CANADA POST SERVICE DISRUPTIONS - ROTATING STRIKE. During this time we have organized alternative carriers when necessary.
Healthy Lifestyle - Page 3 of 5 - Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Healthy Lifestyle

Free the Mushrooms!!! Log Inoculation and medicinal mushrooms class…

This Saturday is the Cumberland May Days. It is a fun and busy day here in Cumberland where all of the businesses in town and many other groups take over the street and share what they are doing with the community.

As a special presentation from Harmonic Arts…..


We will be hosting a free class with Yarrow Willard on Medicinal/Edible mushrooms and log cultivation. Thats right… FREE… there is no charge, though we will happily accept and appreciate donations for the Cumberland Forest Society that is doing amazing work helping our beautiful mountain town maintain it’s pristine settings.

Please join us at 2 pm for this interactive and fun experience that will open you to the world of mushrooms like never before.


Oyster Mushrooms Fruiting

The Lecture will be 45 min. to 1h and the hands on part 2 hours. If you stay through till the end at 5pm, we will happily give you a mushrooms log to bring home and grow…

If  you are interested please meet at our shop on 2nd st. in Cumberland at 1:50 p.m.

RSVP at [email protected]  ahead of time as space will be limited. Though we will attempt to accommodate as many as we can.

See you there..


Inoculated logs, ready to grow

A glimpse into the Therapeutic Benefits of Seaweeds

Written By Angela Willard Cl.H.

Welcome to the Magical World of Sea Weeds!


Seaweeds are a miracle food that have been a key component in coastal peoples diet since at least 12,000 BCE.  Bringing seaweed into our daily lives is advantageous to our well being for many reasons, including directly affecting our evolution into the Homo sapien through the increased absorption of iodine.  In this article I will only just touch on the fronds of how they are beneficial, addressing some of the more popular species, and how they can be used.  Let’s start by breaking it down into the three scientific categories of seaweeds (Macro Algae);


To view this article and recipe sheet as a PDF click this link. Elixir Creations


With Master/Clinical Herbalist Yarrow Willard,  Co-Founder of Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Crafting elixirs is a fun and inspiring process. The basic formula for crafting is simple… and it is a wonderful art that can evolve over time, as you learn the way different herbs and ingredients work together.

First, you simply begin with setting the intention of the desired effect of the brew.  For example, this could be specified health benefits (like support the liver or kidneys), or energizing-effects, or an emotional lift. Then, craft the tonic with herbs and substances that support that intention. In time- you begin to see the magical and synergistic way herbs and superfoods work together to support and boost your overall health.

Imbolc, a time of new growth and fertility

Amarna Sun-Worshiping from

All earth and sun worshiping cultures throughout history had a system of interpreting the seasons as they passed, marking the shifts between the celestial energies present.  Four such times of significance were the seasonal solstices and equinoxes.  Though the mid-haven between these times were often just as important, and more closely tuned to the actual shift in seasons.

The Art of Crafting Tonics, Brews and Elixirs

Winter ElixirsTHE ART OF CRAFTING TONICS, BREWS, AND ELIXIRS:  by Master Herbalist Yarrow Willard, Founder of Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary

Crafting elixirs is a fun and inspiring process. The basic formula for crafting is simple… and it is a wonderful art that can evolve over time, as you learn the way different herbs and ingredients work together.

First, you simply begin with setting the intention of the desired effect of the brew.  For example, this could be specified health benefits (like support the liver or kidneys), or energizing-effects, or an emotional lift. Then, craft the tonic with herbs and substances that support that intention. In time- you begin to see the magical and synergistic way herbs and superfoods work together to support and boost your overall health.

Fucoidan: A Gift from the Sea

Kombu rocks

Seaweeds have long been an exciting avenue in our explorations of herbal medicine. Most especially intriguing as of late is a unique substance found in the brown seaweed group, known as Fucoidan. This substance is readily available for absorption through heat extraction, a simple process you can try at home (see recipe below). Similar to some of the therapeutic properties of medicinal mushrooms, it contains large chain molecules of polysaccharides, which need to be broken down by heat to render them bio-available to the human body.

Seaweeds and Pollution

images (7)Often we are asked questions about the safety of using seaweeds. We understand the concern people have around sea vegetables, after all they are one of the oceans filters for cleaning up pollution. Harmonic Arts uses a Geiger Counter for testing the sea vegetables that we carry. So far we have found that the levels of radiation have not gone much above normal, they are however slightly higher than most land plants. From our testing, the highest one we found was a Dulse batch from the East coast. Also, almost all of our suppliers do regular testing on their harvest as they too are aware of the concern. Part of the reason why the seaweeds are not coming back with high levels is that  radio-active iodine has a half life of 8 days, whereas the strontium and caesium which have the longer half life (around 30 years) are much heavier and so has not traveled as far, other than in the form of fish. Another reason is that many seaweeds are annuals, and so die every year and in that way don’t accumulate radiation the same way large animals do.
images (6)We believe that consuming Sea vegetables is one of the best things that we can do to help the body in detoxing radiation, and so would recommend them to anyone looking to do so. There is allot of fear and angst around the Fukushima situation, as people feel powerless and see that our world is being destroyed. Though there are many things they can do, and sea vegetables are a big one. They are especially protective for the thyroid and other endocrine glands. Brown Seaweeds also produce a chemical called Fucoidan which helps educate the immune system and protect the body from cellular mutation and cancer. We will be releasing an article specifically about Fucoidan soon, as it is an amazing compound.  The Sodium Alginate component of the Kelps are highly effective at binding to radioactive materials and flushing them out of the body.
images (5)Other things that people can do to protect their bodies are having bentonite clay and epsom salt baths, or consuming bentonite and/or zeolite clay internally. Many herbs such as nettles, burdock and ginseng have shown to be helpful, as well as medicinal mushrooms. Harmonic Arts makes a tincture called Radio Protec that we often recommend to people who are looking for extra protection.
It is also important for people to realize that they can be at much risk from day to day radioactive exposure by using their cell phones, computers, x-rays, other electronic devices and local pollutants.
Working with the tools that nature has provided us, along with keeping the above exposures to a minimum, it is quite possible to be healthy, vital and protected in an ever growing toxic world.
For more info check out this article-  Resilience on a Polluted Planet

Blessings to these sea plants that help keep us safe from our own folly and dis-harmony with the natural world.

Why are the energetics of plants important in the scientific age?

Everything in nature is intimately related to everything else. All is intertwined in the dance we call “life”. As we start to observe plants we see that they relate to other plants in different ways. Some are competing for space, others require each other to survive. In a sense there is a constant communication happening between species in a given environment. We could imagine they say things like – “You go left, I’ll go right” or “watch out here I come” or “your roots are so cozy to nestle beside”. Obviously its not exactly like this, but you get the idea. The way each herb relates and interacts is reflective of their personality and energetics.

Amaringo Painting

Artist – Pablo Amaringo

As was so eloquently put by Pablo Amaringo: “Every tree, every plant, has a spirit. People may say that a plant has no mind. I tell them that a plant is alive and conscious. A plant may not talk, but there is a spirit in it that is conscious, that sees everything, which is the soul of the plant, its essence, what makes it alive.”

If we subscribe to the idea that we are part of the cycle of life, not on the outside looking in, then we see that we too have the ability to communicate in the same way that nature does, as we are part of it. By quieting our self-aware mind and listening with our preceptive senses (including our smell, taste, feel and heart), we can shift to this type of communication. This in turn gives us more affirmation that we are intimately related to everything else, and a part of the whole.

Many indigenous cultures around the world feel the plants themselves tell them how they could best be used. Through careful observation and sensory perception these interpretations can be defined as the personality, energetics, or the spirit of the plant. Over time cultures developed a language to communicate what they had learned from plants and the natural world.  This language formed a map of the energetics, allowing for a more universal understanding and interpretation among their respective society. This brought those that did not have the same insight and direct communication with the plants to still use them, based on the pre-defined language of energetics.

When the Scientific model came along, people put their faith into science, removing them one step backwards from plant spirit energetics. We were now able to see the chemical constituents in a plant, this became our focal point for how they must work- similar to that of a piece of machinery. As this model progressed into standardized extracts and pharmaceuticals we took another step backwards. From this vantage point the energetics and plant spirit seem more like a myth or fiction created by those who did not understand the science behind it.


Artist ~ Alan Aldridge, cover of ‘The Secret Life of Plants’

The key that is missing in this logic is that there is no separation between us and nature. We are part of the whole cycle of life. Our elements were here long before our lives and will be here for long after we move on. Those elements don’t define our actions, our personality that flows through them does.  The more we learn to understand the language of energetics, cycles, and rhythms that nature speaks in, the better we will ultimately understand ourselves, the plants and the universe as a whole

So to answer the question- Why are the energetics of plants important?

Energetics are our road map to a deeper understanding of the way the natural world functions (including ourselves). When we incorporate energetics and the communication systems nature uses, we are able to be present to the divine balance of life, uncovering our destiny as protectors and co-creators of a vibrant and healthy planet earth.

Amor a la Pachamama,


Categories: Healthy Lifestyle

Open House – Workshops & Events

Open House

Open House – Workshop & Event Space, Cumberland Saturday, September 21st 10am – 5:30pm

We welcome you to join us for our Open House, this September 21st from 10am – 5:30pm, to celebrate a new beginning happening at Harmonic Arts, the creation of an Educational Workshop Space at our retail location nestled in the heart of historic Cumberland Village.

It’s been an amazing journey moving forward with Harmonic Arts, and we have come to a point where time and space has opened up gracefully to allow for a new cycle to begin.  Our commitment is to empower this community with the tools it needs to lead it’s own healthy adventure through life; providing knowledge, ingredients, and guidance to do so with clarity and light.  Harmonic Arts is now offering up it’s space in Cumberland as a gathering place for further health and wellness endeavours. We will be available for herbal consultations, acupuncture, yoga and qi gong classes. The space will also be a centre point for presenting educational events with experienced practitioners that will share their wisdom and knowledge through hands on classes.  Please join us in celebration of our health as individuals, friends, families, and community.  We look forward to gathering with you.

There will be 10% off everything in the store, prizes and an opportunity to sign up for newly offered classes and events we will be hosting this fall and winter.

  • 10am – Opening Ceremony, -Smudge, Blessing, time of shift…
  • 11am – Herbal resources– This intensive will cover the best resources we have found to help you on your path to learning about plant medicine. We will cover some of our favorite books, websites and herbal educations systems.
  • 12:30pm – Herbal Preparations– An intro into the basics of using herbs as medicine. We will cover making teas, decoctions, syrups and tinctures with dried & fresh herbs.
  • 3 pm – Nut Mylks– Learn how to make tasty live nut mylks for use in your family and do away with all the tetra packs.
  • 4:30pm – Tonic Elixirs– Join Yarrow in the alchemical crafting of a super nourishing hot tonic elixir using herbs, super foods, tinctures, nut mylks and more.
  • 5:30pm Closing Ceremony (Prizes & Draw of 3 gift baskets)Daily offerings

Be sure to enjoy some of our offerings throughout the day. There will be demonstrations, and many of our favourite products to sample. Including teas, tinctures, elixirs, chocolate, and superfood snacks.

Categories: Events, Healthy Lifestyle

Resilience on a polluted Planet

imx_homeThe world was shocked by the Nuclear Disaster in Japan in 2011, and recently more information is being brought to light that the situation is still not resolved and radiation is still leaking and impacting the environment more than we have been informed. The unfortunate truth of this situation is that there is an ever growing threat to the health of our planet, based on the human impact. The more we look to increase our power and technology, the bigger the potential for disaster. This is a hard fact to come to terms with as our society is ever pushing forward in an almost blind race to the top. “With great power comes great responsibility.” It is now more than ever important to act responsibly, and start asking the hard questions and making the hard choices of what we are willing to accept as our standard of health and wellness- not just for ourselves but for every being we share this home with.  Radiation from a nuclear disaster is one thing, but what about the radiation from our phones, computers, airplanes and other technologies we use?

yoga-meditation-drinking-1The first place to start is with ourselves, for if we are balanced and understand what it is to be healthy and whole physically and spiritually, we will not leave room for those practices that undermine this. To do this we must take an honest look at what is important. What do we need? What can we let go of? What is the next step we can take in getting there? Be careful not to get overwhelmed by taking on too much at once, or staying focused on the big picture level- paralyzed from taking action on the things you can do. Look instead to what is the next direct step we can take to better the situation. There are many tools we can access to create better defensive strategies when faced with environmental threats and hazards that seem beyond our control. Maybe it is to start taking herbs that are protecting against harmful environmental pollutants, or spending less time with our phones and computers, or maybe kickstarting the physical cleansing process with regular steams or yoga.  The important thing is to empower ourselves and not to fall into victim consciousness.

I would like to affirm that it is quite possible to be healthy, vital and protected in an ever growing toxic world. With the right supporting allies and guides we are not taken out of our power, instead we are asked to rise to the challenges of our times. When we are actively participating in building a healthy internal environment, it will be mirrored in our external actions. Making healthy choices and actions directly results in maintaining a balanced, vital planet for the future, as this generates a cycle that empower us in return. The power is ours- love ourselves with the oneness that loves all things.


In Health and Harmony

Yarrow Willard Cl.H

The Following are a few suggested Harmonic Arts Products that can be incorporated into a proactive and protective health practice for those concerned about radiation, pollution, and environmental toxicity.

Radio Protec tincture; Kelp, Bladderwrack, Ginseng, Maitaki, Reishi, Burdock, Eleuthro, Nettles and Catnip. Protective and restorative to damage from environmental  and electro-magnetic pollution

Green Spirits tincture; Lemon Balm, Spirulina, Nettles, Oat Tops, Alfalfa, Peppermint. Nourishing, Centring, and Digestive. Helpful with re-kin-ecting to green planet energy.

Tonic Immuni-tea – Chaga, Reishi, Eleuthro, Astragulus, Rehmannia, Codonopsis, Goji, Wild Yam. Making an Immune soup with this tea can be a great way to maximize its benefits.

Medicinal Mushrooms; encouraging body systems co-ordination/education, immune protection and healthy internal ecology. We recommend the 6  or 14 Mushroom Blend, but Chaga, Reishi, Turkey Tail, Shiitake, or Maitake are good choices for singles.

Chaga Tea– This Mushroom has a strong immune modulating function and makes a tasty tea that can be brewed and re-brewed many times.

Sea-Veg Mix -Bladderwrack, Kelp, Bull Kelp and other seaweeds, helping with the thyroid/endocrine function and mineral needs. Also containing alginates that draw radiation out of the the body.

Fucoidan Blend – Bladderwrack, Kelp, and Wakame powders; Fucoidan is a potent seaweed compound that is currently being studied in depth for it’s cancer fighting and immune enhancing abilities.

Black Lava Salt– activated charcoal and diverse mineral content, Himalayan Salt, Smoked Sea Salt, diverse mineral content.

Green Power Blend– Chlorella, Spirulina, Wheat grass, Moringa and Alfalfa and a touch of green Stevia. Super greens can reduce toxic load, and encourage healthy ecology. Any one of these super greens can be used on their own as well.

Shilajit – a high mountain mineral pitch containing fulvic acid, helpful in pulling out deep seated toxins in dense capillary networks.

Zeolite Clay – Zeolite is a group of volcanic minerals from deep within the earth with a honeycomb structure, a rarity among minerals. They are also highly negatively charged. The negative charge of Zeolite draws to it, positively charged toxins like heavy metals and pollutants. Zeolite, then engulfs the toxins in a sequential manner, in cages if you will, to neutralize the toxin or poison for elimination. The heavy metal, toxins and  pollutant, (including yeast) are then safely and harmlessly removed from the body through the normal digestive process.

Bentonite Clay, helpful in pulling out deep toxins internally and externally. Great in a bath or dampened and rubbed on ones body then rinsed off.

Single herbs – Ginsengs, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Holy Basil, Nettles, Alfalfa, Red Clover, Oat Tops, Cleavers, Dandelion, Burdock, Milk thistle, Chaparral.and Pau d’Arco,

Other helpful Lifestyle suggestions

-Foods that can be helpful are: Miso, kelp noodles, sea vegetables, buckwheat, apples, avocados, lemons, brassica vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli), beta-carotene vegetables (yellow/orange coloured), super berries, coconut oil, cold-pressed safflower and olive oils, hemp seed, sunflower seeds, beans, lentils, brown rice, sea salt, black and green tea, chlorophyll and any other mineral-rich foods.

-Supplements, Essential Fatty Acids, Zinc, Selenium, and Potassium Iodine, Calcium, Magnesium, Vitamin B-12, Co Enzyme Q10, and MSM.

-Sweating regularly can push toxic loads out through the skin. Hot/Cold is best, 1-3 times a week

-Detox bath – Mineral Salts, Bentonite Clay and Baking Soda Baths, soak in hot water for 20 min and rinse with cool water

-Lots of good clean water and avoid sweets, dairy and flour products.

-Love is also an essential part of a well nourished body, be good to yourself and your community.

Kale~Oregano Pesto

Kale and OreganoThere’s something about the Kale Oregano Pesto I buy at our village market which is so nourishing, that I find myself craving it the most throughout the winter when fresh vegetables are more scarce.  I’m pretty sure this is the general consensus here in Cumberland BC, as I feel like I’ve hit the jackpot when there’s actually one on the shelf in the store fridge!  Well, I hadn’t planned this but upon looking at my garden the other day, I realized that three of the main ingredients were all growing together, and were ready for the picking at the same time.  Yup!  Kale, Oregano, and Garlic are in season around here, and I decided to stock my own fridge and freezer with some homemade goodness.  Since the company that creates this yummy pesto is out of Ontario, I am happy to source these out of my backyard, rather than have it travel all this way.  And don’t worry if you haven’t got Kale, Oregano, or Garlic growing in your garden, it is especially abundant throughout most farmers markets at this time of year. “Go big at home” tends to be my motto, so I quadruple the recipe in order to make 6 X 250ml mason jars full, and rather than canning them I opt to freeze them to keep it live!

RecipePrepping the greens

4 C chopped Kale

2 C fresh Oregano

1/2 C Walnuts

4 Garlic Cloves

1/2 C Olive Oil

2 tsp Lemon Juice

1/2 tsp natural Salt, or try substituting with Kelp powder

Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and spin for about 30 seconds with the chopping blade attached.  Enjoy with most meals you imagine, it tastes absolutely divine with any savoury dish!

Over winter you’ll really be able to attest to this food being your medicine, with the strong anti-viral and immune boosting benefits of oregano and garlic, the liver cleansing proponents of lemon juice, the mineral rich natural salt or kelp, the nourishing qualities of walnuts, the healthy fat content of the olive oil, and of course the high vitamin and anti-inflammatory properties of kale.

Bon apetite fellow vibrant health ambassadors!

Pesto Complete!

Categories: Healthy Lifestyle, Recipes

Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris)

Spring is the perfect time to do a Chlorella Cleanse. If you are looking to restore optimal health and shed unwanted toxins from the body, try taking 1-2 tsps of Chlorella or Harmonic Arts Green Power Blend daily for 20-30 days to assist the body’s natural spring detoxification process.
chlorella_vulgaris_beij_1_0Chlorella is a single-celled algae that gets its name from its high quantity of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is rejuvenating and detoxifying to the body, and is one of the most powerful food substances on earth.  By weight this little green algae is about 60% protein and is extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains Vitamins C, E, A, and all the B’s (including B12), as well as iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iodine among other minerals. Chlorella has been well researched and documented to have many profound healing benefits on the body. It supports the function of the liver, blood, brain, digestion, elimination and immune system. Chlorella can help relieve inflammation, support weight loss, protect from radiation, detoxify heavy metals, manage blood sugar levels and accelerate recovery and regeneration of body tissues. Two mechanisms in which chlorella supports the body to stay nourished and repair are, “Chlorella Growth Factor” (CGF) and its high in RNA. CGF is a complex that contains the main building blocks for life, it nourishes healthy cell growth and fights free-radical damage. RNA provides material to repair cellular RNA/DNA damage, and chlorella is the highest source known on earth. The breakdown of DNA is considered to be one of the major factors in aging and degeneration. For these reasons and more, Chlorella is a great food source that helps maintain optimal health, supporting a vital lifestyle.

How to consume Chlorella:
It is almost impossible to take too much Chlorella, but is best to start gradually.  A good maintenance dose is 3 grams (small teaspoon), but this can be doubled for those looking to use it for cleansing or detoxifying the body.  In Asia it is common to do a 1 month spring cleanse with chlorella. Spring being the most ideal season to shed toxins from the body.
A teaspoon in a small amount of water and shake it up is a nice way to take it. Though it also goes good in smoothies, salad dressings, many raw food recipes, power balls, and some tonic tea drinks. Whatever way you choose to use chlorella it’s benefits are cumulative, when taken regularly. So adding it to a daily regime for 1-3 months can be ideal.

Green Blessings,
Yarrow Willard Cl.H.

Nettle Spanakopita!

A most loved family soul food meal of ours is this early spring seasonal favourite-  Nettle Spanakopita!  We have enjoyed this one fully over the last couple of years and so feel inspired to share it with you.  Try it soon, as nettle season won’t last long!

Nettle Spanakopita Recipe:


  • X-tra Large bunch of Fresh Nettles
  • Large bunch of Fresh Spinach
  • (remember greens will reduce in size after you steam them)
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • Maitaki Mushrooms, dried (or whatever mushroom you have on hand!)
  • 1 tsp dried Thyme
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped Rosemary, or dried
  • Handful of fresh Basil, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamari or your favourite fermented organic soy sauce
  • 1/2 C of a nice local fresh cheese (feta, ricotta, fresco), cubed


  • 1 pkg Phyllo (Spelt or organic preferred)
  • 1-4-1/2 C organic Butter


  • 1 C yoghurt
  • 1 tsp minced dried garlic, or 1/2 tsp fresh
  • 1 tsp Harmonic Arts Sea Veg blend (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 C grated cucumber

Stir all of the Tzatziki ingredients until smoothly blended.  Serve alongside your Nettle-kopita!

[sh-grid columns=”2″]

Filling Instructions:

Boil 2 cups of water and pour over dried mushrooms.  Cover and let absorb water for about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly steam spinach and nettles for about 5 minutes, until just reaching a bright green colour.

In a lightly oiled pan, caramelize onions, then add strained mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, and garlic, to cook for about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine all of the filling ingredients until thoroughly mixed.  Set aside.

Phyllo Instructions:

Thaw phyllo in fridge over the night before preparing, then at room temperature about 2 hours prior to cooking.

Melt butter on low temperature in a saucepan.

Preheat oven on bake at 400F.

Remove phyllo from package and unroll. Fold it in half like a book.  With every second sheet, brush a small amount of butter around edges, and then paint an X in the middle. It is not necessary to paint the whole piece of phyllo.

*Option- Try using garlic infused butter if you are a garlic fan.
Once both sides of the book are painted, cut in half and on a greased rectangular pan (approx. 12”X8”), lay down one third of the phyllo.

Add the mixed filling from the bowl as an even layer on top of phyllo.

Place the remaining two third’s of phyllo on top of filling, making sure to paint the entire top layer of phyllo with a light coat of butter.

Place in the oven until top is nicely browned, at 400F for about 1/2 hour.


This meal is great shared with friends and family and will bring much nourishment to any who partake in it.

Green Blessings,

Harmonic Arts

Cached Copy (/category/healthy-lifestyle/page/3/) TS_SFC