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Footprints in Medical Herbalism

342 total hours

186 class hours + 156 independent study hours certified by NAIMH

Footprints in Medical Herbalism Program

Registration is OPEN!

Footprints in Medical Herbalism

ONLINE Program

September 10, 2024 - May 29, 2025

Tuesdays & Thursdays  10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST

​​​​​Course Description

​​​​All classes are held in real-time* on Zoom

*Students may opt to watch the recordings of classes to meet attendance requirements

This is an in-depth program that provides essential training in the foundations of Western Herbalism with a total of 342 hours of study. The core curriculum was created by Paul Bergner for the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. All class hours are taught by Heather Luna. Completion of the Footprints in Medical Herbalism program grants students a certificate from ACORN for 186 hours of class time and an additional certificate from NAIMH for 156 self-study hours. 

“This is an entry level course for the study of herbal medicine, and presents the context of the vitalist approach to healing, nutrition and lifestyle, and also a basic introduction to formulation, with case-based will learn how to study an herb, which will establish a foundation for effective future learning. This is a project-oriented course, you will taste the herbs, journal their effects, make your own tinctures, devise formulas, and study actual clinical cases. Do not mistake this to be a simplistic introductory course, it contains within it the inspiration, hands-on experience, tools, terms and concepts, and methods of application, and case based learning that many contemporary herbalists missed out on in their own education.”


~ Paul Bergner, founder of NAIMH

Course Curriculum

Our rigorous Footprints Course curriculum was created by Paul Bergner, Medical Herbalist and Clinical Nutritionist, founder of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (NAIMH). Paul has almost 50 years of experience studying and practicing naturopathy, medical herbalism, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, flower essences, yoga therapy, and bodywork, including undergraduate studies in pre-medicine and psychology, and 50 semester hours of doctoral level medical studies at National College of Naturopathic Medicine. The course curriculum and supporting herbal literature provided by Paul is well researched, thorough, and draw from years of practical experience. Heather Luna, Clinical Herbalist and Clinical Nutritionist, has been a student and colleague of Paul Bergner's for over 20 years and brings her own personal herbal experience to the foundation created by Paul. Heather Luna has the experience and knowledge of a seasoned herbal instructor that brings this course to life. Classes are thoughtful, engaging, and exciting as you explore plant medicines and their applications. This course has everything you need to set you firmly on the path of the herbalist.
The Footprints Program has 4 main components to the curriculum: the 3 Courses of the original Foundations program at NAIMH plus the ACORN School's Traditional Herbalism Skill Set.

1) First Course in Medical Herbalism

  • Lesson 1. How to study herbalism, herbal forms, and herbal actions

  • Lesson 2. Alterative herbs.

  • Lesson 3. Immune-enhancing and antiseptic herbs

  • Lesson 4. Sedative herbs

  • Lesson 5. Herbs for women

  • Lesson 6. Energy tonics

  • Lesson 7. Healing strategies, with case studies

  • Lesson 8. Herbs and common medical conditions

2) ​Practical Herbalism

  • Lesson 1. Journaling Herbal Experience

  • Lesson 2. Practical Uses for Garlic

  • Lesson 3. Nutritive Herbs

  • Lesson 4. Topical Herbs

  • Lesson 5. Herbs to Support Digestion

  • Lesson 6. Moistening and Drying Herbs

  • Lesson 7. Heating and Cooling Herbs

  • Lesson 8. Herbs to Support Relaxation

  • Lesson 9. Herbs for Pain

  • Lesson 10. Herbs for Infection and Fever

3) Vitalist Treatment of Acute Symptoms

  • Lesson 1. Upper, Middle, and Lower Gastrointestinal Tract Conditions

  • Lesson 2. Blood Purifiers, Alteratives, the Bad Blood Syndrome, and the Skin

  • Lesson 3. External and Internal Treatments for the Skin

  • Lesson 4. Wounds, Burns, and Chronic Ulcers

  • Lesson 5. Catarrh, Chronic mucous, and Lymphatic conditions

  • Lesson 6. Fever

  • Lesson 7. Coughs, Eyes, and Ears

  • Lesson 8. Fatigue, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia

  • Lesson 9. Pain

  • Lesson 10. Bladder and Kidney

  • Lesson 11. Menses

  • Lesson 12. Pregnancy and Breast Health​

4) Traditional Herbalism Skill Set

  • Botanical Identification

  • Harvesting Ethics

  • Flower Essences

  • Herbal Steams and Baths

  • Custom Formulation

  • Medicine Making:

    • Infusions and decoctions       

    • Tinctures       

    • Oils and salves       

    • Syrups, cordials and elixirs       

    • Electuaries (medicated honey)

    • Powders and pills

​​​​​​​​​​​General Enrollment Information

  • No previous herbal experience is necessary to take this course.

  • Prospective students must fill out an Application for enrollment & pay the Application Fee of $50.

  • You must have a High School diploma or equivalency to be accepted for enrollment.

  • You must be 18 years of age or older to attend classes.

  • Enrollment is open until August 27, 2024. Late enrollments will be accepted at the discretion of ACORN.

Class Schedule

1st Day: September 10, 2024

Last Day: May 29, 2025

​Classes are held on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm PST

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Click for a printable version

How Class Works

Please read the Footprints Student Handbook for complete details. 

Regular Classes

Our regular class times are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. Our classes will be held online using Zoom. Heather Luna will be your instructor for the Footprints program. Paul Bergner will guest teach periodically as his schedule permits. We encourage students to attend the live Zoom classes. It is an interactive environment where we can share and learn together. If you are unable to attend the live Zoom classes, you may opt to watch the recording for attendance. See below for details.

Attendance by Recordings

If a student cannot attend a live Zoom class, they may watch the Zoom class recording, take notes, complete the given assignments and submit their work within 2 weeks of the recorded class for attendance credit. Recordings will be uploaded to student drive files online for access and future reference.

Self-Study/Audio files (NAIMH Course Materials)

Listening to Paul's recorded classes is an essential aspect of our herbal learning environment. These lectures are full of valuable information and experience that drives the entire program. You will listen to the assignment (audio file) and write a reflection paper to discuss in class. You will also have access to a digital library that contains study guides, lecture notes, classical herbal texts and various herbal references. 

Medicine Making Kits

Feeling, smelling, and tasting herbs are important aspects of herbalist training. All students will receive a Medicine Making Kit at the beginning of each Course that will contain all the herbs and medicine making materials needed to complete the lessons for that Course at home. Students will read the lessons, make the herbal preparations on their own time, do the tasting and journaling exercises at home, and discuss comparisons together as a class.

NAIMH Course Materials

The NAIMH Course Materials is required to attend classes. It contains the course curriculum we will be studying. It is a digital library of files that will come as a download. The cost of the Course Materials is in addition to tuition, must be paid in full and is non-refundable. 

NAIMH Course Materials includes: 

  • Audio recorded lectures with Paul Bergner for each of the main courses

  • Course study guides

  • Lecture notes

  • PDF Library of herbal references and classic herbal texts including Culpepper, Grieve, Lloyd, Felter, Cook, Ellingwood, Kneipp, and more

  • NAIMH Actions Database of 150 herbs

  • Healing Power of Minerals and Trace Elements by Paul Bergner (abridged)

  • The Healing Power of Ginseng and the Tonic Herbs by Paul Bergner

  • The Folk Remedy Database by Paul Bergner

  • More than 800 pages of article reprints from the Medical Herbalism Journal

Tuition & Costs    

Total Program Cost $4200

  • $800 - Tuition Deposit

  • $600 - NAIMH Course Materials

  • $2800 - Tuition Balance (includes medicine making supplies – a value of $900)

Payment Due Dates

Once you are accepted into the Footprints in Medical Herbalism program you will receive an Enrollment Packet with complete details, due dates and next steps to help you prepare for the first day of school.

$1400 due by 8/27/24:

  • Tuition Deposit of $800 - This deposit counts towards your total tuition. We encourage you to pay your deposit as soon as you can to help offset the initial costs and hold your place in the program. The deposit also helps keep the monthly payments affordable.

  • NAIMH Course Materials Purchase of $600 - The Course Materials must be purchased by this date. The cost of the Course Materials is in addition to tuition, is non-refundable, and is required to attend classes. Once payment has been made, you will receive a link to download these files. 

Tuition Monthly Payment Plan

Once your Tuition Deposit and Course Materials are paid, you will have monthly payments. Tuition payments are auto-billed on the 1st Tuesday of the month (dates given below). Please contact ACORN directly to make custom payment arrangements.   

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Application Instructions​

Applications will not be processed until the application fee is submitted. This fee pays our time to thoroughly review each person’s application, read their essay, and then schedule a private interview to discuss their enrollment. This is a non-refundable one-time payment. 

  1. Student Handbook - Read the School Policies section (pgs. 10-12) of the Student Handbook, scroll to the bottom of this page for the link.

  2. Application - Fill it out online and save it to your device by adding your name in the file name, for example: “FP Application 2024-25_Jane Smith.pdf”

  3. ID - Take a picture of your ID and save it to your device.

  4. Essay - Write a one-page essay describing why you want to attend the ACORN School of Herbal Medicine. Include any previous herbal or botanical experience, studies, and apprenticeships. Write the essay in a word processor and save the file as a .doc, .pdf, or share it as a Google Doc file to the email address below.

  5. Application Fee - Pay the application fee using the payment button below.

  6. Send an Email – Attach the following: Completed Application, Copy of ID & your Essay.


Within 7-14 days you will receive an email from us about your acceptance. 

​Questions? Please contact Heather Luna, ACORN Director with any additional questions or concerns. 

Step #1
Footprints Program HANDBOOK

Step #2
Footprints Program APPLICATION

Step #3
$50 Application Fee

(one-time payment)

Course Description
Enrollment Info
Class Schedule
How Class Works
Course Materials
Tuition & Costs
Application Info
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