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Fatigue: Pathophysiology, Natural Therapeutics,

and Adaptogens



  • Review the pathophysiology and differential diagnosis of the patient with fatigue as the chief complaint.

  • Learn the role of key nutrients in fatigue

  • Learn the role of dietary selection and food intolerance in fatigue

  • Learn the basic science of sleep, sleep cycles, and sleep debt

  • Learn a method of lifestyle intervention to improve sleep time and quality

  • Learn a complete materia medica and formulation approach to improve sleep

  • Learn to critically evaluate claims made for the class of herbal adaptogens

  • Learn the most important adverse effects and potential harms of adaptogens as a class, and of 18 specific herbs.

  • Learn how to use 18 Chinese tonic herbs appropriately in the context of Western herbalism


In this course you will learn the tools and skill set to assess and address the patient who complains of Fatigue. You will learn the pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and root causes of fatigue; methods for using herbal medicine and formulation to address sleep and sleep debt. The categories of adaptogens and Chinese tonic herbs are covered in depth. Included is a critical view of the concept of the adaptogen, with illustrations of how the misuse of this herbal category can promote burnout rather than relieve it. Included are sections on Chinese tonic herbs for the Western herbalist, and Chinese herbs for athletic training and performance.



With this course you will receive 15 audio disks, more than 200 slides to accompany the audio, 75 pages of supplemental readings, patient handouts to help establish healthy sleep, Tonic Herbs for the Western Herbalist (2014) by Paul Bergner, a PDF copy of The Healing Power of Ginseng and the Tonic Herbs (1996) by Paul Bergner. Students enrolled in our courses are also eligible for a 10% discount on purchases at Mountain Rose Herbs.


Topics Included

  •  The most common allopathic diagnoses with fatigue as a chief presentation

  • The types of fatigue syndromes

  • Adrenal function and the Krebs Cycle, roles in fatigue

  • The most common nutrient deficiencies with fatigue as a symptom

  • The role of vitamin D in fatigue

  • The pathophysiology of the sleep cycle and sleep debt

  • Sleep restoration as a therapeutic tool and diagnostic tool in burnout.

  • Herbal materia medica and formulation in support of sleep

  • Exercise, exercise burnout, and fatigue

  • The Dark Side of Adaptogens: How the indiscriminate use of tonic herbs can promote burnout and deep injury to the endocrine system

  • Case studies of burnout and fatigue

  • A materia medica of Chinese tonics herbs and how to use them in a Western context.

  • Tonic herbs for athletics performance: Strategies and formulas.


Enrollment for Credit

To enroll in the course, receive faculty support, and to earn the Continuing Education certificate, follow these steps:


  1. Purchase the Audio course materials at our Online Store. the materials may be purchased without further enrollment in the course or any tuition payment.

  2. When you receive it, open the data disk file, and print out the application form. Send it in with a $25 application fee and the $120 tuition.

  3. You will be assigned a faculty mentor. This entitles you to student support and faculty contact for twelve weeks after we reply to you and assign the mentor.

  4. Read the instructions for obtaining CE credit in the read-me-first file.

  5. Look over the CE questions and review them before listening to the disks.

  6. Complete any assignments or readings and answer the CE questions for each disk.

  7. You will receive a certificate reflecting 24 hours of CE credit.



This material was presented by Paul Bergner at a seminar through he Nature Cure Institute in Portland, OR in 2014, and supplemented with materials in the studio. You can see more about Paul at our Faculty page.


About This Course
Hours:       30
Term:         12 weeks
Materials $129
Tuition:    $145 (optional)

This course may be taken stand-alone, or as one of the four courses in the  Western Clinical Herbalism Certificate

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