Interest in the healing potential of plants continues to grow among the American public. Total U.S. retail sales in 2018 of herbal supplements increased 9.4% from the year before to a record $8.8 billion. In April of 2019 alone, there were 6.4 million Google searches for “CBD” or “cannabidiol,” according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). Researchers saw a 160% increase in CBD searches during 2018 compared to the previous year. How many consumers are knowledgeable about the herbal ingredients they are buying? How many medical doctors are able to counsel their patients about use of herbal supplements? That’s why the Ojai Herbal Symposium is needed, to provide valuable science-based information on medicinal plants.
The second annual Ojai Herbal Symposium will be held at Krotona Hall on Saturday and Sunday, November 16-17. A diverse group of authors and medical practitioners representing a wide spectrum of medical and healing communities including medicine, pharmacology, naturopathy, acupuncture and, of course, herbology, will present talks on a variety of subjects related to herbal medicine. This year’s theme is “The Wisdom of the Body,” borrowed from the title of a classic physiology text by Walter Cannon on homeostasis, a term he coined for the body’s self-regulating abilities. The presenters will bring verifiable science and years of clinical experience to the discussion of medicinal herbs for use in helping our bodies maintain a healthy balance. The content is designed for health professionals and laypeople alike.
Topics include combining herbs and essential oils, the endocannabinoid system, homeostasis in Classical Asian Medicine, medicinal benefits of plant terpenes, botanical hormone balancing and more. Continuing Education Units are available for licensed California acupuncturists at no additional cost.
The Saturday morning keynote address on “Prana and Qi: Homeostasis and the Wisdom of the Body in Classical Asian Medicine” will be delivered by renowned herbalist and acupuncturist David Crow, co-founder and owner of Floracopeia, Inc. On Sunday morning, Ojai author and entrepreneur Zhena Muzyka of Zhena TV, Magic Hour Teas, and founder of Zhena’s Gypsy Tea, will provide a second keynote address on “Marketing Magic: 7 Secrets to Building a Profitable Purpose-Based Business as a Healer.”
In addition to the Symposium itself at Krotona Hall, several satellite events are scheduled: a “Wild Food Dining Experience” by foraging chef Jess Starwood, the Herbal Marketplace at Chaparral Auditorium, the PhytoPhunk Dance and Herbal Elixir Bar at Greater Goods in Meiners Oaks, an Herb Walk with Ojai herbalist Lanny Kaufer, a tour of the Earth Island Medicinal Herb Garden with founder Carol Wade, and a yoga session by Francesca Gold at Hamsa Studio.
Volunteers are needed to staff these wide-ranging events in exchange for admission. Vendors are invited to apply for the Herbal Marketplace. Tickets are on sale at OjaiHerbal.org where information on the schedule and presenters, volunteer and vendor applications, and other information can be found. Like last year’s inaugural event, a portion of all proceeds from the Symposium will be donated to the Greater Goods Disaster Relief Fund which began after the 2017 Thomas and Koenigstein Fires and has dispersed $180,000 thus far to those who suffered losses.