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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 3 (2006), Issue 1, Pages 125-131
Original Article

Women's Health Among the Chumash

1University of Southern California, School of Pharmacy 1985 Zonal Avenue, PSC 508, Los Angeles, CA 90089-9121, USA
2Ensenada, Mexico

Received 5 July 2005

Copyright © 2006 James D. Adams and James D. Adams. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Plants were, and still are, widely used for a number of conditions affecting women in California. This article discusses traditional remedies of the Chumash for dysmenorrhea, premenstrual syndrome, feminine hygiene, heavy menstruation, urinary tract infections, parturition, lactation, infant care, menopause, sexually transmitted diseases, fertility, contraception and abortions. Many plants are presented including Artemisia douglasiana, Paeonia californica, Trichostema lanatum, Salvia apiana, Ephedra viridis, Leymus condensatus, Vitis californica, Eschscholzia californica, Rosa californica, Scirpus acutus, Anemopsis californica and Phoradendron macrophyllum. By providing the specific uses of plants for specific diseases and discussing chemistry, efficacy and safety concerns for each plant, we hope that this article gives direction to women seeking to use plants in their health care.