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2023 Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference Presenters

Alphabetized by First Name


Abigail Ruby

Ruby Roots


Lisa Bedner

Pipissewa Herbs

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Ali Zokan

Forest Folk Fungi


Heather Holloway

The Cat & The Crow

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Amy Jackson

& The Conundrums

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Joanna Mann

Walden FARMacy


Earcine Evans

Pure Ciné


Susan Edwards

Wolf Lily's Dancing Apoth.


Leah Larabell

High Garden


Ruth Shelton

The Empirical Herbalist

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Michelle Rigling

The Cavewoman Way


Phyllis D. Light


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Stephanie Chance

Yoga & Pilates

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Rebecca Beyer

Blood & Spicebush

Presenter Biographies

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Abigail Ruby, Herbalist, Direct Entry Midwife and Farmer (Wisconsin)

Abigail is the founder and herbalist behind Ruby Roots Birth Work & Apothecary. Her goals are to support community wellbeing via supporting women. Her main path in herbalism is first and foremost, always as a student. and then an educator with a focus on women's health and wellness. She supports women through fertility focus, pregnancy, labor, and beyond. Abigail obtained a degree in Western Herbalism at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, under the wonderful JoAnna Sanchez. And she is currently deep in the student midwifery path. You can find her with her midwifery and herbal books sitting in the garden in the hills of south west Wisconsin. Visit her website at

Ali Zokan, Herbalist, J.D., Co-Founder of Forest Folk Fungi (Chattanooga Valley)

I am the co-founder of Forest Folk Fungi, a medicinal mushroom apothecary with a broad focus that includes safe and ethical foraging, cultivation education, music as medicine, and building friendship with the natural world. I have studied herbalism since 2014 in a self-directed, plant-led, and intuitive way and began offering consultations in 2019. Plant spirit medicine, astrology, and flower essence therapy all inform my relationship with the mystery and with healing. A few of my most cherished plant and mushroom allies are Reishi, Southern Wax Myrtle, Red Onion, Blackberry, Wood Anemone, Cedar, and Rose. Learn more about Forest Folk 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 of creams, soaps and oils. The unique gardening and farming techniques used to grow the picture perfect herbs and flowers used in her products display the gifted healing work of her hands upon the land and 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

Heather Holloway, Medicine Witch, Owner of The Cat & The Crow Apothecary (Georgia) 

Heather is experienced in the folk and wise woman traditions of herbalism. After making remedies for herself and loved ones for several years, she opened The Cat & The Crow Apothecary and launched the Wild Weeds Tea Party Series. Her ultimate goal is to help reconnect people with the healing properties of the plants that grow right outside our doorsteps, easily accessible to everyone. Humankind grew alongside the plant kingdom, but over the last few generations that connection has been dismembered and lost for many reasons. She knows that when we work with plants as food and medicine, our bodies remember exactly how to use them for the highest benefit. She wants to help people re-member that ancient relationship and rekindle the connection of working with nature, while at the same time, protecting it. Follow Heahter and her work at


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

Joanna is co-owner of Walden FARMacy, a permaculture style herb farm located in Alabama. She has been through many evolutions including law school student, yogi, massage therapist, patient, mother, seeker, healer, birth-worker, farmer, and herbalist. Her personal success finding healing through herbs and energy work put her on a path of working to reconnect people with themselves, nature, and their own innate intuitive abilities in order to propel them into greater happiness. Learn more at

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

*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 


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

Michelle Rigling, PhD, Founder of MSWHC (Tennessee)

Michelle is a doctorate-level Transpersonal Counselor, a Certified Eco-Therapy Guide, and the Founder of The Midsouth Women's Herbal Conference. As a board-certified Holistic Health Practitioner with 12 years of experience in mental healthcare and trauma-responsive social work, she offers integrative counseling, retreats, and groups. Michelle is also a Plant-Spirit Medicine Facilitator and offers ceremonies and nature-based spiritual wellness events in Chattanooga, TN. Learn more about  her work at

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

Rebecca Beyer, Author, Forager-Witch & Tattooer, Blood & Spicebush (North Carolina)

Rebecca lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she teaches people how to integrate the Old Ways back into a cyclical life. She has a B.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Vermont where she fell in love with growing food, and completed a Masters in Appalachian Studies and Sustainability at Appalachian State University, with a concentration in Appalachian Ethnobotany at Appalachian State University. She loves playing guitar, singing Irish, Scottish, English and Appalachian Ballads, as well as fiber arts, spoon carving and basket making. She is a published author and her books will be available at the conference. Visit her website at

Ruth Shelton, The Empirical Herbalist (Tennessee)

Ruth has over 20 years of experience working with people and plants. Her motto is "A Better Life Through Herbs" and this reflects her belief that we can work with herbs to enrich all aspects of life. Ruth's mission is to help others reap these benefits. She is currently teaching a year-long Sacred Allies class as well as other classes through her own practice and at events such as this conference. Visit her website at

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. 

Susan Edwards, Naturalist, Herbal Educator (Georgia)

Susan is a Naturalist by trade with a B.S in Ecology, a B.S.A in Entomology, and a M.Ed. in Environmental Education from University of Georgia. She has taught at schools and nature centers close to home in the Midsouth as well as abroad in Costa Rica, New Zealand, Fiji, and Australia. She has led workshops and classes at teacher retreats for ProjectWild along with Fernbank Museum of Natural History, at the Georgia Science Teacher Association (GSTA) Conference, and the Environmental Education Alliance's annual conference (EEA). Her wild medicine walks are a favorite activity among our conference participants!

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