of the tarantula!

Yet there is one and it behooves the medical profession to get
acquainted with _Datura meteloides_.

A practical and effective demonstration was given in the presence of a
group of mission friars at San Gabriel, California, in the year 1828.
The friars, having heard that _toulache_ was used by the Indians to cure
rattlesnake bites, lost no time in watching attentively the procedure
followed by the Indian in charge—Genio Guana-pia-pa was the medicine
man. The patient was seated before them well-covered with a blanket,
with only an opening remaining around the neck in order to permit
_Datura meteloides_ to be poured over his body. All this, of course, was
very simple. But what of the process used to extract the poison, when,
and what compounds? Yes, there is just one other which belongs in the
formula, a formula which has cost me thirty-two years of waiting to
finally wrest it from my uncle, Chief Pablo of Pe-we-pe and Guana-pia-pa
who gave me access to the ancient historical records of the Indians of
California, records which many historians, archaeologists, and
practically all men of science would welcome.

The white man has missed the true and better half of the Indian history
of the Pacific Southwest. This I shall describe in another book after
the translation has been made.

The rattlesnake and tarantula formula I will donate to the good of
mankind, free under patent rights under my control to avoid medical
exploitation, speculation, and selfish rights of monopoly. I am not in
search of mere money. Honor and character are of far more value to me.
My happiness comes to me from the good I can do to others, and this to
me is almost an obligation to clear and right every wrong done to my
people; not with a deadly weapon, but with pen and ink, the Lord

We Indians have not yet learned some of the ways and customs of our
white brothers, and, therefore, I could not say that what cannot be done
today can be done ten years from now. Our religion and philosophy teach
us that the heart is the pendulum of life, each stroke representing
timely death which may befall us with one of these strokes any moment,
and so don’t forget _Datura meteloides_.

Once an incident occurred when _Datura meteloides_ was being prepared at
a place where the spying eyes of the friars couldn’t observe it. Enough
plundering had been done already, and the Indians had no desire to
divulge their secret. They would only show them what they could do. One
of the friars, full of doubt and curiosity, asked one of the Indians
who, the day before, had assisted a patient bitten by a rattlesnake to
go with him into one of the fields north of the Mission, pretending he
wanted information as to certain plants growing there. When there, the
friar drew near to a _Datura meteloides_, and at once began questioning
the Indian about the plant, whereupon the Indian refused to give
information. The friar, seeing he couldn’t make him yield, began kicking
at the plant, uttering at the same time Latin words, which of course
were wholly unintelligible to the Indian. The friar did that only to
make the Indian show resentment, thinking he had cursed a plant which,
to the Indian, was sacred.

However, the friar’s scheme didn’t work; the Indian stood by in silence,
until at last the saintly friar lost control of his temper, damned the
Indian and his herbs and finally told him that if he’d dig up one of the
roots he would chew it, nay, even swallow it, just to show him it was

The Indian took him at his word, dug up a root and handed it to him. Our
friar was game and began chewing it. Accidentally he swallowed some of
the bitter juice and in 15 minutes went through terrible convulsions,
till death came.

     Weather observation, travel and fishing aids, aqueous plants.

                      ECHINOCACTUS and SEMPERVIVUM
                            (_Ind. Co-pash_)

American Water-Barrel Cactus. An inhabitant of the arid Pacific
southwestern deserts. Like all Indians in their boyhood days I was also
warned of the great perils threatening human beings in the desert, and
in order to meet any emergency which might arise, we received much
instruction for the time to come when this was absolutely necessary for
our safety. The schooling given us consisted chiefly of weather
observation, how to detect the approach of severe desert storms from the
very beginning of sunset through part of the night by watching the
action of the stars, the night atmosphere and the various changes of the
air currents.

All this had to be mastered to such a degree of perfection that I doubt
very much if any Bureau of Meteorology could do better. Most of the
changes indicated heat waves, electric rainstorms, terrific wind, sand
storms, etc. The only instrument the Indian had was his index finger
which he made use of by holding it in his mouth for a few seconds, then
pulling it out quickly and thrusting it upright toward the sky, his eyes
fixed on the North Star. The side of the finger which cooled quickest
indicated the direction of the wind.

Now came our water compasses, very primitive in form, but instructive
and true to sense of direction as direct leaders to water holes.

Of course the Indians venturing across the arid desert were always
careful to take with them the _Sempervivum_—House Leek—and, as an extra
measure of precaution, another plant which grows abundantly in the
semi-arid regions. These very same things were taught some of the old
white pioneers who were friendly and had shown kindness to the Indians,
while others perished from lack of knowledge of how to make use of these
plants—the _Echinocactus_ and the _Sempervivum_, which furnish
thirst-quenching juices.

The thorns of the _Echinocactus_ were used by the Indians as fishhooks
for deep-water fishing so that the modern fishhook is by no means the
white man’s invention.

Both the _Echinocactus_ and _Sempervivum_ were also used for the
prevention of swelling of the salivary glands as a result of the tongue
being dry and inactive.

                          General medication.

                          TRICHOSTEMA LANATUM
                            (_Ind. Zu-bal_)

American Wild Rosemary. This shrub, when in full bloom in the months of
May to July, emits a sweet, balsamic fragrance, and is of great
medicinal value for many ailments.

The Indians who made use of this plant a great deal had no difficulty in
tracing it through its scent to its place of growth, where the flowering
stocks were carefully gathered so that the root and crown system
suffered no injury. Extra precaution was taken for the next annual
blooming season, for most of the plants were of a delicate nature. As
far back as I can remember, in the late ’90s, the _Trichostema lanatum_
grew in abundance along the near coastal ranges, but gradually this very
valuable plant became a victim of extermination through brush fires at
the hands of careless hunters and the clearing of land by farmers. The
Indians, perceiving how rapidly these plants were vanishing, gathered
the seeds and carried them further inland, into rough mountain country
where they were resown, and there they remained in their last botanical
refuge with hundreds of others which are of great medicinal value also.

Furthermore, from such localities Indian hunters would gather the seeds
and carry them still further into the mountains for safety and for
purposes of propagation. Today it is solely due to the Indian’s
foresight that _Trichostema lanatum_ is found plentifully in the
Pe-we-pe mountains, better known today as the San Gorgania mountains. It
is also found in Riverside County and the San Jacinto mountains, on
southward over high mountaintops in lower California, Mexico, and
northward to San Rafael but rarely beyond that point.

                          Ptomaine poisoning.

                          ERIOGONUM UMBELLATUM
                           (_Ind. Hula-cal_)

An inhabitant of the arid California desert, it is a massive,
white-flowering shrub remarkable for the long duration of its blooming
period which lasts from early June till late September. During this time
the desert may be seen covered with a vast mass of white blossoms
comparable in its color effect to the winter snowfields in northern

To have the opportunity to see the manifold flowering wonders of this
great desert, in their sudden magical changes, one must visit it during
the period from early February till late in the fall.

The time to see cactus in bloom is in February and March. The latter
month ends the flowering season for this particular plant. Again the
desert becomes flowerless and gloomy for at least two months and then
good Mother Nature with her magic wand once more transforms the desolate
desert into a brilliant garden of flowers and shrubs. There are the
Yucca Whipplei and the yucca palm, the Joshua palm and the desert lilac,
the desert poinsettias, marguerites, desert and scrub pines. All a riot
of color, but the _Eriogonum_ survives them all into September. What a
wonderful array of color greets the eye! As far as it can see it is
fairly stunned by these glowing tints and hues, from rich ultramarine to
pale yellow—red, lavender, purple, pink, light blue, to the purest cream
white. This blooming season ends in July, but alone the _Eriogonum_
keeps on blooming till September.

Then there is one short rest period for about one month as if in
preparation for a carpet of golden blooms.

Shrubs, bushes, and small trees which have been practically dormant for
ten months of the year burst out in golden vestments to greet the
approaching winter, and bid a last farewell to Indian Summer.

Such is the aspect of the desert, at that time of the year. And,
strangest of all, of all the hundreds of species of trees, bushes, and
shrubs, all different from each other, not one bears anything but yellow

Let us turn back to where we began, to the especial value of the plant
to hunters and vacationists who make their yearly visits to certain
mountain and desert regions favored by them. It will certainly do no
harm to acquaint yourself with the medicinal value of the _Eriogonum_
since you have to depend for your sustenance mostly on canned foods.

Occasions arise when users of such foods are made very ill, even suffer
death, through so-called ptomaine poisoning. To obtain the service of a
doctor is well-nigh an impossibility and ptomaine poisoning is a
fast-working, exceedingly dangerous poison, where delay is fatal.

The plant _Eriogonum_ grows nowadays in the coastal regions as well as
in the desert where it originally came from, and the first thing to do
when attacked by ptomaine poison is to make a strong infusion from the
blossoms of the _Eriogonum_, or, if these are not available, use the
roots, and take, or give to the poison victim, two brimful cups with a
pinch of salt added to each cup.

This remedy counteracts the poison and gives safe and complete relief.

                         Jewelry and talismans.

                           ASCLEPIAS SYRIACA
                         (_Ind. Samat-hap-pac_)

American Milk Weed. White botanists claim this plant to be edible, but
to my knowledge there is no botanical record extant which bears out the
assertion as to its ever having been used as a food.

The Indians pressed out the milky juices and used the extract obtained
in the manufacture of their jewelry, most of their precious stones being
made into necklaces, earrings, collars, wrist and upper arm bracelets,
all mounted in this milk-juice preparation of the _Asclepias syriaca_.

This kind of jewelry was worn by Indians of a higher civilization as
talismans, just as civilized people of today wear similar ornamental
articles with more or less superstitious belief. We need only point to
the so-called “charms” worn by many to bring luck, ward off disaster or
sickness—in fact, for more reasons of a superstitious nature than the
Indian ever thought of.

A great deal in the way of royalties are due the Indian, in return for
the use of his art-craft, yet a few jewelry items have been overlooked
by Mr. Jeweler—items which, peradventure, may bring him great wealth if
properly ballyhooed.

Let us take, for instance, the case of the witch-doctor among the
Indians with his special ornamental necklace—the symbol of his
profession—a necklace denoting supernatural powers, a crystal quartz for
a nose-piece. The necklace is made of eagle-, bear- and lion-claws, the
poison fangs of rattlesnakes, etc.

It must be understood, however, that the necklace mentioned will not
endow the wearer of it with any power whatsoever, unless those various
claws are extracted from the living animals which, no doubt, makes the
manufacture of such a necklace somewhat hazardous and dangerous.

As far as is known, no patent has been granted yet on the process of
getting these necklace ornaments in compliance with the rules of
“Charm-Craft.” So here is a fine chance for some enterprising,
courageous jeweler to strive for renown and riches.

But, Mr. Jeweler, there must be no copying, no pilfering of any sort.
The rules must be obeyed in strict honesty. The patent will then be
found waiting.

                     Hunting with poisoned arrows.

                            KALMIA LATIFOLIA
                           (_Ind. Po-ha-not_)

American California Mountain Laurel. It may be of interest to sportsmen
that this plant, growing in the high mountain ranges, is as greatly
relished by the deer as _Hosackia glabra_. Deer in large numbers look
for this shrubby tree and this is the key to the white man’s puzzle why
Indians are such successful hunters. It is simply that the Indian lived
the life God intended him to, and, through close association with
animals in the wilderness, he became proficient in observing their
habits, imitating their calls and thus bringing them within shooting
distance of his bow and arrow. Here the _Kalmia_ played an important
part. The hunter not only used it as a body deodorizer, but also made
use of the top part of a deer skull with the skin and antlers left on,
never exposing more than these, when lying in ambush.

The _Kalmia_ had other virtues, besides, in that it furnished one of the
ingredients to compound a poison in which to dip arrowheads. A deer hit
with an arrow had a slim chance of getting away wounded. If it happened,
it was only for a short distance and then it would drop paralyzed from
the effect of the poisoned arrow. The meat was edible and harmless and
none was left over.

The grizzly bear was one of the most ferocious members of the bear
family in the Pacific Southwest. Although quite common and plentiful,
this powerful animal was killed with as much ease as the housewife of
today kills a chicken.

When hunting this bear the Indians would select one which had the best
coat of hair. Two Indians would work together, beginning with yelling,
singing, and dancing around him to such effect that he became very angry
and charged one of the hunters. With speed and precision the other one
would run up to the bear from behind and shoot his arrow straight into
the bear’s kidneys, thus in most cases rendering the bear quite
helpless; and try as hard as he might to turn on his enemy, his efforts
proved futile. Paralyzed in the hind legs due to the arrow being
imbedded in the kidneys handicapped him so that he had to vent his rage
in a sitting position. The other Indian in front of him, thereupon would
shoot an arrow straight into his ear, ending it all in a few seconds.
The skin, when cured and tanned, was used for the interior lining of
tepees, bed covers, and ground mattresses. However, the time came when
bear hunting was abolished by executive orders of our Indian chieftains,
and this was caused by the following:

At one time these Indian chiefs, while traversing their territory, were
attracted by gunfire. Driven by suspicion and curiosity, they decided to
investigate and went to where the shooting was taking place. Great,
indeed, was their surprise when they came upon two white hunters
battling with a grizzly and it seemed that the bullets of the old-time
muzzle-loading gun didn’t prove up to expectations. There was very
little time to reload, so one of the hunters threw his gun away and fled
with the other partner in close pursuit, the wounded bear right on their
heels and in full command of the situation.

The sight of this caused the chiefs great mirth and fun, and from that
day forth, it was made known to all the tribes that the bear had some
human understanding, had no use for the white man and was the protector
of the Indians’ domain. The act witnessed by the chiefs that day made
the bear a regular member and scout of honor of all tribes facing a
possible invasion of their virgin country.

In spite of all this, however, the white man resorted to the use of
traps and poisoned bait to exterminate the Indians’ friend. But, advised
by some intelligent instinct this animal had, the bear decided suddenly
to leave, and drifted away into Mexico and to northern latitudes.

Even to this day, the bear is considered a great friend by the Indians
and when one is killed or dies of natural causes, much reverence and
respect is paid him by the older people who, in their minds, are still
living in earlier days, now gone by.

                           Care of the eyes.

                           SALVIA COLUMBRIAE
                            (_Ind. Pa-sal_)

This plant belongs to the food division but plays another important
rôle, considering what it means to a person to be relieved of the
excruciating pain caused by the introduction of a foreign substance into
the eye, thus producing a temporary obstruction of the vision. Many
Indians, after a hard day’s hunting or riding through severe sandstorms,
had this experience, and consequently, they never neglected to give
their eyes proper care.

When time to retire, the Indian would put at least a couple of seeds of
the _Salvia columbriae_ under the eyelids, and, with eyes shut tight to
keep the seed from dropping out, he would fall asleep. As they swelled,
they would move about with every movement of the eyeball and emit a
gelatinous substance which gathered up every particle of sand or any
other substance present, and, when removed, left the eye clear and free
of any possible inflammation. This is a good example of the care the
Indian gave his eyes and accounts for his good and strong vision.

An inhabitant of the arid lands, it grows prolifically in places where
in earlier days the Indians made their homes, and very often the ancient
dwellings which our people used will be found covered with large beds of
_Salvia columbriae_, with their beautiful blossoms of purple and

These colors were to the Indians a mournful reminder of their departed
ones, in their lifelong struggle and search for food, so mightily
important to sustain life. Regarding the use of the _Columbriae_ for
this purpose, the method used was very simple.

It was cut and bundled by the male members of the family, brought in and
heaped up on a large cleared space of ground, formed into a circle and
then trodden down as hard as a cement floor. This was done with water
and the bare feet and threshing with long sticks. By thus beating the
heap of _Columbriae_, they released the seeds which were then winnowed
by being blown before a wind current made with the aid of two baskets.
After this, they were carried to the grinding stones to be ground into a
fine meal which made excellent porridge—a very popular dish among

                   Foods, medicine, tanning and dyes.

                           QUERCUS VIRGINIANA
                           (_Ind. Qui-neel_)

American Live Oak. This evergreen tree of the western mountain ranges is
the most imposing of all the species of the oak family. It grows to an
immense size and attains a great height. Some of these giants of the
forest cover and shade an area large enough to afford protection to as
many as three hundred adult persons.

A great deal has been written in song and poetry in praise of the
stately oak but the Indians found out by experience that the acorns it
bore were far more nutritious than poetry, and before long the noble
tree was adopted as a regular member of the tribes—a bountiful provider
of food.

Even so, the oak was by them much honored in war and love songs, for the
many good things it furnished them besides food. The fallen leaves made
warm mattress-bedding while the bark played a part in medicine and also
in the tanning and dyeing of buckskin in various fast colors by blending
with the bark of other oaks and roots. Let it be understood that these
dyes thus produced were of a firm, non-fading nature and also excellent
preservers of buckskin.

The colors produced were very beautiful and ranged from pure white to
yellow, red, light and dark brown, light pink, gray and black.

Regarding the acorns, special care was given to the harvested crop and
the process was simple. The acorns were put into fine, hand-woven net
bags and tied with a rawhide rope to a tree close to the river bank
whereupon the bags were placed in the stream. The running water would
cause the acorn shell to swell and split open, thus releasing into the
water most of the tannic acid which the acorns contained. After being
left in the water for a week or so, they were taken out, the hulls
removed and spread out to dry. Afterwards they were ground into a fine
meal, sun-dried again, and then put away for winter use.

The porridge made of it jells like custard and, when well cooked, has
the color of chocolate pie. It can be cut into squares and served with
deer meat or eaten as a dessert with cream and sugar. Besides being very
delicious and nourishing it is also a great flesh builder.

As a warning, let it be said, never to eat any acorns picked fresh from
the tree, because of the tannic acid they contain; in that state they
may cause severe constriction of the bowels and the glands of the

                            Bleeding navel.

                 (_Ind. Co-o-tem_)    (_Ind. Qui-neel_)

American Cat-tail is an aquatic grass inhabiting shallow, stagnant lakes
and swamps and is very common on the Pacific coast of California. _Tule_
is perhaps the name by which the plant is best known, although the other
is also very common. This valuable grass has failed to find a place
among the scientists of the world, as _Tule_ is a purely Indian name,
and is far from being identical with those so far being classified by
botanical science. But _Tule_ is medicinal and has healing properties
which were made use of by the Indians to heal bleeding navels. Nothing
could be better.

The blades of the grass were gathered and burned to the consistency of
charcoal, then finely powdered and sprinkled on the bleeding parts.

When this couldn’t be obtained, the Indians further inland had recourse
to the apples growing on the Scrub-Oak or _Quercus agrifolia_, and these
were, of course, dried and powdered, and medicated with balsam oil. The
salve proved to be very effective in healing the afflicted parts. In
short, the results were first-class and saved the lives of many little
Indian babies.

                              Indian food.

                           PROSOPIS JULIFLORA
                           (_Ind. Pe-che-te_)

Mesquite Bean. An inhabitant of the southwestern deserts, it ranges as
far as the northwestern and southwestern central parts of Mexico. A
native of southeastern California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, the
_Juliflora_ was perhaps one of the trees which provided the greater part
of food for the natives.

Its contents were very rich in protein and even wild animals relished it
greatly. To obtain the yearly supply, the Indians made a regular
pilgrimage early in the season to localities where the _Juliflora_ grew
in abundance, and stood guard over the trees for many weeks until the
bean pods were fully matured. Then they were harvested and ground in
rock mortars to the fineness of flour, such as is used in the baking of
cakes, tarts, etc.

It could also be mixed to the consistency of porridge, either with hot
or cold water and taken with sun-dried venison. It formed a very
nourishing diet. Sugar was never added to it.

The bean pods of the _Juliflora_ are extremely sweet, and may be eaten
right off the tree if dry enough. In any other condition they are

                            PTERIS AQUILINA
                            (_Ind. Wel-met_)

American Bracken Fern. This graceful and stately fern of great beauty of
leaf design inhabits the high mountain ranges where there are
well-shaded forest lands rich in mulch. This fern is well-known to every
Indian for the sad historical part it played in the life of our fair and
beloved sister Ramona, the daughter of Ca-we and wife of Alessandro, the
immortal Indian who suffered death without a moment’s warning at the
hands of a brute and coward.

The authoress of _Ramona_, Helen Hunt Jackson, mentions in her book what
good use of this fern Alessandro made in preparing Ramona’s bed at the
time of their elopement and tells of the hardships both young lovers

The young sprouting shoots of the _Pteris aquilina_ fern mean as much to
the Indians as asparagus does to white people, as it contains much oil
which is extremely rich in flavor when the shoots are properly cut and

There are ferns in song, ferns in poetry, ferns where wedding bells
ring, ferns on the altars of churches and ferns in God’s acre. Also in
gardens, but nature’s garden is where the Indian wants them!

                          Food and bleaching.

                             YUCCA WHIPPLEI
                             (_Ind. Yu-ca_)

American Spanish Bayonet. The name yucca is the true native Indian name
of this exquisite plant, but even Mr. Whipple, the botanist, failed,
like many others, to properly describe the beauty of the yucca.

During the months of May and June when the plant is in full bloom it is
nothing strange, when venturing into the desert mountains, to find
oneself in a veritable forest of countless thousands of yuccas. With its
erect stalk, attaining a height of from four to twelve feet, heavily and
massively crowned with creamy white blossoms, the yucca closely
resembles a gigantic hyacinth of the California desert and mountains,
and its delicious fragrance outrivals many of the costliest perfumes.

The use of the yucca was of much importance, some of the stalks were cut
just at the time the plant was in full bloom, the flowers are edible,
the stalk rich in sugar which produces a fine quality of syrup, obtained
by first roasting the stalks in underground pits.

Other stalks were allowed to mature, their pods yielding the finest
material for bleaching buckskin fiber a pure white. Also used very much
in the art of basketry, etc.


                           URTICA HOLOSERICEA
                           (_Ind. Panga-tum_)

American Stinging Nettle. An inhabitant of the swamps and river beds.
This plant was used in most cases of inflammatory rheumatism of the most
peculiar kind known to mankind, particularly when the lower limbs were
affected to such an extent that they became numb, cold and useless. The
cure was very simple if your limbs were in a bad state, but rather
unpleasant if in a sound condition.

The nettle was cut and brought to the Indian patient’s bedside, where
the leaves were rubbed on all his ailing parts. This was repeated for
several days until warmth in the affected parts and a proper circulation
of the blood was attained. When the patient was able to get up and walk,
a second treatment of a different nature was administered, the so-called
Rock Steam-Bath of a herb compound made up of the following three

                             PHLOX SUBULATA
                           (_Ind. E-wa-yack_)

American Moss Pink. An inhabitant of the Mojave Desert.

                            PINUS MONTICOLA
                             (_Ind. Wa-ta_)

American Scrub Pine. An inhabitant of the northern slopes of our
California Mother coast range, and in a few localities on the desert

                       ADIANTUM CAPILLUS-VENERIS
                            (_Ind. Ta-wal_)

American Southern Maidenhair Fern. Inhabits the high coastal ranges, but
further north it will be found on the lower coastal ranges.

                           Menstrual period.

                           LIPPIA LANCEOLATA
                         (_Ind. Te-eel-p-yack_)

Lemon Verbena. Spanish _Cedron_. This shrubby tree has become nearly
extinct and but few specimens are found now and then. The infusion made
from its leaves and blossoms is very aromatic, somewhat like peppermint.

                        CRYSANTHEMUM PARTHENIUM
                          (_Ind. Che-ke-wat_)

American Feverfew, Spanish _Artemisa_. This plant was used for the same
medicinal purpose as the one mentioned above.

                   Diseased throat glands, scrofula.

                            NICOTIANA GLAUCA
                           (_Ind. Tee-baat_)

American Tobacco Tree. This tree, very common along the Pacific coast,
grows from Santa Barbara southward to the end of Lower California, and
the Mexican peninsula. The tree grows in terraced gorges and ravines and
is rarely to be found anywhere else.

The leaves were steamed and applied externally as a poultice over the
swollen parts of the throat caused by inflammation of the throat glands,
and also for scrofula. While the latter malady didn’t exist among the
Indians, yet they treated and cured some of the whites who had it, with
_Nicotiana glauca_.

It was also steamed into the body of those suffering from rheumatism and
proved there also its value to many human beings.

I have once before spoken of other plants useful for the same purpose,
but as this plant has something to recommend it for the last-named
ailment, it is appropriate to mention it again in connection with
scrofula and inflammation of the throat glands.

To the plant serving all these cases equally well, we must give credit
where credit is due, even at the cost of repetition, in order to give
the reader a fair understanding of the various diseases a plant may be
good for.

Surely a wonderful provision made by nature!


                            CROTON SETIGERUS
                            (_Ind. Tu-tal_)

American Dove Weed. The beautiful dwarf plant is very common throughout
the coastal region and far into the inland valleys. It appears about
July in most barley fields after the harvest. It is truly a paradise for
wild turtledoves, and the hunter who goes into a place where the _Croton
setigerus_ grows may be sure of bagging a good number of doves in a
short time.

The Indians gathered the plant for use in their fishing operations, and
some of it was stored away for winter use. The weed has a strongly
intoxicating effect on fish.

A place was selected along the stream bed in a rather shallow spot and
dammed across.

After this, a regular mat, formed of _Setigerus_, was laid on the
surface of the water, while a large number of Indians went upstream to
herd the schools of fish downstream and into the trap. Quite a simple
procedure, as the herding was done by merely beating the water ahead of
them. A barricade built of brushwood behind them prevented the fish from
going upstream. The water in the pond having become impregnated with the
_Setigerus_ affected the fish so that they soon floated helplessly on
the surface of the water where the Indians just picked them out by hand.
When a sufficient supply had been taken, the _Croton setigerus_ was
removed and piled up on the bank of the stream to dry and be used again.
The dam and barricade were also done away with and the uncaught fish
were allowed to get into fresh water to recuperate.

                      Tonic for loss of appetite.

                           MONTIA PERFOLIATA
                         (_Ind. Lah-chu-meek_)

American Miner’s Lettuce. This plant inhabits the coastal regions where
it thrives only in deep, decomposed beds of oak-tree mulch at suitable
points in the shady woodlands, where the circulation of water is present
under a deposit of mulch.

The juice of the plant is an excellent appetite-restorer.

                           ALLIUM BISCEPTRUM
                         (_Ind. Ye-sil-ta-usa_)

American Wild Onion. It is an inhabitant of the lower mid-coast ranges,
and the extract obtained from it is compounded with the powdered berries
of _Rhus trilobata_.

                             RHUS TRILOBATA
                            (_Ind. Sa-lat_)

American Squaw-weed. An inhabitant of Southern California’s higher
ranges, it makes an excellent restorative for an inactive stomach which
refuses food. The Indians also obtained the fiber from the vines of the
shrub by stripping it off with the thumbnail and using it for basket

                      For poisonous insect-bites.

                         (_Ind. Ye-sil-we-na_)

American Wild Field Garlic. A plant held in great esteem by the Indians,
protecting them, when hunting or exploring, from poisonous snakes,
lizards, scorpions, tarantulas and insects during the summer season.

It was the custom of the Indians then to discard their buckskin clothes
and roam around with as little covering as possible until the fall of
the year, when they donned their heavier clothing again for the
approaching cold weather. Now, it is well-known how disagreeable the
odor of garlic is to most human beings, but they don’t know that it is
likewise so to reptiles and insects. The Indians, however, knew this,
although they never ate it. They used it only as medicine when needed,
but its greatest usefulness was to guard against being bitten by
poisonous vermin.

The Indians ground the wild garlic into a pulp and then rubbed it well
over their legs up to the thighs, making extra sure that the skin was
thoroughly saturated with the garlic juice and thus protected. The
Indian would enter any locality to do his hunting, even if it was
infested with thousands of rattlesnakes, without the slightest fear or
worry. The reason is very simple. Whenever the snake or insect comes
within smelling distance of the garlic, it is so much affected by it as
to become well-nigh asphyxiated and is rendered helpless.

The white man, in order to follow fashion, wears leggings, but I am sure
that he could use the formula I have given, very much to his advantage.
I give this formula freely to mankind, a formula which has remained a
secret for over a century and it will mean the saving of many lives if
used as described above.


                          (_Ind. Pacah-quit_)

American Arrow-wood. It is an inhabitant of the California River border
lands within the Pacific coastal belt, and is occasionally also found on
the southern border of the western desert lying in the northern part of
the Pacific coast.

There has been much discussion in the past, and many arguments, many
flatly declaring that the arrowwood was used by the Indians for making
bows and arrow stocks.

Being an Indian, that and nothing else, let me explain the matter
clearly as to this particular controversy. The young shoots of the
_Bertholletia_ were selected from the parent stock, well-seasoned and
then used for arrow stocks on which small arrow points were fitted for
the young Indian children to practice and hunt with. It was never used
for bows, however. For the making of fire through friction, it was very
useful and yet, this alone would not give an adequate account of the
value of arrowwood shrub. This is left to the decoction made from it, to
counteract the poison in wounds inflicted by arrowheads in battle
engagements, and therein lies its principal claim to the consideration
shown it by the Indians.


                          PHYTOLACCA DECANDRA
                       (_Ind. Che-ne-va-ica-cal_)

American Ink Berry. This shrub, a common inhabitant of California’s
coastal regions, has been placed by the white writer in the division of
poisonous plants, and we agree with him. So the only credit given the
plant is chiefly for the remarkable beauty it displays with its starlike
flowers and racemes of dark-blue berries. Yet it has been condemned
under the label of poison, and much is being done toward its destruction
wherever found. However, it is a fruitless task, and may only become a
near-success when the Indians and the birds shall be known as two signs
of life vanished from the face of the earth. For these two are
responsible for the preservation and propagation of the shrub.

Morphine, opium, and cocaine are by far deadlier poisons than
_Phytolacca_—why, then, do doctors prescribe them to soothe and ease
pain, etc.? The root of the plant has some medicinal qualities to ease
severe neuralgic pains, and is deemed very efficient and important in
Indian medical formulas. For making dyes and inks the berries are
excellent, whereas the leaves are most useful in the treatment of skin
diseases, and to eradicate and clean the epidermis of pimples and

Therefore, help to conserve and not destroy this really valuable plant.

                         Diseases of the liver.

                          (_Ind. Pang-sa-mat_)

American Water Cress. It is an inhabitant of the coastal regions, swamps
and rivers. This aquatic plant is more deserving of attention than has
been given it, and is fully worthy of the name it bears, _Officinale_,
which means all that the word implies. The Indians, having discovered
the medicinal qualities of this plant, immediately gave it a place in
their medical and food division and, up to the present year of our Lord,
the plant has been used in the treatment of disorders of the liver—cases
such as torpid liver, cirrhosis of the liver and as a dissolvent of
gallstones, etc.

When these diseases are curable, the diet is simple—with no restrictions
and no red tape to plague the patient. The first meal taken in the
morning must consist of _Nasturtium officinale_, salted very sparingly,
and of this the patient should eat as much as possible and do without
further food until noon, when he may eat whatever he likes. This method
must be repeated every morning. Care must be taken not to use liquor if
one wishes to insure quick recovery.

When the liver is ulcerated it takes at least two months to heal
properly, but all other cases are of short duration.

                             Reducing teas.

                           LEPIDIUM EPETALUM
                       (_Ind. Chesa-mok-ka-mok_)

American Pepper Grass.

                          (_Ind. Cheena-wah_)

American Salt Grass.

                           PANICUM CAPILLARE
                         (_Ind. Ne-wa-cha-mo_)

American Witch Grass. The first two are fond of rich, agricultural
soils, whereas the latter prefers alkaline lands. All three have been
declared noxious weeds and are listed as such by the Department of
Agriculture, although the Indians found some use for these grasses.

There were times when some of our men and women became over-fat; in
fact, so fat that they had great difficulty in traveling, the exertion
making them complain of heart trouble which in reality was nothing but a
discomfort due to short respiration caused by excessive fatness.
Accordingly, something had to be done. A search was made, and
experiments with good results finally obtained. These grasses compounded
with the bark of sassafras, wall-wort and others (also named for
extermination, just like the three above-named plants) are excellent for
reducing purposes.

The chief trouble in our schools where botany is taught seems to be that
too much attention is given to the _appearance_ of plants, instead of to
their medicinal value and other useful properties.

                             Birth control.

                             IVA AXILLARIS
                          (_Ind. Na-wish-mal_)

American Poverty-Weed. This hardy plant predominates on most of the
salty marshes and lake shores. It is hardly worth destroying as it
mostly grows in soils totally unfit for agriculture, or anything else,
for that matter.

Let me mention, however, that there is quite a history connected with
the earliest beginning of the Indian’s life in connection with this
plant. No doubt it will be of interest to the readers of this book to
learn that the plant played an important part in what is today assumed
to be a modern institution—birth-control.

The Indians knew and practiced it from the earliest times, but only in
cases when women proved themselves incapable, even when at their best,
to give birth to healthy children.

In such cases they were compelled to make use of this plant as a
preventative and this should explain the Indian’s wonderful stamina, his
sturdiness and perfect physique. Moreover, the great chiefs prohibited
the raising of deformed children, as ordinarily they considered this a
great sin.

In later years the secret was let out by some Indian women, and thus it
found its way among the Spanish and American settlers, when many cases
of abortion were due to the use of this herb—a universal practice of
modern civilization with its accompanying evils of genocide and other
evils of a criminal nature.

                            Kidney diseases.

                           CROTON CORYMBOSUS
                        (_Ind. O-chot-pa-wish_)

Spurge. Its habitat is in the southern Mojave sand dunes. This beautiful
shrub, like many of the other desert plants, seems to select the worst
of soils to grow in, and is often to be found in crevices of mineralized
dykes of crystalline rocks. The infusion made from the plant cured
kidney infections.

                            (_Ind. Tut-tut_)

The Tea of the Indian is found in the swamplands of the coastal regions.
The infusion made from the leaves and blossoms was taken internally for
pleurisy of the kidneys.

An infusion made separately from the roots was also used internally to
relieve severe cases of gonorrhea and painful bloating of the stomach.
This remedy is very effective and highly esteemed by the Indians as one
of the royal plants for the cure of these dangerous ailments, which take
the lives of so many of the white race.

                           (_Ind. Se-ma-mek_)

American Parsley. Its habitat is the swamps and coastal regions. The
infusion made from this plant was taken regularly and in preference to
water or any other beverage for chronic diseases of the kidneys.

The tea is very rich in flavor and pleasant to the taste. The patient
should partake of as much as one half gallon per day and also eat an
equal amount of it. The plant having been domesticated it is no trouble
to get it anywhere. Even butcher shops and vegetable dealers sell it.

                           XANTHIUM CANADENSE
                          (_Ind. Cho-co-late_)

American Cocklebur. It grows everywhere in California, being found in
every swamp and pasture land—a veritable nuisance to the cattle raiser.

From the medical standpoint, however, the plant is very valuable to the
members of both sexes who are suffering from diseased kidneys
complicated with gonorrhea, diseases which, when allowed to take their
own course, will in due time develop into tuberculosis, rheumatism, and
finally total paralysis of both the upper and lower limbs, as has
happened in such cases.

The introduction of these maladies occurred with the advent of the white
race into our territory and this caused the Indians to go into further
botanical research to find the proper plants to combat and conquer these
dreadful diseases. I introduce the world in general to two other sister
plants, and also three belonging to a different group.

                          CENTAUREA MELITENSIS
                           (_Ind. Se-sa-naa_)

American Star Thistle.

                           XANTHIUM SPINOSUM
                          (_Ind. O-yu-mo-val_)

American Spiny Cocklebur.

                             MALVACEA RUBRA
                         (_Ind. E-ya-wa-manka_)

American Creeping Rock Mallow. Spanish _Yerba Mora Real_.

                           Venereal diseases.

                       CERCOCARPUS BETULAEFOLIUS
                           (_Ind. Man-geet_)

American Mahogany Shrub. Its habitat is in the California hills and
mountains, and it is quite common. The bark and roots were made into an
infusion and taken by the Indians for venereal diseases or gonorrhea

                           (_Ind. Pepe-nel_)

American Pimpernel. Its habitat is on the northern slopes of the highest
mountain peaks of California, at an elevation of from eight to ten
thousand feet above sea level. This wonder plant is made into a tea and
taken in acute cases of gonorrhea, where the bladder and urinal tract
fail to function.

                        EDIBLE FRUITS OF SHRUBS

The plants listed here are common in our California mountains:

  _Arctostaphylos_                  Manzanita Berry
  _Sambucus pubens_                 Elderberry
  _Ribes glutinosum_                Wild Currant
  _Ribes amarum_                    Gooseberry
  _Prunus serotina_                 Wild Black Cherry
  _Prunus ilicifolia_               Hollyleaf Cherry
  _Heteromeles arbutifolia_         California Holly Berry
  _Vitis vulpina_                   Wild Grape
  _Rubus villosus_                  Wild Raspberry
  _Rhus trilobata_                  Squaw Bush Berry
  _Rhus integrifolia_               Lemonade Berry

These berries should be eaten sparingly, as the acidity contained in
them is much stronger than that of citric acid. Their chief use is to
quench the thirst, where water is scarce in the mountains, either when
hunting or hiking, or engaged in fighting forest fires. For this purpose
the berries above will be found excellent and a veritable boon. Everyone
traveling in desert or mountains should make himself familiar with the
plants and fruits growing therein, as this knowledge not only permits
him to guard against possible discomfort or hardship, but has also been
the means of saving life. The Indians knew that better than anyone else.

No doubt, the following literary effort in the English language by Chief
Pablo will set the risibilities of my readers to working. Als, the
Chief, never had the benefit of a school education, and English wasn’t
easy for him to acquire. However, he was game, and in 1908, when he was
appointed Chief of the Indian Reservation, he bravely set to work and
wrote this article.

He was sixty-four years old then. Nothing would do but he must have a
typewriter. Right manfully he tackled it, but when he had finished he
heaved a tremendous sigh and declared he’d rather go on the warpath than
pound a typewriter again.

But he surely deserves great credit and his record as Chief of the
Indian Police was a brilliant one.

        The Legend of Console Mineral Springs near Homuba Canyon

The canyon has been known as Homuba among the Indians for many years.
And on that canyon there are three mineral springs. They are located
near Loma Linda. It is southeast from Loma Linda, way up in the canyon,
a distance of three miles.

Professor J. Console, an Indian friend, is the owner of the mineral
springs nowadays. In the early days the Indians called the springs
_Phal-poole_, _Phal-quapekalet_, _Hickescah-heppasca_, which means Witch
Springs, Life Springs, Sisters and Brother Springs.

Those three springs were discovered in this way. There were Indian
settlements all over that country, near the springs and around the
springs. One day three Indian children, two sisters and one brother,
went up the canyon and disappeared in those springs. The father and
mother and other relatives of the missing children followed the tracks
of the children until they came to the springs. After having tried
everything to find them, the father and mother and the relatives in
their sorrow went to the witch-doctors to see if they could help them
find the children. Then one witch-doctor said:

“Come with me and I will show you where your children are and how they
disappeared in those springs. You may not see them but you will hear
them, and you will have to be satisfied.”

So the children’s family went there and the witch-doctor stopped at the
center spring and said:

“Listen to the Great Father who is above us, the Creator of the world.
He has taken your boy and put him in this spring, so that this spring
will bring health to you and to others.”

Then the witch-doctor walked up to the spring and spoke:

“Brother, your father and mother and all the relatives are here, and
they would like to hear from you.”

Then a voice arose from the spring and said:

“I am here with my two sisters. We were placed here by our Lord, the
Creator of the world. He has given me the power to bring new life to
those who are sick. You may come and visit me and my sisters whenever
you wish. My elder sister is in the spring on the east side of me, and
my younger sister in the spring on the west side of me. But we are all
three in this one place, and if you will live together and honor the
great Lord, when you are sick if you will use these life springs, we
will help you get back your health. These springs shall be known as the
‘Two Sisters and Brother Life Springs.’”

And all the people listened. Therefore the Indians went up there and
held a great ceremony, and from then on they used the springs for
medical purposes.

Then the Catholic missionaries came to this country and established the
missions. They took the Indian children by force and made them
Catholics. And these Christians also went up to the springs and used
them for many years.

Later on the United States Government came to this country and took
these lands and gave the Indians reservations for their use. And the
Indians had to leave the springs, which originally belonged to them.

When the mission was first built at San Gabriel the priest asked an

“Why do you Indians take your children, when they are sick, to those
springs, instead of taking them to a doctor?”

And the Indian answered:

“Father, the springs at Homuba Canyon can cure any sickness. That is why
we take our children there when they are sick, and they are healed. Our
ancestors used those springs and became healed.”

Then the priest went up to the springs to examine the water, and he took
some of the water and made the Indian carry it to the chapel, and he
blessed the water, and held Mass with it, and used it to cure the sick.
And, finally, the priest moved the mission from San Gabriel to San
Bernardino. Old San Bernardino is now known as Redlands. The mission was
established there. It is about three miles from the springs. And from
there the priest used to send the Indians to bring the waters to the
mission, using it as medicine. And he cured many sick Indians.

Now there were two Indian villages nearby, and they fought over the
possession of those springs. They went on the warpath over the Two
Sisters and Brother Life Springs. So the mission went away and settled
elsewhere, and the priest also went away.

Then our white neighbors came, as I said, and drove the Indians from our
sacred springs. That is why the Indians are dying out in Southern
California, because we must live on worthless lands far away from those

Our white neighbors may think we Indians have no religion, but that is
not so. We do believe in God who is the Creator of the world, and of the
firmament, of Indians as well as white people.... Therefore we are
brothers in God, as we are created by God.

I often hear white people say they are Americans in America, and we are
Indians. I say we are the native sons of America. We are good to our
country and to our white neighbors, and do not trouble them. When the
missions first came to this country the Indians were numerous and the
country well inhabited by the Indians. Then the Indians did not know
that the country was going to be filled with intoxicating liquor. If
they had known that, they would never have allowed the missionaries to
establish any missions in this country. For a great number of Indians
died of intoxicating liquor.

However, the United States Government made a law prohibiting the sale of
intoxicating liquor to the American Indians. But by that time it was too
late. The American Indians are nearly all gone. But maybe a few will be

It was in 1908 that special officers suppressed the liquor traffic among
the mission Indians in Southern California. The chief of these special
officers came to me and asked:

“Why is it that you are always fighting the whites?”

“Because they are all liars, thieves, and whisky peddlers,” I answered.

He looked at me and said:

“Am I a liar and a whisky peddler?”

“No,” I answered. “You do not look like one. I think you are on the

So he said to me:

“I want you to work with me on the same job.”

“What job do you mean?” said I.

“To suppress the liquor traffic among the mission Indians,” he said.

So I was deputized as Special Officer since then, and I became Chief of
Police in the Indian Service for nine Indian reservations under the
United States Government, to protect the Indians, to make transactions
for the Indians, and to help them become sober, improve their morals,
and become civilized. In 1847 if the United States Government had sent
us a man like Mr. C. T. Coggeshall, who is the superintendent of the
nine Indian reservations, the Indians would never have lost the Two
Sisters and Brother Life Springs. Mr. Coggeshall is a man with large
experience and he has done a lot of good for the Indians under his

However, I am glad that Mr. John Console owns the springs, because he is
a friend of the Indians. He helps the Indians with those springs. The
springs cure light sickness, but for serious sickness we have to use

                                                 Chief William Als Pablo

                       Index of Herb Application:

  Aids to Living:
      Basket-making, 59, 63
      Compass, 48
      Deodorizer, 37, 52
      Disinfectant, 12, 15, 37
      Fire-making, 64
      Fishing, 47, 61
      Horse-racing, 36
      Hunting, 34, 52, 53
      Insect repellant, 63
      Jewelry-making, 51
      Lightning-repellant, 40, 41
      Revitalization, 43
      Sunstroke preventive, 22
      Talismans, 42, 51
      Thirst-quenchers, 47, 48, 70
      Toy arrows, 64
      Travel, 22, 47, 48, 64
      Weather forecasting, 47, 48
  Anemia, 42, 43, 62, 63, 64
  Appetite, Loss of, 62, 63, 64
  Arteries, Hardening of, 22
  Asthma, 19, 20

  Birth control, 67
      After-birth, 14
      Navel, 56
      Wounds, 56
  Blood poisoning, 16
  Blood diseases, 21, 22, 28, 32, 33, 34
  Bronchitis, 19
  Burns, 12

  Catarrh, 24, 25
  Chills and fever, 26, 27
  Cirrhosis of the liver, 65
  Colds, 17, 18
  Colic, 7
  Constipation, 8, 9, 18, 20, 21
  Coughs, 17, 18, 19, 20
  Coughs, Chronic, 19
  Cuts, 15

  Dandruff, 37
  Diarrhea, 6, 7
  Dysentery, 7

  Eyes, Care of, 54

  Fever, eruptive, 5, 10
  Fever with headache, 10
  Fistulas, 12
  Foot infections, 11
  Fractures, 27, 28

  Gallstones, 65
  Gangrene, 16
  General medication, 48
  Gonorrhea, 68, 69, 70
  Grippe, 9

  Hair, Care of:
      Color restorative and preserver, 13
      Dandruff, 37
      Shampoo, 40
      Tonic, 6, 14, 37, 40, 57
  Household needs:
      Bleaching, 39, 58, 59
      Cleaning (soaps), 39, 40
      Dyeing, 55, 56, 65
      Food, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 70
      Ink, 65
      Mattresses, 55, 58
      Stain removal, 39
      Tanning, 55, 56, 65

  Inoculation, 11, 63
  Insomnia, 22, 23, 60, 65

  Kidney diseases, 21, 22, 68, 69, 70

  Liver complaints, 65
  Lung fever, 9, 20
  Lung hemorrhages, 19

  Measles, 10, 60
  Measles, Black, 5

  Overweight, 66

  Pain, 22, 23, 60, 65
  Pneumonia, 19, 20
  Poisons, 34, 36, 52, 65
  Poison antidotes, 16
      Arrow, 34, 52, 64
      Insect bites, 34, 63
      Poison ivy, 11
      Poison oak, 11
      Rattlesnake bites, 34, 43, 44, 63
      Scorpion stings, 34, 63
      Tarantula bites, 43, 44
  Prostate-gland infections, 21
  Ptomaine poisoning, 49

  Rheumatism, 19, 20, 59, 60, 61
  Ringworms, 38

  Scalp infections, 13, 14, 37, 38
  Scrofula, 60, 61
  Sinus infections, 24
  Skin diseases, 11, 13, 65
      Eruptions, 11, 13, 17
      Pimples, blackheads, etc., 65
      Seven-year-itch, 12
  Smallpox, 5, 10, 60
  Sores, 17, 68
      Infected, 15
      Running, 12
  Splinters, Removal of, 16
  Spleen, Diseases of, 40
  Stomach-ache, 8
  Stomach disorders, 6
      Bloating, 68
      Colic, 7
      Congestion, 8, 68
      Constipation, 8, 9, 18, 20, 21
      Fevers, 8, 9
      Upset stomach, 7
      Worms, 6
  Sunstroke, 22

  Teeth, Care of, 25
      Pyorrhea, 24, 25, 26
      Tooth-ache, 24, 25, 26, 34
  Tetanus, 16
  Thorns, Removal of, 16
  Throat ailments:
      Diseased throat glands, 60
      Sore throat, 17, 18
  Trachoma, 34

  Ulcers, 11, 12

  Various diseases, 48
  Venereal diseases, 68, 69, 70

  Women’s diseases, 14, 15, 60
      Birth control, 67
      Childbirth, 14, 16, 50, 56, 67
      Menstrual difficulties, 14, 15, 60
  Wounds, 15, 16, 56
      Major, 16

                            _Index of Herbs_

  _Achillea millefolium_, 24
  _Adiantum capillus-Veneris_, 5, 60
  Agave, 37
  Alligator pear, 25
  _Allium biceptrum_, 62
  _Allium canadense_, 63
  _Allium vineale_, 63
  _Ambrosia artemisifolia_, 13
  _Andromeda polifolia_, 24
  _Anemopsis californica_, 15
  _Antennaria margaritacea_, 11
  _Anthemis nobilis_, 7
  _Apium_, 68
  _Arctostaphylos glauca_, 70
  Arrow-wood, 64
  _Artemisia californica_, 14
  _Artemisia tridentata_, 5, 13
  _Asclepias syriaca_, 51
  _Astragalus mollissimus_, 36
  _Audibertias stachyoides_, 19
  Avocado, 25

  Bean, Mesquite, 57
  Berry, Holly, 70
      Ink, 65
      Juniper, 9
      Lemonade, 70
      Manzanita, 70
      Squaw-bush, 70
  _Bertholletia_, 64
  Blackberry, 7, 70
  Bottle-weed, 20
  _Brodiaea_, 40
  Button root, 37

  Cactus-pear, 16
  Cactus, Water-barrel, 47
  Camomile, 7
  Candlewood, Desert, 28
  _Capsella bursa-pastoris_, 7
  _Carduacea_, 16
  _Cascara sagrada_, 21
  Cat-tail, 56
  _Ceanothus divaricatus_, 40
  _Centaurea melitensis_, 69
  _Centunculus_, 70
  _Cercocarpus betulaefolia_, 70
  _Chaparral_, 40
  _Chenopodium ambrosioides_, 14
  Cherry, Holly-leaf, 18, 70
  Cherry, Wild black, 18, 70
  _Chlorogalum pomeridianum_, 39
  _Chrysanthemum Parthenium_, 60
  _Clematis ligusticifolia_, 17
  Cocklebur, 68
  Cocklebur, Spiny, 69
  Coffee-berry, 21
  Cottonweed, 11
  _Cracca virginiana_, 15
  Creosote bush, 5, 14, 37
  _Croton corymbosus_, 68
  _Croton setigerus_, 61
  Cucumber, Thorny, 38
  _Cucurbita foetidissima_, 39
  Currant, Wild, 70

  _Datura meteloides_, 43
  Deer-ears, 15
  _Dennstaedtia punctilobula_, 19
  _Dipsacus glutinosus_, 6
  Dove weed, 61

  _Echinocactus acanthoides_, 47
  Elderberry, 5, 10, 70
  Elm, 27
  _Ephedra_, 5, 21, 68
  _Equisetum hyemale_, 21
  _Eriodictyon californicum_, 20
  _Eriodictyon glutinosum californicum_, 5, 19
  _Eriogonum_, 25
  _Eriogonum elatum_, 20
  _Eriogonum elongatum_, 22
  _Eriogonum umbellatum_, 49
  _Erythaea muehlenbergii_, 8
  _Eschscholtzia californica_, 34
  _Eupatorium purpureum_, 18
  _Euphorbia_, 13

  Fern, Bracken, 58
  Fern, Hay-scented wild, 19
  Fern, Maidenhair, 5, 60
  Fern, Purple cliff-brake, 22
  Feverfew, 60
  _Fouquieria splendens_, 28
  Four O’clock, 10
  _Frasera_, 15
  Fuchsia, Wild, 12

  Garlic, Wild, 63
  Goldenrod, 12
  Gooseberry, Wild, 70
  Goosefoot, 14
  Gourd, Wild, 39
  Grape, Wild, 6, 70
  Grass, Blue star-flower, 6
  Grass, Deer, 34
  Grass, Pepper, 66
  Grass, Salt, 66
  _Grindelia cuneifolia_, 11
  _Grindelia squarrosa_, 15
  Gum plant, 11, 15

  _Hedeoma pulegioides_, 7
  _Helenium autumnale_, 24
  _Helenium nudiflorum_, 24
  _Heteromeles arbutifolia_, 70
  Holly-berry, 70
  Holly, White woolly, 5, 20
  Horehound, 18
  Horsemint, 8
  Horsetail, 21
  _Hosackia glabra_, 34

  _Ilysanthus brachiatus_, 23
  Inkberry, 65
  _Iva axillaris_, 67

  Jimson weed, 43
  Joe-pye weed, 18
  Juniper, Desert, 9
  _Juniperus californica_, 9

  _Kalmia latifolia_, 52

  _Larrea mexicana_, 5, 14, 37
  Laurel, Mountain, 52
  Leek, House, 47
  _Lepidium epetalum_, 66
  Lettuce, Miner’s, 62
  Lilac, Wild, 40
  _Lippia lanceolata_, 60
  Locoweed, 36
  _Lophophora williamsii_, 37

  Mahogany shrub, 70
  Mallow, Common, 8
  Mallow, Creeping rock-, 70
  _Malva rosa_, 26
  _Malva rotundifolia_, 8
  _Malvacea rubra_, 70
  _Marrubium vulgare_, 18
  _Mentha canadensis_, 23
  _Mentha spicata_, 23
  _Micrapelis micracarpa_, 38
  _Micromeria douglasii_, 23
  Milkweed, 51
  Mint, 23
  _Mirabilis californica_, 10
  _Monardella villosa_, 8
  Monkey flower, 6
  _Montia perfoliata_, 62
  Moorwort, 24
  _Morajaum_, 10

  Nettle, Stinging, 59
  _Nicotiana glauca_, 60

  Oak, Live, 55, 56
  Oak, Poison, 11
  Oak, Red, 25
  _Ocotillo_, 28
  Onion, Wild, 62
  _Opuntia_, 16

  _Paeonia brownii_, 9
  _Panicum capillare_, 66
  Parsley, Wild, 68
  _Pellaea atropurpurea_, 22
  Pennyroyal, 8
  Pennyroyal, False, 23
  Pennyroyal, Mock, 7
  _Pentstemon cordifolius_, 12
  Peony, Wild, 9
  Pepper grass, 66
  Pepper plant, 5, 34
  _Persea americana_, 25
  _Phlox subulata_, 59
  _Phytolacca decandra_, 65
  Pimpernel, 70
  Pine, Scrub, 60
  Pine, Digger, 40
  Pink, Moss, 59
  _Pinus monticola_, 60
  _Pinus sabiniana_, 40
  _Piperacea_, 5, 34
  _Plantago major_, 16
  Plantain, 16
  _Platanus occidentalis_, 24
  Poppy, California golden, 34
  Poverty-weed, 67
  _Prosopis juliflora_, 57
  _Prunus ilicifolia_, 18, 70
  _Prunus serotina_, 18, 70
  _Pteris aquilina_, 58

  Queen of the Meadows, 18
  _Quercus agrifolia_, 56
  _Quercus rubra_, 25
  _Quercus virginiana_, 55

  Ragweed, Common, 13
  _Ramona Polystachya_, 14
  Raspberry, Wild, 70
  _Rhamnus californica_, 21
  Rhubarb, Wild, 17
  _Rhus diversiloba_, 11
  _Rhus integrifolia_, 70
  _Rhus trilobata_, 63, 70
  _Ribes amarum_, 70
  _Ribes glutinosum_, 70
  _Rorippa nasturtium officinale_, 65
  _Rosa californica_, 8
  _Rosa gallica_, 26
  _Rosa Malva_, 26
  Rose, Wild, 8
  Rosemary, 48
  _Rubus villosus_, 7, 70
  Rue, Garden (Goat’s), 15
  _Rumex hymenocallis_, 17

  Sage, 54
  Sage, Black, 19
  Sagebrush, 5, 13
  Sage, Green, 16
  Sage, White, 14
  _Salinia_, 66
  Salt grass, 66
  _Salix washingtonia_, 32
  _Salvia columbriae_, 54
  Salvia, White, 14
  _Sambucus pubens_, 5, 10, 70
  _Saponaria officinalis_, 40
  _Sempervivum_, 47
  Serum, Botanical, 11
  Shepherd’s purse, 7
  _Sisyrinchium angustifolium_, 6
  Sneezeweed, 24
  Soap plant, 39
  Soapwort, 40
  _Solidago nemoralis_, 12
  Spanish Bayonet, 58
  Spearmint, 23
  Speedwell, 22
  _Spiraea salicifolia_, 18
  Spurge, 68
  Squaw bush, 63, 70
  Swamp root, 15
  Sycamore, 24

  _Tabardillo_, 33
  Tea of the Indian, 5, 21, 68
  Thistle, Star, 69
  Tobacco, Tree, 60
  _Trichostema lanatum_, 48
  _Tule_, 56
  _Typha latifolia_, 56

  _Ulmus pubescens_, 27
  _Urtica holosericea_, 59

  _Vanilla planifolia_, 25
  _Verbena hastata_, 9
  Verbena, Lemon, 60
  Vervain, 9
  _Veronica officinalis_, 22
  _Vitis vulpina californica_, 6, 70

  Watercress, 65
  Willow, 32
  Witch grass, 66
  Wormwood, 14

  _Xanthium canadense_, 69
  _Xanthium spinosum_, 69

  Yarrow, 24
  _Yerba Mansa_, 15
  _Yerba Mora Real_, 69
  _Yerba Santa_, 19
  _Yucca whipplei_, 58



                            John Bruno Romero
                           (Ha-Ha-St of Tawee)

  Rare Indian lore collected and interpreted by a full-blooded Chu-Mash
Indian, who grew up among members of the Cahuilla tribe, is revealed in
this unique book. Written by a man who is anxious to share his ancestral
knowledge of the treasures in the Great Field of Nature, this volume
describes 120 medicinal herbs and gives recipes for their preparation,
their uses, their English and Latin names, and where they may be found.

  The collection presented here was hand-picked from 500 specimens
gathered by the author on a plant-hunting expedition on the Pacific
Coast and in Arizona. Only twenty-eight, it is said, are known to modern
medical science.

  For more than one hundred years, the Indians have kept to themselves
their profound knowledge of medicinal herbs and their application.
Meanwhile, if the Indian, with his intelligent and extraordinary
attachment to nature, had not preserved and replanted a large number of
these herbs, many of them would now be extinct.

  A close collaborator of the historical department of the Santa Ana
Museum in his native California, the author is known as a botanist of
such high order that some years back the British Museum sought his
assistance in assembling a remarkable collection of Pacific Coast
specimens of medicinal herbs and Indian artifacts.

  Mr. Romero, whose Indian name is Ha-Ha-St of Tawee, presents his
material in highly entertaining manner, and his remarks, some of them
_sotto voce_, are extremely apropos. Adding to the color of the book is
a wonderful legend written by the author’s father, Chief Als Pablo,
Chief of Police of the Indian reservations in the Southwest at the turn
of the century.

  The book is dedicated to the memory of the author’s uncle, Chief
William Pablo of Guana-pia-pa, medical herbalist and medicine man. It is
a unique treasury of authentic Americana, fortunately preserved for our

    [Illustration: Vantage Press Logo]

                              VANTAGE PRESS, INC.
                      120 W. 31st St., New York 1

                           JOHN BRUNO ROMERO

    [Illustration: John Bruno Romero]

John Bruno Romero is a descendant of the Chu-Mash, once the largest and
most powerful of Indian tribes, whose domain included all the islands
along the California Coast, and, on the mainland, from the San Fernando
Mission northwest to San Francisco and north-northwest to the High

Mr. Romero was born in Santa Barbara, where he studied Spanish and Latin
at the Franciscan School Mission, and attended the Sherman Institute,
where he was a student of English and scientific subjects. He was later
graduated from the Detroit Veterinarian College.

At one time, the Cahuilla Indians controlled the lands of California
southward to the end of what is now the Mexican peninsula. When the
Chu-Mash tribe, in its later years, had dwindled in numbers, Mr. Romero
joined the Cahuilla tribe “to help fight the United States Government
for our land treaty rights.” Today this tribe is the second oldest in
California and the strongest in membership.

The author’s interests are wide. He is a director of Indian Affairs for
seven Southern California counties, and while his principal hobby is
medicinal botany, he is also a collector of minerals, stamps, books, and
fossils, and dabbles in taxidermy. Fond of children, he has adopted and
reared ten orphans. At one time or another, he has worked as a surveyor,
explorer, geologist, and antho-botanist, and his home is a veritable
treasure trove of interesting archaeological, geological, and botanical
specimens which he has collected in the mountains and deserts of
Southern California and Arizona—in sections where the white man has
seldom traveled.

In 1933 he discovered, in the Trabuco Hills, in Orange County, near Los
Angeles, the skeleton of a mastodon, one of the few uncovered in
Southern California. Paleontologists at the Los Angeles Museum made
varying estimates of the age of the bones, ranging from ten thousand to
a million years.

In 1937, when the author was a junior geologist at the Santa Ana Museum,
he deciphered the hieroglyphics inscribed on some rocks found on the
Indian prayer grounds at the peak of a volcanic vent in La Piomosa range
in Arizona, which have been instrumental in providing historical
information about the life of the early Indians in the Southwest. The
inscriptions revealed the location of food and water in the surrounding
country and primitive conceptions of the supernatural.

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained copyright information from the printed edition: this eBook is
  public-domain in the country of publication.

—Silently corrected a few palpable typos.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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