Author: Lanny Kaufer
Publisher: A Falcon Guide, an imprint of The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc. (December, 2021)
Paperback: 283 pages
Medicinal Herbs of California by Lanny Kaufer introduces the principles of herbal remedies and guides readers through finding, harvesting, cultivating, and incorporating more than 70 locally abundant medicinal plants into daily life. Complete with color photos and detailed descriptions of each medicinal herb, conservation status, and recipes to put their botanical healing power to work, this guide is a vital addition to the California herbalist’s bookshelf and forager’s backpack.
Lanny Kaufer has been leading Herb Walks in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since 1976, educating scores of locals and visitors on the flora of the area with a focus on herbs that can be used for food and medicine. As an herbal educator, Lanny also leads workshops and presentations throughout the Ojai-Ventura-Santa Barbara area on the edible and medicinal uses of California plants.
Lanny earned a biology degree at the University of California where he completed independent studies in naturopathic medicine under physiology professor Dr. Henry Hilgard. Lanny is a faculty member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at California State University, Channel Islands. He served as chief consultant on medicinal plants for the redesign of the Swimmer Medicinal Garden in Playa Vista.
Lanny actively shares his work online through his website (HerbWalks.com), newsletter, and social media. Lanny lives in Ojai, California, with his wife Rondia.
“Amazing work! What a joy to dip into such a concentrated yet accessible resource! Here we have a field guide that in its thorough, accurate and comprehensive coverage crosses the boundary from field guide to outright herbal.” — Carol Wade, Founder/Director, Earth Island Herbs and Ojai School of Herbal Studies
“Lanny Kaufer’s exquisite attention to botanical science is balanced with respect for Indigenous systems of healing wisdom. Whether you are a beginner or a Ph.D., I trust that this will be your favorite new field guide. I love this book!” — Amanda McQuade Crawford, MA, MFT; Author, Herbal Remedies For Women; Director, PhytoHumana: Integrative Medicine
“Lanny Kaufer brings together all the best elements to create a classic compendium of ethnobotany.” — David Crow, Licensed Acupuncturist, Herbalist, Founder of Floracopeia, Inc.
“In Lanny Kaufer’s new book Medicinal Herbs of California, A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants (Falcon Guides, 2021), we find an encyclopedic presentation of a subject that transcends rote identification and gets to the heart of what it means to understand the land as a function of being human. By exploring the conservation status, the traditional and modern usage, and the cultivation of the entries, Kaufer’s holistic exploration of California’s herbarium reveals an inroad to an intimate identity with actually being from and learning to honor the place of his study. In Kaufer’s exhaustive, and yet exciting, exploration of California’s botanical portfolio, we have a treasured key to understanding, loving, and protecting the most special and sacred aspect of our local, natural world.” — Obi Kaufmann, Author, The California Field Atlas
“This is a well-documented field guide for layperson and herbalist alike, excellent for responsible gatherers to find and use helpful medicinal plants. So, get the book, put on a hat, and go out into our glorious California wild areas. Happy hunting!” — Mary Hardy, MD, Integrative Medicine Physician; Founder/Director, Wellness Works; Coauthor: Best Remedies: Breakthrough Prescriptions that Blend Conventional and Natural Medicine
“This is an outstanding book! As a professional field botanist, I really appreciate the author’s focus on the conservation status of the plants that he discusses, his many years of experience with these plants, his inclusion of propagation hints so that readers can avoid over-harvesting plants in the wild, the references that are cited, and the extensive bibliography that empowers the serious readers to do further study and research on their own.” — Steve Junak, Author, A Flora of Santa Cruz Island; Research Associate, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden
“This is an outstanding resource for any herbalist, botanist, or conservationist in California! … Both practical and humorous, the tales of our local herbal allies are beautifully illustrated and brought to life. I will be recommending this book to my students for years to come!” — Emily Sanders, Founder/Director, Artemisia Academy of Herbal Arts & Healing
“Whether you’re a beginning or a more advanced herbalist, Kaufer’s field guide is a must-have for your library. The book gets my highest praise and recommendation.” — Christopher Nyerges, Author, Foraging California and Foraging Wild Edible Plants of North America; Co-founder, School of Self-Reliance
“Medicinal Herbs of California is an indispensable resource for nature enthusiasts and herbalism students alike.” — Jess Starwood, MS Herbal Medicine, Author, Mushroom Wanderland: A Forager’s Guide to Finding, Identifying, and Using More Than 25 Wild Fungi
“As a practicing herbalist for 52 years, my three libraries are treasuries of hundreds of great herb books. This book is great. In his terrific field guide, Medicinal Herbs of California, Lanny Kaufer methodically describes dozens of important California herbs in wonderful, rich, easy-to-understand language, including all the ‘scientific nerdy details,’ precautions, and a robust section on endangered plants and what we can do about them. . . . I have twelve professional herbalists who work for me. I’m going to give each of them a copy for required reading.” — Ron Teeguarden, certified Master Herbalist, ordained Taoist Master, author of Chinese Tonic Herbs, and The Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, and Founder, President and Master Herbalist of Ron Teeguarden’s Dragon Herbs, based in Santa Monica, California
“Medicinal Herbs of California represents an immense undertaking in bringing the worlds of traditional herbal medicine together with modern science. . . . This book belongs on the shelves of every herb and plant enthusiast, especially those in California but also beyond.” — Roy Upton, RH, President, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
“Medicinal Herbs of California is a very useful resource that is filled with facts and stories about California plants. The book is fully referenced for more in-depth reading.” — James D. Adams, Professor Emeritus, USC School of Pharmacy, Author of Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West
“Lanny Kaufer’s years of experience and passion for hiking, exploring nature, and learning and teaching about the native plants of the West have found beautiful expression in his new book Medicinal Herbs of California. His rich knowledge of the history, botany, and biomedical research of some 70 plants is clearly presented. His book is a blend of scientific scholarship that satisfies the intellect along with Indigenous and naturalist experiential insights to nourish the spirit.” — John Hickey, Licensed Acupuncturist, Co-Founder and former Academic Dean, Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine