Loading Events

« All Events

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

June 27 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Photo: Dr. Adams making a point about white sage at Cluff Vista Park.


Please join me and special guest Professor James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for a Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dr. Adams has been a frequent and popular contributor to my events for the past seven years. This workshop is based on his ground-breaking pharmacological studies on local native plants. He will bring special guests to assist with aspects of wild food and home remedy preparation, including Enrique Villaseñor, expert on the history and uses of Prickly-Pear cactus (Opuntia).
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 will identify and discuss the medicinal and spiritual 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. 
The morning outing from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.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 for those uncomfortable standing for periods of time.
After a one-hour lunch break, the afternoon kitchen session from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m. will focus on preparing seasonal edible and medicinal products for winter health from wild foraged plant material. Participants will go home with their own jar of sagebrush liniment. Seasonal plants and products to be featured may include, among others:
  • Elderflowers
  • Elderberries
  • White Sage
  • Sagebrush liniment
  • Sacred Datura hand soak
  • Nopales (Prickly-Pear) salad
At 3:00 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.”
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. If weather prevents the morning walk, a slideshow will present the plants. No dogs or smoking, please.
The cost for the Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop is $85, including all materials for preparing plant medicines. 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.


To register for this event, please first use the REGISTER button below or at the top of this page. Then you may complete payment to secure your space using the PayPal button. Final price includes PayPal fee. If you prefer to mail in a check, instructions will be included in the email reply to your registration.


Number of participants


June 27
9:00 am - 3:00 pm


Lanny Kaufer


Downtown Ojai parking lot
180 N. Blanche St.
Ojai,CA93023United States
+ Google Map

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *