2022 Midsouth Women's Virtual Herbal Conference 

November 11-12, 2022

Schedule and Workshop Descriptions

Pre-Conference Intensive

Prayers to the Plants: A Southerner's Take on Connecting with Plant Spirits

Presenter: Elizabeth Guthrie


Thursday, November 10, 2022 

7pm-9pm ET

Cost: $25 (Includes Recording) 


Southern healing traditions are full of powerful magic for everyday use. Connecting to the plant spirits and energy healing were very present in the habits of our southern ancestors, these traditions simply presented themselves differently from many other cultures. Strong religious beliefs shaped many of the folk healing practices in our region and our ancestors often used different words for things like meditation and magic. Connecting to the practices, language, and values of generations past can be a very special experience, helping us deepen our connection with ourselves, the land, and the plants themselves.  In "Prayers to the Plants," we will discover ways to resurrect these traditions in our own work. You will leave this workshop with a stronger sense of connection to the plants that can support your healing. You will also find inspiration for everyday habits that can bring you closer to your healing plant allies and we’ll share in a group activity that will allow us to experience plant-spirit medicine together. Embrace the wisdom of southern folk traditions and join a healing path that encourages personalized expression and simple practices meant for everyday use by all who are drawn to it!

Friday Keynote

Women of Southern Folk Medicine: Herb Docs, Granny Healers, & Midwives

Presenter: Phyllis D. Light, MA, RH(AHG)


Friday, November 11, 2022 

7pm-9:30pm ET


Past generations of women who practiced southern folk medicine were traditionally known as herb docs, granny healers, or midwives, depending on their areas of expertise and role in the community. As we celebrate their legacies, we will explore principles of southern folk medicine and share stories of women who have helped keep these healing traditions alive. Our evening will kickoff with a slideshow and a few shouts, featuring herbalists, farmers, midwives, and healers in the Midsouth. If you'd like to nominate someone to be featured in the slideshow, send us an email with their photo, name, state of residence, and a couple sentences about them!

Saturday Workshops

Alphabetized by Title

Bless Your Heart: Herbal Allies for Emotional Healing and Self-Love (Ruth Shelton)

Who among us hasn’t experienced heartache or heartbreak? The truth is that life is messy, hard and sometimes feels downright impossible. Herbal allies are invaluable in helping us mend the wounds that may or may not be visible to others and sometimes even ourselves. This class is open to all levels of herb loving and herb using people looking for help practicing some much-deserved TLC because we all need and deserve it. Participants will come out of the class with knowledge on some of the most heart opening, toning and soothing herbs. We will discuss using them in multiple ways, such as tinctures, baths, teas, etc. and a few more unexpected ways but all will be with the focus to help heal from the wounds that are carried in the emotional body. 

Granny's Healing Tonics: Ms. Emma Dupree's Traditional Tonics for the 21st Century (Yolanda Hatch)

The late Emma Dupree, known by many as the Grandmama of the Black Herbalist Movement, became an influential force in the medical world by sharing the healing powers of native plants with her community. Her garden grown pharmacy was full of a variety of herbs such as mullein, white mint, silkweed, rabbit tobacco, sassafras, and many others that were used for salves, tonics, elixirs and teas. In this workshop, Yolanda will share many of Ms. Dupree's contributions to the communities she served and discuss the history of how she and other Black Herbalists used tonics to treat various ailments. We will also discuss sourcing quality herbs, kitchen gardening, and supporting growing programs such as "Grow a Row", "United Plants Savers", CSAs, and more. 

Herbal EdgeDwellers and Outlaws (Leah Larabell)

Step into the wild world of “weeds” with Leah Larabell and see the medicine among us. Many plants have been shunned over time, been considered pests, feared or simply forgotten. It's time to take a look into the shadows and shine a light on the food and medicine these herbal allies offer us and other neighbors in nature. So many plants never make it to modern text or get a "bad" reputation with little hope for redemption. Plants like Lyre Leaf Sage, Perilla, Poke, Honeysuckle,and Kudzu are all among the friends we will be reintroducing ourselves to in this class. 

Herbs for Resilience in Times of Change (Joan Cowden)

Emotional resilience derives from a healthy body — but how? This class is about the remarkable conversation between the gut, heart and brain along the vagus nerve, and herbs that support that. Participants will learn how gut health impacts stress, anxiety, and emotional flow. You'll learn what herb groups and specific herbs support healing in those three systems, along with formulas to promote heart's ease as you embrace life in a quickly changing world.

In Our Roots: Legacy, Tradition, & Practices of 'seng Diggers and Root Healers (Joanne Bauman)

This unique workshop will address Joanne's own Appalachian great and great-great grandmothers and the herstory of granny women who were 'seng diggers and diggers of other roots employed in folk healing. This presentation will cover wild and cultivated root allies, when and how to harvest roots, prepare them, ethical harvesting and sustainable propagation to ensure continued growth. Our digging will also explore the deeper meaning and symbolism of roots, deeply anchoring and grounding ourselves to persevere in our healing process.

Native American Grandmother Medicine (Lisa "Pipsissewa" Bedner)

Native American Grandmother Medicine is the ancient practice of healing used by Elder Women of many Native American Tribes. It uses the simplest Medicines provided by the Earth Mother: plants; roots; waters; and clays, harvested closest to home. Spirituality and Prayer are always a part of Healing, which is slow and steady, like the waters of the river. The lecture will include history, practices, and specific Medicines, including less familiar Native and naturalized plants found East of the Mississippi River.

Southeastern Clay Medicine (Leslie Williams)

In the Southeast, we have clay and clay has a long history of medicinal use around the world as well as right here. We will discuss varieties of clay - local, wildcrafted red clay, the white and grey clays of northern Florida, French green, bentonite, kaolin and more. We talk about combining herbs and herbal oils for topical use, first aid and for addressing chronic conditions as well. Mineral content, variation and internal use will also be explored. 

Spiderwebs and Tobacco Spit: Superstitions and Folk Remedies (MSWHC Team & Guests)

A favorite Southern Folk Medicine tradition is storytelling. We want to hear your stories of superstitions, remedies, and folk wisdom. Our leadership team will be sharing some of our favorite tales and folk remedies plus participants will be invited to tell their own stories. We will be sending a call for stories, photos, and folk remedies before the conference to prepare for this class, so be thinking of something you could share!

The Contributions of African-American Herbalists and Midwives to Southern Folk Medicine (Earcine Evans) 

Come… Journey with me back in time… When Herbalism and Midwifery was a period of Forgiving, Healing and the Joy of helping to bring new life into our world.

The Southern Medicinal Food Forest (Joanna Mann)

Drawing from her experience as a permaculture farmer and training in Southern Folk Medicine, Joanna will share information about "food forests" and how to plant one. Step into the role of permaculture designer on your own property by choosing and playing the plants that will play the symphony of your ecosystem. We will learn how we can live in symbiotic relationship with our land, bringing great hope for the future!