NATURE LEAVES A TRAIL TO CURES; OJAI HERBS EXPERT PROMOTES HEALING POWERS OF WILDERNESS.Byline: Deborah Sullivan / Daily News Staff Writer
A child's skinned knee wouldn't normally be seen as a stroke of fortune.
But ironically, the minor mishap offered Ojai herbalist herb·al·ist
1. One who grows, collects, or specializes in the use of herbs, especially medicinal herbs.
2. See herb doctor. Lanny Kaufer the opportunity to show viewers across the country the effectiveness of herbal remedies.
For as chance would have it, the accident occurred during an herb walk filmed for a segment of ``Health Week,'' a nationally syndicated PBS PBS
in full Public Broadcasting Service
Private, nonprofit U.S. corporation of public television stations. PBS provides its member stations, which are supported by public funds and private contributions rather than by commercials, with educational, cultural, television series.
``There happened to be a plant along the side of road that helps stop bleeding,'' said Kaufer, 50. ``It's a great field bandage, because it's leaves are sticky.''
Kaufer plucked some of the leaves and performed impromptu, natural first aid on the scraped and crying boy.
``He got so fascinated with what was going on that he stopped crying,'' he said. ``They caught it on the segment.''
The coincidence illustrated what Kaufer has spent 30 years studying and teaching: that plants can provide gentle, effective medicine.
``I've come to believe in a life force that is the healing power inside us,'' Kaufer said. ``When you use herbs and food for medicine, you're nurturing or enhancing that life force.''
Herbs, he argues, offer a safer alternative to some potent but potentially dangerous medications.
``Many other synthetic drugs are harmful to the body, that's why they have so many side effects Side effects
Effects of a proposed project on other parts of the firm. ,'' he said. ``They're trying to get a quick response, but they're depleting that life force, rather than feeding it. When you use herbs and foods, it's a more natural way, because herbs are really concentrated foods.''
Kaufer's work gathering, studying and teaching about herbs attracted the attention of producers of ``Health Week.'' A segment featuring Kaufer will air Saturday at 9:30 a.m. on KCET KCET Konami Computer Entertainment Tokyo (Japan)
KCET Kamaraj College of Engineering and Technology .
`` `Health Week' is a PBS program that looks at all aspects of health, fitness, wellness,'' said the show's spokeswoman, Jacquelyn Jackson. ``So we felt that what he was involved in with herbs was an important part of that as far as giving people the broadest possible access to health care information.''
Kaufer's interest in herbs took root while he was visiting a Pueblo Indian Pueblo Indian
Any of the historic descendants of the prehistoric Anasazi peoples who have for centuries lived in settled pueblos in what is now northeastern Arizona and northwestern New Mexico, U.S. The contemporary pueblos are divided into eastern and western. Reservation in New Mexico New Mexico, state in the SW United States. At its northwestern corner are the so-called Four Corners, where Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at right angles; New Mexico is also bordered by Oklahoma (NE), Texas (E, S), and Mexico (S). 30 years ago.
``I had a cold and an old man brought me a bag of tea,'' he said. ``It turned out to be cedar leaf tea, and I took it and my cold went away. So I was intrigued by the possibility of using a tea as a medicine.''
Kaufer studied under the tutelage TUTELAGE. State of guardianship; the condition of one who is subject to the control of a guardian. of local herbalists, eventually becoming an herbal authority in his own right.
For 21 years, he has led herb walks under the auspices of the Sunbow sun·bow
A rainbowlike display of colors resulting from refraction of sunlight through a spray of water.
sunbow Ecology Center in Ojai. He instructs hikers to identify herbs, pointing out members of the rose, carrot, nightshade nightshade, common name for the Solanaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and a few trees of warm regions, chiefly tropical America. Many are climbing or creeping types, and rank-smelling foliage is typical of many species. and other plant families.
And he explains their use for food, medicine, crafts and ceremony by Chumash Indians, early California settlers and modern herbalists.
For instance, he said, the leaves of wild cherry wild cherry,
n Latin names:
Prunus virginiana, Prunus serotina; part used: bark; uses: coughs, colds, respiratory ailments, diarrhea, astringent, bronchial sedative, possible anticancer agent; precautions: pregnancy, lactation, children; may might be combined with yerba santa yerba san·ta
Any of various western North American evergreen shrubs of the genus Eriodictyon, having purple or white flowers borne in coiled cymes and a funnel-shaped corolla. to help suppress a nagging cough.
But the benefits of herb gathering go beyond their practical uses, Kaufer said.
``For many of us who have been raised in the city, it's a way to reconnect with nature to go out into nature and gather plants,'' he said. ``Rather than nature being just scenery that you look at, by gathering herbs you go out and interact with nature. So you learn a lot more about it.''
Studying plants has taught him about birds, animals, insects and the complex interactions between the members of the natural world, he said.
``You can't help but become an ecologist, because you see how it's all related,'' he said. ``And that's when it takes on a spiritual aspect. You begin to realize how everything is connected, what the Native Americans call the web of life, what the Zen people are trying to achieve as far as the oneness of life.''
WHO: Lanny Kaufer
WHAT: Appearance on ``Health Week''
WHEN: 9:30 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: KCET (Channel 12 in Ventura, Channel 28 in Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. )
PHOTO (1--color) Herbalist Lanny Kaufer tastes a wild cherry growing along a trail in Ojai. In addition to its fruit, the tree bears leaves useful for treating coughs.
(2--color) Lanny Kaufer, an expert in herbal remedies, examines white sage during a hike Thursday.
Bob Halvorsen/Daily News