Last October when wanted an expert on the subject of healing, twenty-something Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine Dr. Naika Apeakorang was the obvious choice.
The Brooklyn resident was the sole headliner for a discussion entitled “Mother Tongues United: What Healing Looks Like for the Caribbean and Its Diaspora”, and drew a healthy crowd at the University. The Bastyr University graduate impressed attendees with her knowledge on the subject.
A definite self-starter, Dr. Naika Apeakorang has launched her own practice, runs a blog, and creates custom herbal blends for her clients. Less than two months later, she executed a workshop of her own, and attracted so many attendees that it became sold out before the event date.
The daughter of Ghanian and a Haitian, the Naturopathic Medicine Doctor was born in New York, where she currently practices. Well-traveled, she brings a world’s view to her practice. Whether she’s creating nutritional formulas for her patients, assisting them with pain management, detoxification, and other issues, her passion for herbal medicine and helping them shines through.
Kreyolicious: Medical school. Your own practice. And now seminars and workshops all over. Where do you get your drive and sense of direction?
Dr. Naika: I have always felt that I have a purpose to realize; something higher, greater, and bigger than myself. Something to be shared with people (despite being quite introverted!). Realizing this purpose means working really hard.
Luckily, my passion is my life’s work and my work is my life’s passion, so everything I do feels purposeful. The closer I get to that purpose, the more fuel I get. I just keep my gaze forward and up. I trust in God’s plan. I watch out for signs that I’m on the right path, and I respect the natural cycle of things. We’re all on our way, everything happens for a reason, and it will all work out in the end.
Kreyolicious: What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned so far as a business woman?
Dr. Naika: “Follow your heart and trust yourself”, is probably my biggest life realization, and that has definitely translated to my business world. I have learned that the road is long, so it’s more of an endurance test, so slow-steady-determined-intentional, wins the race.
Also, patience-patience-patience; all things come in time. I’ve learned that being myself and building something based on good principles matters both to me and to my clients. At the end of the day, we all want to connect with something real and meaningful.
Kreyolicious: How did you first learn about herbs and their uses?
Dr. Naika: Besides picking up gems of knowledge from family and family friends, I first learned from traveling. I feel very blessed and grateful to my parents, for exposing me to so many different cultures while growing up.
We were always traveling and I loved it! I am half-Haitian and half-Ghanaian, and both cultures have strong herbal medicine traditions. So, when I visited those two places, as well as dozens of others, I always observed were at treating people.
The first place I learned about herbal medicine from a trained herbalist in a formal setting was in Peru, where I spent some time when I was 17. From there, I was mostly self-taught, indulging in many books about herbs and nutrition, especially during my year off in between college and medical school.
It was then that I actually started my blog, , which would eventually become the brand you know today. Once I decided to pursue Naturopathic medicine, my love for herbs solidified and intensified. Herbal medicine is one of the many tools Naturopathic Doctors use for whole-person healing.
So, my many years of formal education in herbal medicine helped bring everything together. I remember sitting in class or being in clinic, realizing, “Wow, these herbs that have been scientifically researched and clinically-proven are the same herbs I heard about as a kid!”. I just thought that was the most amazing and beautiful thing.
Kreyolicious: Do you have a favorite herb?
Dr. Naika: I feel like a finally get why parents say they can’t have a favorite child! Ha! I don’t have a favorite herb, but I do gravitate towards different ones at different times. Right now, I’m really into (Melissa officinalis), known as Melis in Haitian Kreyol. It tastes wonderful, and is very soothing.
Kreyolicious: What are some non-medical stuff you learned while there that have helped you navigate life?
Dr. Naika: So much that I can easily write a book! Maybe I should? I’ll just list them out. Everything happens for reason. Some days are tough, but you keep on keeping on. Always do your best, and your best will always be enough.
Work hard for what matters to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Faith and trust will always carry you through. And, of course, follow your heart and trust yourself.
Kreyolicious: Where do you see your career heading?
Dr. Naika: I see my life’s work headed , of elevated consciousness and healing, and collective liberation for all. In the near future, I want to continue working with my local communities, and to build solid foundations in Haiti.
I also want to explore what my work will look like in a global context. I see myself constantly improving myself, working on my craft, helping create a better version of the world for future generations, and spreading love and good energy along the way.
Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by kreyolicious