The model and ex-wife of Rolling Stones rocker Ronnie Wood turned to an organic herbalist after revealing her condition in a newspaper article.
Now Jo, who was diagnosed in 1989, believes more people should take up an organic lifestyle and avoid high street beauty products that she claims are packed with poisons that make us ill.
Jo, 63, said: “In 1991, I met a great herbalist called Gerald Green and he helped me clean up my body because I wasn’t well.
“From there on, whilst I got better, I thought it was all very well looking at what I was eating but also what was I putting on my skin.
“I started reading lots of books about products and what is in your make-up, all that sort of thing.
“What goes on your skin goes straight into your bloodstream. If it is full of chemicals, your body hasn’t got a chance. It really is what we put on our skin and what we are putting in our body that determines how healthy we are.
“Eat cr** and you will feel cr**. It affects the health of the body. There’s no two ways about that.
“There are so many chemicals in your cheap beauty products.
“These chemicals you use from the factories go into the rivers and the seas.
“We need to clean up ourselves and our planet but the big beauty companies do not want us to do that because the profit margin is massive.”
Shockingly, as Jo got her health back, she discovered the Crohn’s diagnosis had been a mistake.
She said: “The doctors put me on steroids for two years. I hated it.
“They took my soul away. I didn’t feel right and I felt sad all the time because the pills were awful.
“I did an interview in one of the papers that said ‘Stones Wife Has Incurable Disease’ and I got hundreds of letters about Crohn’s disease.
“One of them was a herbalist, Gerald Green, who said, ‘Come and see me, I will put your Crohn’s disease into remission for life. I live in Hastings in my house called Shangri La’.
“So I went down to see him. He was a lovely man who died a couple of years ago.
“He cleaned up my system and, eventually, I went to the hospital because I had got the pain back again after I weaned myself off my steroids and they said it was amazing that I had survived two years of suffering and they also found out I hadn’t had Crohn’s disease.
“It was a perforated ulcer and they found the real cause because I had cleaned my system out.
“Now I care about everything that I put into my system.
“I never eat processed food and I would never dream of having a Coca-Cola.”
In 2005, Jo started her award-winning Jo Wood Organics range of fragrances, body oils and candles.
And she always made sure to handle not just her own diet but Stones rocker Ronnie’s too – as he toured the world with the legendary group.
“Whatever I put on the table was goodness,” she said. “I cooked organically and still do.
“An organic lifestyle is important. If you want to be happy, you have to have your health.
“Without your health, how can you be happy because happiness and health go together.”
This autumn, viewers can see Jo on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, putting her survival skills to the test.
She’ll be alongside Emmerdale’s Roxanne Pallett, Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet and EastEnders, as well as journalist and transgender activist Paris Lees.
But Jo had to be persuaded by her children to even take part.
“My kids said that I had to do it so off I went and I thought it was the most extraordinary experience,” Jo said. “It takes you back to how we first survived.
“It was much harder work than I expected. I thought there would be more time lying on a beach getting a tan but you have to work hard to survive, for sure.
“It was so important to keep the fire alive. We relied on the fire for everything. Boiling water was a priority. I liked the experience, even though it was hard.”
Jo added: “I’ve been organic for years. I care about what I put in my body and I care about the planet.
“Your body needs nutrients. I ate the most natural food straight out of the sea or straight off a tree into my body.
“When I left the island, I felt healthier, and I’m healthy anyway, than I’d felt for years.
“That was the great thing about being on the island.
“Everybody should go and live on an island, start from scratch for a month like I did, and get in contact with themselves and the earth, and that’s a good start.
“In reality, not everyone can do that so I think the best thing to do is to be careful what you are putting on your skin and what you eat to have an organic way of life.”
While on the island, Jo admits she was taken aback to see for herself how even the remotest parts of the world are being affected by the environmental impact of the human race.
“I was really sad about the amount of plastic which was washed up on the beaches every day,” she said. “This little island on the middle of nowhere was full of plastic.
“Going on an island like that, you see what modern man was doing to the earth. But in saying that, we used what was washed up to help us survive but there was just too much of it.
“I thought I would go there and gather up the plastic until I saw the amount of it. It was sad. Every beach would be the same with bits of Lego and Barbie doll houses as well as plastic bottles.
“I made a bag out of one bottle to collect limpets for limpet stew because I cooked on the island.”
Jo has no time for climate change deniers. She added: “We have had such a hot summer in London. You can tell the
“It has been hot since we went away in May and it is apparently going to be like this until October.
“The climate is changing. Even if we are not talking about global warming, we can at least clean up our planet. The amount of plastic out there is mind-boggling.”