“Humans have used plant medicines ever since humans came into existence, about 200,000 years ago.” So writes Dr. James Adams in the introduction to his groundbreaking book, Healing with Medicinal Plants of the West, co-authored with Chumash healer Cecilia Garcia. “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. We must continue to use plant medicines.”
If you are surprised and intrigued to learn that the man who wrote those words is an Associate Professor of Pharmacology at the USC School of Pharmacy, then you may want to join me, Ojai native plant guide Lanny Kaufer, and my special guest Dr. James Adams on Saturday, May 16, from 9 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for a Medicinal Plant Walk on the San Antonio Trail in Goleta. We will identify wild native plants in riparian and chaparral habitats and discuss their indigenous and modern medicinal uses.
This will be a slow-paced walk of about 1.5 miles round-trip on a well-maintained trail. The walk will be suitable for hikers of all levels of ability who are capable of walking that distance and standing for periods of time.
Dr. Adams brings a wealth of knowledge and experience as well as a unique perspective on herbal medicine. He has been teaching pharmacy students, medical students, doctors and other healthcare professionals for over 25 years and 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 over 10 years. In addition to their 2003 book, now in its third edition, they wrote almost 30 journal articles together. Jim is now the carrier of the healing knowledge passed to him by Cecilia.
He will have copies of the book with him to sell and sign as well as his latest book, The Balanced Diet.
On his personal connection to traditional healing practices, Dr. Adams says, “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.”
The cost for this very special 4-hour Medicinal Plant Walk is $35. Payment by cash or check is accepted on the morning of the walk. Registrants will receive an email during the week prior with all necessary information. No dogs, please.