Date: July 6, 2015
Kenta holds a study session on herbalism and medicine with all his current medical students in attendance.
"Herbal Study Session"
Konoha Hospital Library
It's a frigid day at Konoha, with whipping winds that send needles of chill through even thick clothing. Not many people are out in the streets, but the hospital is still bustling with activity. On the other hand, the hospital library is quieter and less populated than usual, due to the lessening of outside visitors. Kenta took this chance to grab a table at the nicest part of the library, where the positioning of the walls and shelves block out what faint murmur manages to collect in the background today. He has several books open in front of him, since he's doing a little research, but that's just a temporary task. Kenta is expecting some of his new students to arrive soon to go over assigned study material.
Shinobu is being guided by Mana through the hospital, the girl looking up at the older woman as she clutched a book to her chest. Kame is padding along beside her, tail wagging excitedly. Yip! "Kame-chan, you need to be quiet in the library," Mana says with a small smile. "Shinobu-chan, I'll just be off in the library section while you study with Kenta-kun, okay?" Shinobu nods quietly, snugging up to Mana nervously. Hospitals make her kind of nervous, too… When the two finally reach the meeting place, Shinobu is nudged foreword while Kame immediately bounds forward to try and get pets from Kenta.
Hikaru showed up right on time to his study session with Kenta, bringing with him a few of the books he'd been assigned to study and laying them out on the table with a thud and a grin. "Yo, Kenta-san," he greets, waving a little at Shinobu with a small smile. "What are we studying today?"
Ahh the library, somewhere that Tatsuo can often be found whether or not there's a lesson about to be given! As it is he's here already in his own little corner of the room, reading over (for the fourth or fifth time likely) the material that Kenta had given them. So engrossed is he that he completely lost track of time until Kame's bark. Only then does he realize and nearly jump out of his chair. The boy closes his book and rushes over to where Kenta and everyone else had begun to gather, bowing quickly though remaining silent as he slips into a seat without a word.
Kyu had gotten a message from Kenta about coming down to the Hospital to assist in some sort of lesson. What Kenta is unaware of, is that Kyu has been spending quite a lot of time at the training grounds exhausting himself to get something right. And it shows! When he arrives he looks like he hasn't slept. Or something. That and he has a decent amount of soot on his cloak as if he's been burning a lot of stuff. Despite this Kyu has a smile on his face… And is breathing a bit heavily as he quickly enters the area. It seems he ran here, he then bows to Kenta and says, "Sorry if I'm a bit late Kenta-sensei… Was trying to get a Jutsu right… I did it a few more times before heading here. You wanted my help with teaching some kind of lesson?"
Pets -and- treats. Kame should always expect both when she encounters Kenta. The young man stops what he's doing, sets down his book and bends to pat the puppy on her head. Then, he sneaks her a small cake of dried fruits and grains flavored with bits of beef until the table. While Kenta almost always follows the no eating rule in the library, puppies force him to make an occasional exception. "Konichiwa, Kame-chan. You'll have to eat quietly and out of sight and leave no crumbs ok? Otherwise, I'll get in trouble." The young man gives her a good scratching between the ears to sweeten the deal. Then, he sits upright to smile at the rest of the incoming youngsters.
"Konichiwa, everyone. I see that everyone's on time… Ummm… even you, Kyu, so don't worry. Please try not to get any soot on the chair. Maybe you can show me your jutsu later this week. I know that it'll be impressive." Kenta claps his hands together, but very softly, since they're still in a library. "Ummm… so everyone should know Kyu already. He's been my student for a while around, so feel free to ask him for help in your studies if I'm not available. Today, we're going to go over some of the materials that I gave you during the last lesson. We're going to go over herbs and natural medicines, which is an important part of what a medic-nin should know."
Shinobu waves quietly to Hikaru and Tatsuo, going over to give Kyu a tiny snug by pressing her body against his quickly before climbing into a chair. Mana disappears to go investigate the library, though she likely will just be a bit aimless for the next while. The girl peeks over at Kenta, waiting for the lesson to start, and she sets her books on the table, opening them to a random page that has a pretty picture of a flower on it. A marigold in extreme detail. She likes the picture a lot. Kame yips and nods, tail wagging as she munches on the treats happily. She'll grow up in no time! … Or grow wider. Fortunately she does a lot of running around, so the danger of getting too fat is low.
"Natural medicines?" Hikaru repeats, nodding as Kenta speaks. He remembered reading some things about that. "Are we going to have a field study later to help us recognize wild plants and herbs we can use?" Always looking for the next step, Hikaru was. Some might wonder if he stopped to enjoy the journey. In the meantime, the Sarutobi flipped open his book on plant uses, skimming over a few of the chapters he'd read to recap before they started the lesson. It was interesting that Kyu was going to be the one teaching them… Maybe Kenta was training him into more of a leader and teacher role? He must be getting ready for his Chuunin exams, by now, so it made sense…
Tatsuo looks to Kyu and gives him a little nod as a way of greeting before returning his attention to Kenta to listen to all he has to say. "Hai…" is his only response to what's said before he opens his own book to where he had previously been. It's all been more or less memorized but he wants to make sure that he doesn't accidently miss something regardless.
Kyu blinks when Kenta mentions his jutsu and then looks down at the floor with a saddened look. "I can't do it…" is all he says… well… mumbles on that. He continues to look down, and instead of sitting in a chair he stands, due to the soot thing. When Shinobu presses against him he jumps a bit, seems he was zoned out. He then shakes his head a bit. And mentally goes back and listens to what Kenta had already said. "Ah, uhm yes, I'm willing to help anyone who may need it." He says simply. Waiting for Kenta to give him direct orders.
"Ummm… good question, Hikaru. I actually have something here that'll help with identifying herbs, but it's not going to be nearly as good as field trip, which would have to wait until next spring or summer." Kenta bends, gives Kame some more petting while he's down there, and picks up his backpack to set it on the table. He stands to unpack it after he shifts his research materials into two low stacks to create more room on the table. He takes out over two dozen items, all of them either little labeled glass jars or baggies. Each one is full of either plant material or some kind of powder.
Kenta doesn't pick anything from the array of materials just yet. Instead, he remains standing and points to the page that Shinobu has open in her book. "Ummm… I see that you like marigolds, Shinobu. I know that everyone here have seen them before as decoration. But until you've started studying, I bet few of you knew that it's actually useful as medicine too. It's good against mild inflamation and swelling of bruises and cuts in the form of ointment. It has some antibacterial effects when an infusion of it is used to wash wounds and it's gentle enough for cleaning irritated eyes."
Kenta smiles with encouragement at the three new medical students. "There's lots of other common plants with medicinal usages. Ummm… let's see what you three new medical students can remember from your studies this week. I want each of you to think of one common plant and name a medical quality without looking at your books. It's ok if you can't remember anything right now. Just say so and listen to what the others come up with." Then, the young man looks towards Kyu. "Afterwards, Kyu's going to pick two things from the collection on this table to talk about. You'll get to see, touch, smell and even taste some of the samples. It's good practice for identifying what's in a medical mixture and avoiding poisons."
Shinobu thinks a bit, trying to remember something. She makes a few handseals, and the girl's voice can be heard through a genjutsu. It's quiet, but there. 'Umm… poppy? … The seeds… A bunch can make you… sleepy…' she offers, hesitantly. Of course, she also knows that because Kame once ate a bunh and got super tired. Said pup enjoys scratches and noms on her treat.
Hikaru thinks, biting his thumb a bit as he tries to remember. "… Er, Witch Hazel infusion makes a good astringent… It can clean and soothe irritated skin… And… Valerian Root has a sedative effect… St. John's Wort is a natural mood booster…" He tries to think of more, but nothing else comes at the moment.
Tatsuo just listens to what the others have to say about various plants and such before he chews his lip, silent for a moment since he isn't much of a crowd speaker to begin with. But finally he does, "You can…um…use ginger to settle an upset stomach…peppermint is good for a sore throat and cough…" he looks like he could go on but he just…stops there for now. Again not much of a talker this one!
Kyu blinks as he finally comes to a realization. He laughs a bit. Before speaking up as to why he just laughed, "Uhm. Kenta-sensei… I think you're forgetting something about the lessons you gave me… You never did teach me herbs. You only taught me how to mash them up and read the labling, as well as you taught me about the two medicines I was taking after… That one incident. The basics." Kyu scratches at the back of his head and laughs nervously. "Sorry.. I was more focused on knowledge of the body itself and Medical Ninjutsu."
Kenta nods his head up and down vigorously when Shinobu mentions poppies. "That's a good one, Shinobu. Ummm… it normally takes a lot of poppy, but you can make a type of medicine from it that'll knock people right out. It's also addictive though. Luckily, it usually requires a larger amount that what you find in food, unless you're one of those people that's sensitive to poppy." He keeps nodding up and down, seeming to be impressed with how much his students remember. "I said one thing, Hikaru and Tatsuo, but I definitely don't mind that you're trying to impress me. Those are all very good choices. Ummm… Hikaru, your choices aren't quite as common as the others, but you're definitely correct about them."
Kenta would have said more, but he starts blinking in surprise when Kyu speaks up. "Ummm… I thought that I assigned you study materials…" There were scrolls and books, but it's too long ago for Kenta to remember which ones. He quickly tears a piece of paper from a notepad and jots down the titles of eight books on it. "Ok, I guess I'll have to add medicine to your studies starting from now. You can start with these, Kyu."
Looks like it's up to Kenta to continue the lesson! He picks two jars from the collection of items and holds them up one by one as he speaks. "This is whole dried horsetail fern. It's pretty common, so some of you probably do recognize it. It's often ground into powder and taken as part of an infusion to increase urine output for people that's having urinary tract problems. This second one is whole dried elecampane. Notice the yellow flowers. But it's actually the root that's most valuable. It's good for relieving respiratory problems, such as asthma and infections of the lungs." He passes both jars to Shinobu. "You can open them up and inspect them closely."
Shinobu nods a bit at the information that Kenta shares, storing it away for later use. She wilts a bit when Hikaru and Tatsuo add so much more… and it took so much effort to think of one! That being said, she only did what was asked. So… The girl peeks at the new plants, taking the jars and opening them to sniff at the contents. They smelled like most herbs. Then she gently touched the leaves, feeling their texture, before passing it on to Hikaru.
Taking the jars, Hikaru examined them. Now the hard part would be to remember which one was which. "Elecampane, yellow flowers," he mutters quietly to himself as he inspects the plants. Man, he would have to study a lot to remember what they did. Hopefully these ones were in the book, too. With pictures.
Tatsuo listens to what Kenta has to offer, again giving his normal nod of agreement to it all. When it came to memorizing he was good. When it came down to putting all of this to practice…well, time would tell on that account. He takes the jars as they come to him and views them carefully, remembering the scent, feel, and how it visually looks. Not that it'll help to find unground, unprepared herbs, but at least he knows what it should look like in the end. "How…many herbs are there…Kenta-sama?"
Kyu takes the list of books and sighs. "Hai Kenta-sensei. But can I start on this right after I get this jutsu down? It's very important that I learn it. Very important." Kyu says this seriously. And clearly whatever that technique is he /really/ wants to master it. As soon as possible. "It shouldn't take me much longer if I keep at it." Kyu begins moving away and going to gather the books on the list for after he gets it right.
Kenta nods his head at Kyu. That boy's lucky he's so easygoing! "Oh, hundreds, thousands," Kenta mentions casually to Tatsuo next. "I'm going to make sure that you can identify as many of them as possible. Medical jutsu is powerful, but we can't use it exclusively for our work. There's lots of things that require a combination approach and some things that react better to actual medicine than jutsu. Ummm… it's impossible to remember -everything- though, so just absorb what you can. Lots of herbs are related to each other too, so if you know what one does, you can probably guess a little of what related herbs do."
"Ok! Now, I want to see if you guys can think of an herb that has medicinal benefits, but can be dangerous if used incorrectly or at too big a dosage," Kenta says after everyone has checked out the two herbs that he passed around the table.
"I'll start us out first. Datura, also known as jimson weed and thornapple, is one such plant. It's actually toxic to many animals, including humans, and can easily kill people that don't know how to use it properly. Ummm… but an experienced medic can also use it to treat weak hearts, since small amounts increases heart rate. It's also sometimes used in small amounts in powdered form as an asthma relief, since it can paralyze parts of the pulmonary system to stop spasms." Kenta smiles encouragingly at his students. "Now, each of you come up with something. Remember what I said about related herbs? There's actually several plants in the same family as datura that have similar effects, so you can also just name one of them and I'll count that as a good answer."
Shinobu umm softly as she thinks over some of the more deadly plants that she knows. Through the genjutsu, her voice wavers into the minds of everyone. 'N… Nightshade?' she offers hesitantly, hoping that it … wasn't completely poisonous. Even Mana had warned her of the plant, though, showing the girl its berries and forbidding her to even touch them.
Hikaru looked at Shinobu with a frown. That was his answer… Still, he had to think of something else, fast. "Erm… the Mandrake plant?" he suggests. He remembered it contained a lethal poison, much like the Nightshade flower.
"Um…" Tatsuo starts, then pauses as the others answer…"too much of any herb is bad…" he says finally. While it might not be specific, it is true. He turns his eyes back down to the book and flips through a few pages, pointing to the bottom of each where it has the side effects and dangers of using too much. A little is good, too much is bad!
Kyu gathers the books listed and returns to Kenta. He still remembers the soot so he isn't sitting down, and instead he opens the rather large pouch, moves things around inside it, then places the books inside before re-sealing it. He then looks at the group. His happier look fades to that of a more… 'Down' look. After a moment Kyu speaks up, "I'm sorry Kenta-sensei. I know I must have disappointed you." Kyu mumbles something very quietly after that, but there's only one person in the room that really has a chance to hear him, he then shakes his head and looks up and smiles a tired smile. "I think I'm going to head back to trying to get that jutsu to work. I'll start on my studies immediately after. Thank you for inviting me here Kenta-sensei." Kyu does a quick bow before slipping out quickly. As if in a hurry.
Kenta waves at Kyu when his senior student heads off. Then, he nods his head up and down at the answers that he's getting. "Those are all good ones, Hikaru and Shinobu. Ummm… I wanted you to bring up an herb that has a more delicate balance between harmful and helpful, but you're technically right, Tatsuo. It's going to be -much- harder to overdose on the more benign herbs though." He claps his hands together, again very softly, because… library. "Ok, this seems like a good point to pause the group discussion. I want all of you to look through the things that I brought. These should all be pretty easy to identify once you know what they're like. You should also check your books or ask me when you can't remember what specific herb does. Ok, let's get going on that!"