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Footprints in Medical Herbalism

Registration is open for the 2024-25 school year

Classes start September 10th


342 total hours

186 online class hours


156 independent study hours certified by the

North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

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

“Footprints 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 study. You 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, methods of application, and case based learning that many contemporary herbalists missed out on in their own education.”


~ Paul Bergner

North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

This in-depth program provides essential training in the foundations of vitalist principles within the Western Herbalism tradition.  All class hours are taught by Heather Luna with course curriculum provided by Paul Bergner.  Completion of this program grants students a dual certification from both ACORN and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. 

We use a flipped classroom model in which students learn from audio recorded lectures with Paul Bergner at home to then dive into discussion with real world case applications during class time. This experience offers a better method of learning than the typical classroom setting by supporting a deeper engagement with the most potent herbal curriculum offered anywhere in medical herbalism today. This method of learning enriches our online learning community experience. The classroom setting is a guide to what’s in the audio recorded materials and shows students how to use the tools that are in them as a resource which can be accessed rest of their herbal career.

Meet the instructors


​​​​​Course Curriculum

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

August 27, 2024 is the last day to enroll

  • 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.

  • Late enrollments will be accepted at the discretion of ACORN.


Class Schedule & Calendar

1st Day: September 10, 2024

Last Day: May 29, 2025

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

There are 32 weeks of classes, and 5 weeks of breaks.

How Class Works

Please read the Footprints Student Handbook for complete details. 

Regular Classes

Our community learning classes will be held online using Zoom. Heather Luna will be your primary instructor. 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. 

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 for lifetime access. 

Course Materials (from the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism)

The course materials is a library of digital files that include: audio lectures, notes and slides for each lesson, hundreds of data files, and PDF references of physiomedical, eclectic, and clinical herbal texts. See below for a more detailed list of what is included. 

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 which contains herbs for sampling and journaling assignments and all medicine making projects. Students will make the herbal preparations and discuss comparisons together as a class.

Oak & Acorn

Course Materials

from the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

  • Audio recorded lectures with Paul Bergner for each topic

  • 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


Total Program Cost $4200

  • $800 - Tuition Deposit

  • $600 - NAIMH Course Materials

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

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.   

FP Payment Schedule (1).png
St John's Wort

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_Your Name.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 us with any additional questions or concerns. 

Step #1
Footprints Program HANDBOOK

Step #2
Footprints Program APPLICATION

Step #3
$50 Application Fee

(one-time payment)

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