Tag Archives: Black History

February 14, 2021 Emma Dupree, herbalist

I have loved herbs since I first became of aware of them in my late teens. I now have my own tinctures, tonics and oils that I make for health and wellbeing.
Let me introduce you to: Emma Dupree (July 4, 1897 – March 12, 1996) was an herbalist and traditional healer) in Falkland and Fountain, Pitt County, North Carolina.
Emma Dupree was the seventh of child of 18, grew up on the Tar River in North Carolina. She was called that “woods gal” as her habit to wondering in the woods looking for herbs and plants. She and her husband had five children. Her garden pharmacy included sassafras, white mint, double tansy, rabbit tobacco, maypop, mullein, catnip, and more. She made tinctures, tonics, teas, salves, and dried preparations.
Mrs. Dupree was born to a tradition of knowing about the curative and preventative uses of the natural pharmacopeia which grew wild along the banks of the creeks and branches and the Tar River in her home area of Falkland in Pitt County. Her interest in the healing, helping effects of the plants was established early as well as her sense of place and community.
As an elderly woman she was sought after by doctors and medical anthropologists who wanted to learn from her lifelong years of wisdom and knowledge about the medicinal properties of native plants so they could also understand. She agreed to teach them what she knew. You can hear her interview from 1979.  
Mrs Dupree received the Brown-Hudson Award by the North Carolina Folklore Society and in 1002 she received the North Carolina Heritage Award.
Picture from the North Carolina Museum of African Americans’ History & Culture Photographed by Mary Anne McDonald
May be an image of flower and nature