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

June 27 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Photo: Dr. Adams making a point about elderflowers


PLEASE NOTE: Dr. Adams and I are monitoring the COVID-19 situation and decided to limit the number of participants and move the event outdoors to ensure the safety of all. Everyone will be asked to wear a facial covering and maintain at least 3-6 feet physical distance.
Please join me and special guest Professor Emeritus James Adams of USC School of Pharmacy for a Summer Medicinal Plant Workshop on Saturday, June 27, 2020, from 10 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 research on local native plants and his studies in Chumash healing.. 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 walk and workshop will take place at Euterpe Farms. In the morning, 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 outdoors as well, in the “tienda.” After the workshop, participants will receive a follow-up email with a complete list of all plants that are identified and/or utilized as well as recipes and other info. 
The morning outing from 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. will be a slow-paced walk around the property which  borders the Ventura River Preserve. It will involve stopping and standing for discussion for periods of time. A lightweight campstool could be useful for those uncomfortable standing.
After a 1/2 hour break, the afternoon 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 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 a book they co-wrote, 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. 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
10:00 am - 3:00 pm


Lanny Kaufer


Euterpe Farms “tienda”
587 S. Rice Road
Ojai,CA93023United States
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