Lanny Kaufer’s herb book out Dec. 30

web pvh Lanny Kaufer Nature Walk 2016 2

Ojai Valley News photo by Perry Van Houten

Lanny Kaufer


By Mimi Walker, Special to the Ojai Valley News

Ojai native plant guide Lanny Kaufer, known in the valley for leading locals and tourists on Herb Walks, will release his book, “Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants,” on Dec. 30. 

The book details the many ways people can make the most of the 70-plus local medicinal plants in Ojai; it also includes color photos, identification tactics, and recipes for readers to follow.

Kaufer said the book is the first of its kind for California, in that it highlights an abundance of herbal remedies exclusive to this region.

“In 2020, Americans spent almost $12 billion on herbal supplements. Herbs generally aren’t advertised to the public as medicine, only as food,” he said. “Based on the current science now, I wanted people to have this information. That’s one reason the book is special. But my overall goal is to instill a sense of value in herbs and plants — people take care of what they value. I’m an environmentalist at heart.”

“Medicinal Herbs of California” includes a brief chapter titled “A Brief History of Herbal Medicine in America.” Summarizing it, Kaufer said: “At one time, the U.S. pharmacopeia was mostly plants. Now, it’s just a tiny percentage. A very specific event in 1910 closed out the majority of botanical medical schools.”

For those interested in buying a copy of the book, Kaufer is advocating to buy local.

“I’ve actually sold about 150 pre-order copies of the book on my website (,” Kaufer said. “I request that people buy it there. The nature of the publishing business is such that I can only get a profit if people buy directly from me,” he said.

Copies of “Medicinal Herbs of California” will be made available for purchase on Dec. 30 at, and is available for pre-order now.

Kaufer will sign copies of his book at book signing on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 1:30 p.m. in the Chumash Garden at Ojai Valley Museum, 130 W. Ojai Ave.

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