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    Winter Medicinal Plant Workshop with Professor James Adams on Saturday, January 11

    Join Ojai herbalist Lanny Kaufer and special guest Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for a Winter Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, January 11, 2020, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular contributor to Kaufer’s Herb Walks events for the past eight years. This workshop is based on his ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants. He will bring plant educators Enrique Villaseñor and Helen Sweany to assist with aspects of wild food preparation.
    Weather permitting, the plant identification session will take place on the pathways at 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 and Kaufer will identify and discuss the medicinal uses of a variety of native plants. The afternoon hands-on preparation session will be held at a community kitchen nearby. After the workshop, participants will receive a complete list of all plants that are identified and/or utilized as well as recipes and other info. In the event of heavy rain, a slideshow presentation will substitute for the morning walk.
    The morning outing from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. will be a slow-paced walk around the two gardens. They are both wheelchair-accessible. The morning session will involve stopping for discussion for periods of time. A few benches are scattered about. A lightweight campstool could be useful as well.
    After a one-hour lunch break, the afternoon kitchen session from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m. will focus on preparing seasonal edible and medicinal products for winter health from wild foraged plant material. Products to be prepared onsite include, among others:
    • Yerba Santa steam inhalation
    • Toyon (“California Holly”) berries
    • Everlasting Flower tea
    • Acorns with Helen Sweany
    • Nopales with Enrique Villaseñor
    At 4:00 p.m. Dr. Adams will sign copies of his books.
    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 the groundbreaking book, Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West: Cultural and Scientific Basis for Their Use. The book can be purchased beforehand at that link and will also be available for purchase and signing at the event.
    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 Healing with Medicinal Plants. “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.”
    Please note: This workshop will go on RAIN OR SHINE with the exception of a heavy downpour in the morning and/or a 100% chance of heavy rain that day. As stated above, if heavy rain prevents the morning walk, a slideshow will present the plants. No dogs or smoking, please.
    The cost for the Winter Medicinal Plant Workshop is $85, including all materials for preparing plant medicines. To register, please visit or call 805-646-6281.  Registrants will receive a confirmation email with all necessary info prior to the event. A limited number of scholarships for pharmacy, medical, and herbal medicine students are available. After the workshop, participants will receive a detailed follow-up email including plant lists and recipes.
    Jim Adams with Mugwort by Lisa Fimiani

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