Please join me and special guests Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy and plant educator Enrique Villaseñor for our annual Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, September 28, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular contributor to my events for the past six years. This workshop is based on his ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants. All his workshops here have filled up so, as the saying goes, he’s “back by popular demand.”
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, Enrique and I will identify and discuss the medicinal uses of a wide 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.
The morning outing from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. will be a slow-paced walk around the two gardens. They are both wheelchair-accessible although there is a hill entering Cluff Vista Park. 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 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. will focus on preparing seasonal edible and medicinal products from wild foraged plant material. Products to be prepared onsite include:
- Datura hand soak
- Black Sage foot soak
- California Buckwheat Apple Cake
- Yerba Santa steam inhalation
- Chamise balm
- Prickly Pears (“Tunas”)
At 3:00 p.m. Dr. Adams will sign copies of his books.
If you’d like to stay overnight, here is a guide to camping and lodging options.
ABOUT JAMES ADAMS, PH.D: 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. Dr. Adams will have copies of all his books with him for purchase and signing.
“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. No dogs or smoking, please.
The cost for the Fall Medicinal Plant Workshop is $75, including all materials for preparing plant medicines. After the workshop, participants will receive a follow-up email including plant lists and recipes.
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