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Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop with Professor Emeritus James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy

Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop with Professor Emeritus James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy

June 23 @ 10:00 am 4:00 pm

Dr. Adams making a point about elder flowers

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Please join me and special guest Professor Emeritus James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for a Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop in Ojai on Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular presenter at my events for the past 12 years. Now that he has moved to the Bay Areas, he is here less frequently. This may be his only Ojai workshop this year so I encourage you to learn from him when you have the opportunity.

This workshop is based on Jim’s ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants and his personal commitment to sharing the traditional medicinal practices he learned from Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia. Jim will be joined by plant educator Enrique Villaseñor and acupuncturist Michelle Wong, co-authors with him of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West: Cultural and Scientific Basis for Their Use, Fourth Edition.

The morning plant walk will take place at the Chumash Garden at Ojai Valley Museum, a native plant demonstration garden in downtown Ojai. Dr. Adams and I will identify and discuss the medicinal and spiritual uses of a variety of native plants. The afternoon hands-on preparation session will be held in Fisher Hall at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, also in downtown Ojai. After the workshop, participants will receive a follow-up email with a complete list of all plants that are identified or utilized as well as recipes and other info. 

The morning outing from 10a.m. to 1:00 p.m. will be a slow-paced walk that will involve stopping by the plants for periods of time. A lightweight campstool or beach chair could be useful for those who are uncomfortable standing. After a 1- hour break, the afternoon session from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. will focus on preparing seasonal edible and medicinal products from wild foraged plant material. Participants will be able to soak their feet in pain-relieving black sage tea and go home with their own jar of sagebrush liniment that they prepared themselves.

Seasonal plants and healing products to be featured may include, among others:

  • Elder flowers
  • Everlasting flowers
  • White Sage
  • Mugwort
  • Sagebrush liniment
  • Datura hand soak
  • Black Sage foot soak
  • Nopal (Prickly-Pear) smoothie

At 4:00 p.m. Dr. Adams, Enrique, and Michelle will sign copies of their book and I will sign copies of mine, Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants.

ACUPUNCTURE CEUs: This course is approved by the California Acupuncture Board, Provider Number 1526, for 6 hours of continuing education. There is a $25 processing fee for receiving a CEU certificate. Please indicate on the REGISTRATION form BELOW if you are interested in CEUs.  If you have one, please enter your acupuncture school discount code on the form.


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 Michelle Wong and Enrique Villaseñor, of the fourth edition of the groundbreaking book, Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West: Cultural and Scientific Basis for Their Use. The cultural portion is based on the teachings of Cecilia Garcia and the scientific portion on Dr. Adams’ laboratory studies. It 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 University of Southern California for 32 years, Dr. Adams taught  pharmacy students, medical students, doctors and other healthcare professionals 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 the book,  they collaborated on 30 journal articles. 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.”

Here is an excellent 2017 article about Dr. Adams from USCStorySpace.com: “A Scientist’s Calling to Practice Chumash Healing.”

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.Paid registrants will receive a confirmation email about a week prior to the workshop with all necessary info, including weather forecast and parking directions,  They also will receive a follow-up email afterwards with a list of all plants identified and used, recipes, and more.

The cost for the workshop, including all materials, is $100. There is an added $25 processing fee to receive a CEU certificate for licensed California acupuncturists.




Note: Online payment includes a PayPal fee. If you prefer, when you register you can request instructions for mailing a payment of $100/person (plus $25 for CEUs) as long as there is still time for mail delivery.

If the event sells out, PayPal will not accept your payment. If that happens, please email register@herbwalks.com to sign up for the waiting list. If spaces become available they will be filled based on date and time of waiting list signup.

Cancellation policy: I will refund your payment if you notify me up to 72 hours (3 days) before the start of the event. After that I will make every effort to fill your space (and I’m usually successful) but cannot guarantee.


June 23
10:00 am – 4:00 pm


Lanny Kaufer
View Organizer Website


Ojai, California United States + Google Map

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