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2024 Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference Presenters

Alphabetized by First Name


Amanda Neufeld

Leonara Apothecary

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Amy Jackson

& The Conundrums

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Byron Ballard

Folklorist & Author

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Danielle Galvin

Herbaceous Goods


Earcine Evans

Herbalist @ Pure Ciné

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Jennifer Maklan

Chattanooga Ayurveda


Leah Larabell

High Garden


Leslie Williams

Ordinary Herbalist

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Joan Cowden

Bright Circle Herbcraft

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Lisa Bedner

Pipsissewa Herbs

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Joanna Mann

Walden FARMacy

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Mo Judith

Aura La Voura

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Paula Ciniero

New Moon Botanicals


Phyllis D. Light


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Robin Rose Bennett 

Wisewoman Healing Ways


Ruth Shelton

The Empirical Herbalist

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Dr. Shannon Dawkins Claws & Paws

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Stacie Smith-Hunt

Whole Woman Wellness

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Writer & Teacher

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Yolanda Hatch

Community Herbalist

Presenter Biographies

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Amanda Neufeld, Herbalist, Founder of Leonara Apothecary (Georgia)

Amanda brings 17 years of experience working with plant medicine, coupled with over a decade of teaching belly dance, yoga, and herbal medicine workshops. She embodies the Wise Woman Tradition, serving as a teacher, lifelong learner, and advocate for plants and their unique spirits. Amanda operates Leonara Apothecary, handcrafting a variety of herbal medicines. Her passion lies in raising awareness about the healing power of plants within both the physical and spiritual realms. She finds joy in integrating mindful movement practices into her teachings, offering them as forms of medicine, and incorporating them into daily life and ritual.

Byron Ballard, Folklorist, Writer, Priestess (North Carolina)

Byron is an internationally known teacher, folklorist, and writer. She is senior priestess and cofounder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES, both in Asheville, North Carolina. She frequently presents at The Unitarian Universalist Church and writes for various magazines. See some of her work at

Danielle Galvin, Folk Herbalist, Owner of Herbaceous Goods (Tennessee)

Danielle is a folk herbalist and the owner of Herbaceous Goods. She is passionate about teaching and reminding all that herbalism is ancestral and for everyone. She takes her experiences in wildcrafting and love of nature to a professional level when transferring gifts of the wild into preparations with practiced precision. Herbal education and custom formulas are her passion. Listening to the spirit and to the fellow human is both an art and a humble duty, to which she cuts no corners with her clients. You can learn more about her journey and her offerings at

Earcine Evans, Herbalist, Owner of Francis Flowers and Herbs Farm (Mississippi)

Earcine is a lifelong practitioner of agricultural growing of herbs, vegetables, and flowers. She owned and operated two hair salons for more than ten years. Her wisdom and expertise were brought together as she spent years researching ingredients used in cosmetology for hair products and the contents of lotions and soaps used on the body. She has, and continues to do, focused research with herbs and other natural ingredients that can promote health without the use of toxic chemicals and has worked with noted scientists in this field. She has created a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, scientifically validated line of health giving products for the hair and body with creams, soaps and oils. The unique gardening and farming techniques she uses to grow the picture-perfect herbs and flowers used in her products display the gifted healing work of her hands upon the land and show in the products she creates. Articles she has written about her work and studies have been featured in both Cosmetology and Agricultural/Farm publications. Visit her website at

Jennifer Maklan, Founder of Chattanooga Ayurveda (Tennessee)

Jennifer provides complementary and alternative health options using Ayurveda, the traditional medical system of India. Ayurveda, a holistic approach to health, uses diet and lifestyle guidance, natural supplements and supportive body therapies, to establish balance in body and mind. Jennifer completed the Svastha Ācarya Program at ĀYU Academy and the Samudra Āyurvedic Physicians Program, two of the top Āyurveda educational programs in the United States. She sees clients at her office in downtown Chattanooga as well as online. Visit to learn more.

Joan Cowden, Herbalist, Owner of Bright Circle Herbcraft (Oklahoma)

Walking the hills of the Green Country in Oklahoma, Joan profoundly deepened her connection to the natural world and it's healing rhythms. She has studied natural healing since the 1970s with formal training in life sciences, trauma technology, austere medicine, and Wise Woman herbalism. She completed her clinical training at NAIMH with honors, and holds a B.Sc. in Technical Education. Her work is rooted in an awareness of the connections between all life, especially between people and plants. Currently she sees clients across several states, teaches herbal medicine, and shares how to align deeply with earth's healing rhythms. Learn more at


Joanna Mann, Herbalist, Farmer, Co-Owner of Walden FARMacy (Alabama)

Joanna is co-owner of Walden Farmacy in Bessemer, AL where (alongside her husband) she has the joy of working with plants daily on their regenerative herb farm and homestead. Trevor & Joanna craft small batch herbal remedies with the belief that every person has the capacity to bring themselves into health and wholeness, and that when they do that health ripples out to everything they touch. They call themselves "holistically regenerative" because they grow their herbs in a way that heals the land they farm, believing the health of their community is tied to the health of the land they inhabit. Learn more at

Leah Larabell, Clinical Herbalist, Owner of High Garden Tea (Georgia)

*Conference Sponsor*

Leah descended from a long line of Celtic Cunning Folk and found her ancient gifts in the world of herbalism.  Leah has trained and practiced herbalism for over 20 years and has not only studied Southern Folk Medicine, but lives it.  She is a trained clinical-level herbalist and environmentalist.  Leah is the creator of High Garden Tea, PlantFolk School of Herbalism,  and Sipping Teas and Hugging Trees Podcast.  She is a forever student of nature. Learn more about her at 

Leslie Williams, Clinical Herbalist, Owner of Ordinary Herbalist (Georgia)

Leslie, also known as Leslita, has been training as an herbalist all her life. She tells us, “Field and forest, trail and city sidewalk - all are part of the world of medicinal herbs and trees. The key is learning to recognize them in all these places.” Her family taught her of the woods and plants in the mountains of western North Carolina as well as in the home swamps and prairies of northern and coastal Florida.  She has trained in Western herbal traditions, Ayurveda and traditional Chinese herbal lore.  She's been a working herbalist for 30+ years. Shamanic work, scientific research and folk traditions all matter. Currently Leslie is focused on teaching and mentoring others to be herbalists. Visit her website at


Lisa Bedner, RN, RH(AHG), Pipsissewa Herbs (Tennessee)

Lisa is certified as a Professional Medical Herbalist by the American Herbalist Guild. She is traditionally trained, by her family, as a Native American herbal practitioner, following the teachings of Tihanama, Cherokee, Lenape, and other Nations. As a Medicine Woman and healer of the Tihanama, she practices many of the traditional ceremonies, including sweat lodges and the Healing Drum. Lisa has also studied Western Herbalism and has more than 30 years of experience as a Registered Nurse, understanding both the allopathic and alternative modes of healing. Pipsissewa Herbs grows more than 100 species of medicinal herbs, manufactures traditional herbal medicines, and the farm is certified as an endangered Medicinal Herb Sanctuary by United Plant Savers. Lisa lectures, teaches and speaks publicly at Herb festivals and garden clubs in Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama and Indiana. Visit her website at

Mo Judith, Founder of Aura La Voura (New Mexico)

Mo Judith started studying herbalism at the age of 15 when she stumbled into and started working in an apothecary in her hometown. By the age of 18, she was traveling around the world via hitchhiking, eventually going to over 60 countries in the pursuit of herbal knowledge. She was fortunate to learn from many traditional and indigenous plant and medicine people along the way. Along her travels, she discovered alchemy and spagyric extracts, which sparked her curiosity and became the foundation of her alchemical extract company Aura La Voura. Mo Judith currently creates alchemical extracts and specializes in parasitic infections. Get to know Mo Judith online at

Paula Cinicero, RN, Founder of New Moon Botanicals (Alaska)

Paula Ciniero has been an RN for 40 years. She is a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and Cranio Sacral Therapist. In her work, she also practices sound healing and Mayan abdominal massage. Herbalism is one of Paula’s passions. She has learned from a Yu'pik Eskimo traditional doctor as well as Tlingit, Yu'pik, Inupiaq, Athabascan, Inupiaq and Assiniboine healers. Paula teaches the ways of plants as food and medicine in Native Alaskan villages. She also has a line of herbal products, New Moon Botanicals, which are made with plants, wild and traditionally grown and ethically harvested from the Boreal forest in Interior Alaska and the Great Plains of Northeast Montana.

Phyllis D. Light; MA, Registered Herbalist (AHG), Founder of Appalachian Center for Natural Health (Alabama)

A fourth generation Herbalist and Healer, Phyllis D. Light has studied and worked with herbs, foods and other healing techniques for over 30 years. Her studies in Traditional Southern Appalachian Folk Medicine began in the deep woods of North Alabama with lessons from her grandmother, whose herbal and healing knowledge had its roots in her Creek/Cherokee heritage. Phyllis’ studies continued as an apprentice with the late Tommie Bass, a nationally renowned folk herbalist from Sand Rock, Alabama, as well as other herbal Elders throughout the Appalachians and the Deep South. She has experience in both clinical and private settings including working in an integrative medical clinic.  In addition to Traditional Folk studies, Phyllis has studied Traditional Western Herbalism, Nutrition, Exercise Science, Body Work and Energy Medicine. She continues to maintain an active herbal practice. Phyllis has a Master’s Degree from the University of Alabama in Health Studies and has taught CEU classes for allied healthcare workers including nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild and is on the board of directors of the American Naturopathic Certification Board. Visit her website at

Robin Rose Bennett, Herbalist, Author, Teacher (New Jersey)

Robin Rose Bennett is a story-teller, writer, and herbalist. She has been offering classes in WiseWoman Healing Ways: Herbal Medicine and EarthSpirit Teachings since 1986 - at herb conferences, festivals, clinics, medical and nursing schools, and most joyously, outside with the plants. Robin Rose shares herbal medicine with gratitude for the loving generosity of the plants and the magic, mystery, and beauty of the web of life. She is on the faculty of the New York Open Center and the Arbor-Vitae School of Traditional Herbalism, and is the author of two meditation MP3’s and the books: Healing Magic- A Green Witch Guidebook to Conscious Living, The Gift of Healing Herbs - Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life, A Green Witch’s Pocket Book of Wisdom - Big Little Life Tips, and A Young Green Witch’s Guide to Plant Magic - Rituals and Recipes from Nature. Learn more about Robin Rose's work at

Ruth Shelton, The Empirical Herbalist (Tennessee)

Ruth Shelton, The Empirical Herbalist, has been studying, working and playing with plants for over 20 years. She loves to learn and teach people about the nuances of the plant world, hoping to inspire people to not only use them but to develop a deep (er) relationship with them and bring them more into their lives. Visit her website at

Shannon Dawkins, PhD, Veterinarian (Tennessee)

Dr. Shannon Dawkins graduated from Veterinary school in 2006. She was always interested in preventative and natural medicine when possible. She provides services in the home of the clients to examine dogs, cats, and exotics.  She loves discussing nutrition and alternative therapies in order to bring more tools to the client and their beloved pets.


Soirée-Leone, Writer and Teacher (Tennessee)

Soirée-Leone is a teacher and writer focused on putting food on the table. She lives and works from her 57-acre homestead in Middle Tennessee. Her traveling workshops share how to creatively and strategically preserve the food that we grow, glean, barter, and forage. She grew up on an off-grid homestead in rural Maine in the 1970s. After 25 years in San Diego, California, she and her husband left their urban homestead and moved to Tennessee. Her work is included in Sandor Katz’s book Fermentation Journeys and Kirsten Shockey’s upcoming 10th anniversary edition of Fermented Vegetables. Learn more about her at

Stacie Smith-Hunt, Certified Professional Midwife and Herbalist (Tennessee)

Stacie lives in rural Tennessee on a small farm with her husband and youngest child. She has 5 children and soon to be 6 grandchildren-all born at home. She is a lover of “all things plants” and plant medicine and utilizes what that earth has given us daily. She has been a homebirth midwife for over 25 years and serves a large Amish population. She owns and directs Whole Woman Birth and Wellness where she offers a holistic approach to healthcare, women’s health, and childbirth.


Stephanie Chance, M.S., NCPT, Mindfulness & Trauma-Informed Yoga Instructor (Tennessee)

Stephanie is a biologist, plant-lover, and teacher of nature-based mindfulness. She leads meditations, mindfulness practices, wonder walks, sound healing, Pilates, and yoga in Middle and East Tennessee, incorporating nature as much as possible. She has offered workshops at herbal retreats and past conferences and serves on the MSWHC Leadership Team. 

Yolanda Hatch, Herbalist and Community Advocate (Georgia)

Yolanda's journey into herbalism began at a young age, inspired by her great grandmother and mother’s wisdom and traditional healing practices. Growing up surrounded by medicinal herbs and plants, she developed a profound respect for the power of nature to heal and restore balance. With a background in community health education and herbal medicine, Yolanda has dedicated her career to serving marginalized communities and addressing health disparities. She holds certifications in herbal medicine and holistic wellness, as well as extensive training in botanical medicine, plant identification, and herbal formulation. Yolanda has worked with various community organizations, including grassroots health initiatives, urban gardens, and wellness centers, where she has facilitated workshops, led herbal walks, and provided herbal consultations. Her approach to herbalism is rooted in cultural reverence, social justice, and empowerment, as she strives to honor the wisdom of her ancestors while addressing the health needs of her community.

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