Poaceae Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene

Inland Saltgrass

Yokut - Drug, Dietary Aid

Use documented by:
Merriam, C. Hart, 1966, Ethnographic Notes on California Indian Tribes, University of California Archaeological Research Facility, Berkeley, page 423

View all documented uses for Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene

Scientific name: Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene
USDA symbol: DISP (View details at USDA PLANTS site)
Common names: Inland Saltgrass
Family: Poaceae
Family (APG): Poaceae
Native American Tribe: Yokut
Use category: Drug
Use sub-category: Dietary Aid
Notes: Decoction of salt cooked into a gum, placed in the mouth and allowed to melt for loss of appetite. The salt grass, when dry, was placed on a dry hide or a large piece of canvas or cloth and beaten for a long time until the tiny black salty specks on the stem and narrow blades fell off and collected on the cloth. This material was kept in bottles or jars (formerly in baskets). When needed for medicine, it was put in hot water and boiled until it formed a dark reddish brown gum. The informant remarked that it should be 'cooked like gravy until the gum comes.'

RECRD: 6823 id: 12637