348 total hours
192 class hours + 156 independent study hours certified by NAIMH
This is an entry level, in-depth program that provides essential training in the foundations of Western Herbalism with a total of 348 hours of study. The core curriculum was created by Paul Bergner for the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. Completion of the Footprints in Medical Herbalism program grants students a certificate from ACORN for 192 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 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, and methods of application, and case based learning that many contemporary herbalists missed out on in their own education.” -NAIMH
Click on the image to view our Student Handbook
How Class Works
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 teach every class for the Footprints program. Paul Bergner will guest teach periodically as his schedule permits.
Listening to Paul's recorded classes are 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.
Medicine Making/Herbal Formulations
Feeling, smelling, and tasting herbs are important aspects of herbalist training. Normally we would make herbal medicines together in a classroom setting. Since we are now holding classes online, all students will receive a Medicine Making Care Package at the beginning of each Course (4 packages total), that will contain all the herbs and medicine making materials needed to complete the lessons for that Course at home. In each chapter of the material, students will read the lessons and make the herbal preparations on their own time, then do the tasting and journaling exercise at home, and finally we will have a discussion and comparison together as a class online.
We are happy to announce the return of in-person outdoor Field Classes! These classes will be held independently from the Footprints curriculum and anyone is welcome to join (students or the greater community). For all the details and registration see our Field Classes page.
(click on this calendar for a printable version)
1st Day of Class: September 7, 2021
Last Day of Class: May 26, 2022
Classes are held on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
(click on this calendar for a printable version)
CURRENT FOOTPRINTS CALENDAR
Required Class Materials
1) NAIMH Course Materials
The NAIMH Course Materials is a library of digital files that will come as a download. We recommend saving these files to some type of external hard drive, since the files are approximately 8 GB of data. The cost of the Course Materials is in addition to tuition, must be paid in full and is non-refundable.
NAIMH Course Materials includes:
2) Medicine Making Care Packages ("Supplies Fee")
The Medicine Making Care Package will include herbs, bottles, menstruums (alcohol, oil, honey, vinegar, etc.), labels and other necessary items.
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
Intro to Aromatherapy