Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop Featuring USC Pharmacy Professor James Adams, 7-14-18

Following another sold-out workshop in April, Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy will return to Ojai on Saturday, July 14, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop as the guest of Ojai native plant guide Lanny Kaufer’s Herb Walks series. The workshop will be based on Dr. Adams’ ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants as described in his book Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, co-authored with the late Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia. For information and registration, visit or call 805-646-6281.

The plant identification session will take place on the pathways of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s Cluff Vista Park and the Ojai Valley Museum’s Chumash Garden, two native plant gardens in downtown Ojai, where Dr. Adams will identify and discuss the medicinal uses of a variety of plants.

The afternoon hands-on preparation session will be held at a community kitchen nearby. Dr. Adams will demonstrate how to prepare edible and medicinal products from seasonal native plant material such as California Sagebrush, Elderberry, Black Sage, Prickly Pear, and California Everlasting.

The cost of the workshop is $75 including all materials. Registrants will receive an email during the week prior with all necessary information including directions, what to bring, etc. After the workshop, participants will receive a complete list of all plants that are identified and utilized as well as recipes and other information.

Dr. Adams teaching at the April workshop in Ojai. Photo: Enrique Villaseñor


Dr. Adams brings to Ojai a wealth of scientific knowledge and field experience as well as a singular perspective on herbal medicine. As he tells it, “My family came to Virginia in 1635 and has always survived by using American Indian healing. On the frontier, there were no doctors. American Indian healing was better than European medicine anyway. I continue this tradition.”

Dr. Adams is the co-author — with the late Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia — of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West: Cultural and Scientific Basis for Their Use. The revision to the 3rd edition will be available for purchase and signing at the workshop. As an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the prestigious University of Southern California, Dr. Adams has been teaching pharmacy students, medical students, doctors and other healthcare professionals for over 25 years while researching the natural pharmaceutical compounds in native plants. He has over 200 publications.

Running parallel with his academic career, Dr. Adams has worked with the Chumash people since 1998 and studied Chumash healing with Cecilia Garcia for almost 15 years. In addition to their book, they wrote 30 journal articles together. Jim is now the carrier of the healing knowledge passed to him by his teacher. “Humans have used plant medicines ever since humans came into existence, about 200,000 years ago,” Dr. Adams explains in his book. “That means that our ancestors experienced an intense natural selection. Those who responded to plant medicines survived and passed their genes on. We are the products of this natural selection. Our bodies are designed to respond to plant medicines.”

Calendar Info:

  • Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai with Dr. James Adams on Saturday, July 14, 2018
  • Learn identification and medicinal uses of native plants from a USC pharmacologist and prepare botanical home remedies 
  • Cost: $75 
  • Register at or call 805-646-6281

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