Core Faculty

Pam Fischer, RH (AHG)

Founder and President

Pam is Berkeley Herbal Center’s Founder and Head Instructor.

Pam has been working with herbs since 1986. She completed her studies at the California School of Herbal Studies in 1989. She has been teaching classes in medicine making, plant identification, wildcrafting, theory and practice of herbalism since 1991. Pam began the BACHA (Bay Area Clinical Herbalist Association) organization in 1991. In 1997 she became one of the first Western Herbalists on staff at Charlotte Maxwell Complimentary Clinic in Oakland. Charlotte Maxwell clinic provides free access to alternative and complimentary medicine for low income women with cancer. Pam is a fourth generation Bay Area resident and has developed a deep love for native plants.

Francisca Santibanez

Student Services

Francisca is an herbalist, visual artist, and educator. In addition to her training in Western Clinical Herbalism, she has spent more than a decade integrating cross-cultural healing modalities that include Amazonian Vegetalista Practice, Ayurveda, Tantra, and Holistic Nutrition, among others. Raised in Brazil and Chile, Francisca has been deeply connected with medicinal plant practices since early childhood, participating in a long family tradition of Chilean folk kitchen medicine, passed down through the inspirations of her mother and grandmother.

Francisca is currently a lecturer on a wide variety of plant-based wisdom and healing programs at the Berkeley Herbal Center, where she also did her training. Her artistic endeavors, including photography, mixed media and jewelry making, reinforce her direct work with the plants, invoking the cosmology that we are all an integral expression of the earth and her creative intelligence.

For more information on Francisca, you can visit

Tina Simeon


As a Mexican-American, Tina’s cultural roots in the use of medicinal plants run deep. She grew up with the smell of Yerba Buena steeping in the kitchen, and other medicinal plants in the garden like comfrey, corn silk, and horsetail (cola de caballo). Tina was born and raised in Oakland, California, and recognized a need for social support in the Latino community. She worked for many years as a bilingual social worker and clinic administrator at a community health center in the Fruitvale district of Oakland. After retiring in 2010, she returned to her herbal roots and began studying herbal medicine in earnest.

Kathryn McCabe


Kathryn McCabe is a Certified Clinical Western Herbalist practicing since 2012 after she completed the Foundations, Therapeutics and Clinical Internship Programs at Berkeley Herbal Center. She was born and raised in San Francisco in the Haight Ashbury in the 70’s and dabbled as a Kitchen herbalist, helping only family and friends until her formal training at BHC. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University. She loves teaching about Medical Herbalism and has been bringing her enthusiasm and fun to her classes at BHC since 2018.

Alexandra Hudson


Alexandra Hudson comes from a loving family with roots in the Midwest and Northern Europe. Her love for land-based living was nurtured at a young age and these days Alexandra practices devotion to the natural world at her urban farm-home in the peaceful Montclair Valley. Alexandra is an avid homesteader, therapeutic cook, and community herbalist and is a strong advocate of self-awareness, nourishment, communication, slowness, and love as keystones to personal health. She works with clients and students to develop daily practices to cultivate vibrant holistic health.

Alexandra serves as Supervisor for the First Year Clinicians, teacher for the Foundations and Therapeutics programs, and as overseer of BHC’s Pleasant Hill education branch. Alexandra trained as a clinical herbalist at Berkeley Herbal Center and completed the Second Year Clinic program in 2019 under the supervision of master herbalist Pam Fischer.

Alexandra feels blessed to live on Ohlone land. For more information on Alexandra’s practice, visit

Sarah Bearden


Sarah Bearden has been a practicing nutritionist since 1996. She is the Director of Roots To Health, a center specializing in Nutrition Consultation and Nutrition Education. She received a diploma in Nutritional Medicine in London and practices both in Marin County and England.

Visiting Teachers

Karen Aguiar

Karen is our medicinal mushroom instructor. She has been making botanical and mushroom medicines since 1995 and feels fortunate to have found her tribe.  She is also the organizer of the Fall Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium. Her website is:

Autumn Summers

Autumn Summers is a plant geek. Inspired by the plants since childhood she has studied herbalism and ethnobotany for the last 20 years with a kinship for the plants, seaweeds and mushrooms of Northern California. She has guest hosted KPFA’s Herbal Highway, co-organized free community herb festivals, and worked at various herbal businesses including Rosemary’s Garden, Simplers Botanical and KW Botanicals. Currently, she teaches edible and medicinal plant classes at the California School of Herbal Studies ( and throughout the Bay Area, and manages Bayer Farm Community Garden for the non-profit LandPaths (

Guest Speakers

Hua Anwa, Native Elder

Nishanga Bliss

Ruby Blume

Antonio Candelario

Candis Cantin

Lynda Deschambault

Denise Goitia

Terri Jensen

The Money Witch, Jessie Susannah Karnatz-Lazarus

Kathi Keville

Leslie Susan Ko

Kami McBride

William Morris

Karyn Sanders

Riyana Rebecca Sang

Peg Schafer

Cyn Rivera, Kumeyaay

Francisca Santibanez

Dr. Marcey Shapiro

Christa Sinadinos

Sweet Medicine Nation

Yeye Lusiah Teish

Roy Upton

Cherise Atkinson

David Winston

Amber Woods

Consider Donating

Berkeley Herbal Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Tax ID #14-1975183

If you would like to donate by check or cash, please send an envelope addressed to:

Berkeley Herbal Center
1250 Addison St. #G
Berkeley, CA 94702