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An Interview with Dr. Jody Noé, Ethnobotanist
by Lee Warren
At Red Moon Herbs and the SE Wise Women, we continue to gear up for the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference, on October 12-14, in Black Mountain.
This blog features another of our many amazing teachers. Jody (Dr. Noé) is a sister from the Northeast who spent many years studying ethnobotany and Cherokee medicine with elders in our region. Here’s a recently captured interview with her.
How do you blend such scientific/medical perspective as well as indigenous/folk perspectives in your work?
It is easy because it is me….
I started my journey with a psych nursing degree back in the late ’70s and then a rigourous premedical degree in 1985. I created the major myself, a Pre-Naturopathic Medicial degree, by taking the premed biology track and then adding extra credits. This led to my Masters degree studies in botany and ethnobotany.
Thus I began my traditional training with the Cherokee elders.
I began the first year with Mamma Gene Jackson, Mary Ulmer Chiltoskey and the women of The Qualla boundary Cherokee in the Smoky Mountains in 1986. They in turn led me to my training with Crosslin F.Smith, High Priest of the Keetoowah, and now recognized as the Spiritual Leader of the Cherokee Nation. I started in 1987 and have continued even to today, more than twenty five years later.
My medical training is from Bastyr University in Seattle Washington where I graduated with an ND.
It all had to blend together while I was learning at the same time from both sides of my brain and experiences.
What themes do you see as work with women and women’s health?
Women are the ones being called to come out–out unto themselves and their own innate power, which in turn is healing.
Once the Womyn, the Mothers, the Crones and Grannies, the Maidens and the Aunties take their own power and healing, we then can change the world and the healing of change can begin.
I am excited to be a spark in this fire that is happening to womyn all over the planet.
I call it the Grass Skirts Movement!
Briefly talk about your teachings on Cherokee Ethnobotany and why it is so popular?
I think these teachings are popular because it is empowering and self actualizing. I often pass down some of my learned traditions in a multi-media style so that all learners can participate but the Cherokee Household Medicine at this upcoming conference will be without power points and slides. We’ll be outside and in circle with each other.
It seems that women all over the states are ready to understand and explore this healing power….the original spark!
Jody’s intensive is called Cherokee Household Medicine and will be offered at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference next month. You must be registered for the entire conference weekend (over 70 teachers and more than 30 classes) and additionally registered for this intensive, in order to take part in her class.
Dr. Jody Noé is a licensed naturopathic physician in practice for over 17 years. She is currently an assistant professor for the University of Bridgeport’s College of Naturopathic Medicine, and the author of Naturopathic Integrative Oncology. Dr. Noé has a private practice in Westerly, Rhode Island, specializing in family medicine, cancer, and chronic disease. Dr. Noé is also educated as an Ethnobotanist, specifically in Cherokee medicine.