Acorn School of Herbal Medicine Certificate Courses

​​​The Acorn School of Herbal Medicine offers educational programs in

Western Herbalism with clinical approaches to Plant Medicine and Vitalist healing



Our Philosophy

In the practice of herbalism we seek to treat the whole person, not the disease. In doing so herbalists employ healing methods intended to increase vitality and support the natural forces within us to restore balance on all levels. Our educational programs emphasize Vitalist principals in which to elevate the quality of life to facilitate deeper and more meaningful relationships with ourselves, our bodies, our community and to the Earth. We offer both a traditional and clinical platform from which to launch herbal practitioners into the life long journey. Using herbs as a way of life is an art. We support the creative process of self-care as a means to offer our services to others.  ​

Our Vision
We invite you to participate in paving the way for a cultural shift in healing the landscape of the human being. As herbalists we employ healing methods that support Nature's innate ability to flourish. On this journey we learn to work with the forces of Nature.  We seek to establish a better quality of life in modern living, knowing that health and wellness are not limited to what is perceived in physical form, but must be addressed at all levels of our being. This approach to personalized health care fosters an enriched human experience which directly affects the well being of our relationships, our communities, and our culture. Acorn School of Herbal Medicine wellness programs are how we want to contribute and best serve our community, both locally and globally. 

Understanding Vitalism
      “Vitalism in healing is a clinical strategy based on the principle that Life, Nature, and the Great Spirit from

       which they arise are fully present in all the tissues of the body, and also in the psyche, the spiritual heart,

       and the soul, sustaining life and health, providing momentum for personal evolution on all levels, and for

       the fulfillment of the highest purpose in social and spiritual life. Vitalist practitioners employ clinical

       strategies and methods which support this life power through encouragement of nourishment, digestion,

       rest, and appropriate activity, identification of purpose in personal life, connection with nature, an active

       spiritual life, identification and removal of obstacles to cure on all levels, and avoidance of methods which

       suppress or distort life processes. The Vitalist incorporates all aspects of science, especially physiology

       and pathophysiology, but equally values knowledge from traditional herbalism, empirical observation,

       instinct and intuition, and is not confined to the narrow materialistic world view that dominates much of

       modern science, medicine, and social life.”     – Paul Bergner

​​​"Flipped" Classroom Model
Acorn School of Herbal Medicine certificate courses offer a “flipped” classroom model for most of the academic portions in each program where reading materials and instructional audio recordings are done prior to class time. Class time is then spent engaging in further discussion, answering questions, and working together in participation of hands-on class work. This approach allows for community learning as we practice key components with feedback. This is a teaching model that is being adopted by Universities and Colleges. The benefits of classroom flipping is that students are able to learn more deeply, there is more active participation in learning, the interaction increases and students learn from each other. This method of education helps both instructors and students to get more feedback. 


​​School Information                                                              
The Acorn School of Herbal Medicine (referred to as ASHM) offers education in medical herbalism, clinical nutrition, basic physiology, field botany, herbal pharmacy, and other aspects of natural health. Our faculty members are certified herbalists with professional clinical experience and strong backgrounds in clinical nutrition. Our programs are not accredited by any educational agency in the State of California.

ASHM teaches curriculum created by Paul Bergner, Medical Herbalist, Clinical Nutritionist for the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (referred to as NAIMH). Paul founded NAIMH in 2003, and from 2003 until 2012, NAIMH was approved and Regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. In July 2012 NAIMH relocated to Portland, Oregon. Oregon does not regulate this type of school, but NAIMH has kept and maintain the coursework approved by Colorado. NAIMH is not academically accredited, and students are not eligible for federal government loans. Each Acorn School of Herbal Medicine instructor has completed courses with NAIMH, under the instruction of Paul Bergner. 


Footprints in Medical Herbalism students are dually enrolled at both the Acorn School of Herbal Medicine and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. Upon completion of this course you will receive two separate certificates: one certificate from ASHM and one from NAIMH.

About the Acorn School