A Tongva Native Garden

1. Salvia apiana “White Sage” Kasili

Salvia apiana
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Food: The leaves of Kasili were eaten. The seeds were gathered from July to September, parched, and ground into a mush.

Medicinal :The leaves were made into a tea or smoked for colds. The tea helped alleviate decongestion of sinuses, cleared the throat and lungs. A decoction of leaves cleansed old ulcers and wounds. A leaf tea was used as a gargle for sore throat and laryngitis, and also used as a stomach tonic.

The leaves were used as a hair wash and massaged into the scalp for dandruff, a hair dye, as a hair straightener, and were rubbed on the body as a deodorizer.

An infusion made from the roots was drunk by Tongva women after giving birth to promote healing.

Mashed leaves were used as a deodorant under the arms.

A single seed from Kasili was used to cleanse the eye or to cure eye inflammations.

If poison oak had entered the blood, a decoction of Kasili from two leaves per “cup” of water was made and drunk in place of regular water.

Spiritual: The leaves prevented bad luck if a menstruating woman accidentally touched a man's hunting equipment.

Branches of Kasili were dried and used for "purification" ceremonies, for spiritual cleansing, "smudging", blessing ceremonies and personal or tribal focusing on spiritual or serious matters.

Other: Kasili deodorizing was used before the hunt to eliminate "human" odors. Leaves were often smoked.

Warning: Do not use if pregnant. Sages contain "thujone" which can trigger fits in epileptics.

Herb, Shrub, Perennial

Blossoms April to July.

Common on dry slopes mostly below 5000 feet. Coastal Sage Scrub, Chaparral, Yellow Pine forest, cismontane.


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