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Paul Bergner
Tania Neubauer
Mary Barnes
Natali Montoya

Paul is the Director the NAIMH, core clinical and classroom faculty and a primary mentor for our audio courses. He has studied, practiced, and taught natural medicine since 1973, with formal training in 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 the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has published the Medical Herbalism journal since the founding of the NAIMH in 1989, and has written seven books on medical herbalism, nutrition, Chinese medicine, ethnobotany, and naturopathic medicine. He has also edited periodicals on clinical nutrition and naturopathic medicine. aul is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. Paul has taught clinical herbalism and clinical nutrition since 1989. He has mentored more than 300 students through clinical residencies at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, and the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder since 1996. He is currently a clinical faculty mentor to students at the Colorado School of Clinial Herbalism in Boulder and the Vital Ways herbal school in Portland, OR. He also has taught nutrition academically at both the undergraduate university and master’s level. He lectures on the topics of medical herbalism and clinical nutrition nationally and internationally.

Paul Bergner, Medical Herbalist,

Clinical Nutritionist


  • Are all experienced in and committed to the Vitalist model of healing.

  • Are professional level practicing herbalists 

  • Integrate dietetics, nutrition, and lifestyle into their therapeutics.

  • Have twenty or more years of experience in natural medicine. 

  • Are skilled, experienced educators and student-mentors 

Mentoring: Another way of teaching at a distance


The educational method employed in all our distance learning audio courses is mentoring. Mentoring is a teaching method that allows the establishment of a unique relationship between teacher and student. The mentor does not simply lecture the student, or grade their quizzes, but provides information, guides the student through experiences where they can learn first hand, and tailors the education processes to the questions, curiosity, motivations, and intentions of the student. The mentor encourages questions, seeking the spark of curiosity in the student, and then can tailor information according to those questions. Often, the mentor will answer a question with a question. “How does one use Lobelia for a topical application?” may be answered with: “Have you looked in Wm Cook's Physiomedical Dispensatory on your resources disk?” Then the student learns how to use the tool rather than receiving parroted information. Or the answer may be an internet link, a previously published article on the topic, or suggestions to purchase a particular book as a permanent reference. The response may be to teach the student to use other research tools, or to engage in extra hands-on assignments. All the courses at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism have a basic format, study materials, questions, and exercises, but no two students receive exactly the same education. Those who actively engage in questions receive supplemental materials and information according to their own line of inquiry, curiosity, or passion.

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Tania Neubauer, ND, Clinical Herbalist

Tania Neubauer is a Clinical Herbalist and Naturopathic Physician who has studied and practiced herbalism since 1994. She is a primary clinical mentor and instructor at both the NAIMH and the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism.  She began her healthcare career as an herbalist. Inspired by the green world, she completed programs of study with Michael Moore, Karyn Sanders, and the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine. Tania also worked at the Berkeley Free Clinic for four years as a community health worker, counselor and medical coordinator. She merged these interests to become a naturopathic doctor, completing her N.D. degree at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2006. After graduation, she practiced primary care medicine in a small rural Nicaraguan hospital through a collaboration with Natural Doctors International, a nonprofit that works to bring natural medicine to global health. Here conventional treatments were mixed with naturopathic treatments including Indigenous and North American herbs. She is now in primary care naturopathic practice at two health centers serving Spanish-speaking and low-income patients in Oregon, where she resides. Tania has traveled and connected with natural medicine practitioners throughout Central America and Mexico.


Mary W. Barnes, Registered Herbalist (AHG), Certified Nutritionist

Mary Barnes has been on the core clinical faculty of the NAIMH since 2003, and is a primary mentor for our audio courses. She is currently also the Clinic Program Director at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder, Colorado, where she also teaches classroom and pharmacy topics. She has a clinical practice in the small mountain town of Leadville, Colorado serving a culturally diverse population. Mary graduated from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in 2000, has completed two certificate programs in clinical nutrition and continues self-study of botanical medicine. Mary is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. 


Heather Luna, Clinical Herbalist,

Clinical Nutritionist

Heather Luna teaches the NAIMH Foundations in Western Herbalism Program through the Acorn School of Herbal Medicine in Nevada City, CA, where she is the school director. Her Footprints program there incorporates the Foundations audio program into an expanded format with onsite classroom, lab, field classes and hands-on experience in a community learning format. She is a graduate of the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies, and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. Her teachings are rooted in both medical and folk herbalism. Her passion for Nature has guided her in a practice of herbs, nutrition, bodywork, apitherapy, and vitalism for the past 20 years. Heather's professional practice includes appropriate guidance in herbal and nutritional counseling, specific dietary programs, coaching through food allergies, therapeutic and uterine massage, flower essences, and a wide variety of natural medicine protocols.  Heather teaches full time at the Acorn School and also operates the Nevada City Herb & Tea Co which specializes in medicinal herb tea blends. Heather is a master in the art of "self-care" and teaches the use of simple and effective healing strategies sustained by a close relationship to Nature. 

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Sonia Vasquez, Herbalist, Nutritionist

Sonia Vásquez specializes in Vitalist Herbalism and Functional Nutrition and Wellness. She is an adjunct instructor at the North American Institute of Herbal Medicine, where she focuses on adapting, translating, and teaching the curriculum for Spanish speakers. She is also a certified wellness counselor from the Wellcoaches® program and works for Vida Health as a health coach, specializing on weight loss and metabolic disorders. She is also a POCA® ear acupuncture technologist and a yoga, meditation, and personal care instructor from the Breath for Change® program.

Sonia is a very active educator and coach, through her organization, Latina Natural, she has helped hundreds of people in the Hispanic community in Milwaukee, WI, creating awareness about the importance of personal and environmental care, especially the care of digestion, nutrition, movement, emotional management and reconnection with nature as main pillars of a healthy life. One of her main passions is to teach people how to create their own medicines and find alternative and creative ways to heal.


Kat Mackinnon, Registered Herbalist (AHG)  Clinical Nutritionist

Kat Mackinnon is the Clinic Program Director at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Lafayette, Colorado. She mentors students, is a principal reviewer of student intern cases, is a core faculty member for first-year programs, including Rocky Mountain Field Botany, and offers workshops on botany and wild foods.

Kat is a certified clinical herbalist and nutritionist, as well as a certified Bach essences practitioner through the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. She is also a Registered Herbalist through the American Herbalists Guild. 

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