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Old World Sugar Free Christmas Cake

Super Fruit and Nut CakeMmm… We just made a fresh batch of Super fruit & nut Christmas cakes.

Love to make this hardy and nutritious old world treat in the late fall, so it will be ready for the winter festive season. It’s full of nourishing fruits and nuts; a power pack punch of good fats, proteins, energy, vitamins, and tons of phytonutrients that our bodies need during colder months. You don’t have to add any extra sweetener to the mix, as the sweet flavour of the fruits is enough.

Plus as you cure it for 2-6 weeks, you can make a big batch that will get better with age, could even last the whole winter if you don’t eat it all first!

Wild Cherry Bark Medicine Harvesting with Yarrow Willard

We all know the term Cherry Picker, because everyone loves cherries. Around hear we have birds, bugs, squirrels, racoons, bears, and humans that all compete for this trees precious fruit. So the bark of the cherry has to be flexible enough to handle all the re-distribution of weight through its season. Sometimes though the bears get a little too eager and bends a tree more then it can recover, just like the one in this video. Thats when its time for us to make use of the precious medicine bark…

This is the journey of a young #herbaljedi who loves to gorge on wild cherries and wants share the great medicine found in Cherry Bark with all those interested enough to check it out….

CherriesCherry loves to hang out near the end of the path or side of the forest. They are happy to give fruit to all that would partake. Ever looking for the opportunity to plant their seed in a nice pile of warm fertilizer. In doing so this tree has gained much territory and fame, leading to its use as a medicine also spreading to many cultures.

Traditionally Cherry bark was used for centuries by the First Nations people, Chinese and Japanese, and has been adopted into many recipes in western herbalism. It is best known for its astringent tonic and sedative qualities. Helping calm irritation and inflammation of the lungs, throat, digestive track and skin. Especially when there is a cherry like red colour to the tissues.

Burdock – upgrade your vegetable meat.

with Herbal Jedi Yarrow Willard, and GoPro Ninja Shane Philip

Are you looking for a superior vegetable? Do you want to tonify your body to be its most vital? Are you ready for a gentle cleansing ingredient for upgraded life source materials?
Then Burdock might just be the champion you’re looking for.

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.

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.

Making Elderberry Syrup with Yarrow Willard

Making Elderberry Syrup is easy. Just like making tea only the ratios are different and you are adding in Honey and Brandy to help pull out some of the attributes and preserve it so it will last the winter. There are many methods to make syrup, some cook it longer, some ad more honey or no alcohol. Its really just a matter of preference and situation. If you have a method you’d like to share, please do. The more we learn and teach each other the better our understanding becomes.

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.

The Free Tea initiative!

Join us at Harmonic Arts in Cumberland for a free cup of tea any time that we are open. Or with any online order or instore purchase get a free sample of one of our herbal tea blends to try at home. 941365_584344031589094_491097035_n

Tea is the simplest and most practical way to start using herbs and botanical medicine. As water becomes your blood within 5 minutes of ingesting, tea is a great way to transfer the information and wisdom that herbs have to share to the body.


Tinctures from your tea herbs- Not all benefits a herb has to offer can be extracted in hot water, some of there chemistry is better un-locked in alcohol or oil. You can use any of our herbal teas to make a tincture by adding vodka instead of hot water. Shake daily and press after half a moon cycle (2 weeks).

We hope that you enjoy our free tea initiative and take advantage of this special offer to try out some of our specialty teas. If you have a specific request for any specific one, please include it in your notes when making an online order.

Thanks for all the support and helping us in supporting health enhancing herbal habits in so many people.

So start making tea if you aren’t already, and make more if you are, using your free tea sample, or what ever herbs and weeds that you have access to that are of benefit to ones health.

Green Blessings….

How do we make a good tea?

You have to determine:
Is it a flower, leaf, whole herb, root, bark, seed, twig?
For flower, leaf, whole herb (but herb has to be soft not woody) make  a hot infusion.
For root, seed, twig, bark, whole herb (if woody) simmer as a decoction or make a cold infusion then simmering.

Take one to two heaping tablespoon of herb per 1 (one) liter of water (use spring or distilled water – or the best water you have), or 1(one) leveled teaspoon per glass of water, or 1 part of herb for 45 parts of water (by weight) – as needed.

Infusion/Steeping: Put herb into non metallic container pour on it boiling water, cover it with lid, leave it for 10-15 minutes. Strain. Keep it refrigerated once cooled. For the best effect make it fresh every time before drinking. Also you can often re-brew many herbs 1-2 times.

Simmering a decoction: Pour water on the herb. Heat on a low heat, let it lightly simmer for 20-35 minutes. Strain. Keep refrigerated once cooled.

Cold Infusion: The herb is left to soak in cold water for 8-12 hours (overnight) then the water is filtered and drunk.

Herbal tea great drank first thing in the morning, before or after meals, or in the evening while relaxing. If the herbal tea tastes bitter and needs to be sweetened, pure unprocessed raw honey is best.

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.

Spring Cleansing in the Green Season

F32-398699Spring Cleansing in the Green Season- By Yarrow Willard Cl.H.

We are getting close to the end of our damp West Coast winter season. Spring brings a renewed source of energy in our selves and the natural world around us, as everything wakes up. This makes it the opportune time to work on our selves and our health for the coming season. Traditionally people would graze on the young shoots and fresh greens available at this time. It so happens that many of these plants stimulate our body, specifically the liver, to shed the accumulation of toxins we’ve built up over the winter.
This natural energy can be used to our advantage of the season by consuming lots of greens, baby vegetables, using spring herbs or doing a cleanse.
There are many great spring herbs ready for the picking that can be used for cleansing during this season. Such as Nettles, Cleavers, Fir tips, Alfalfa, Horsetail, Dandelion, Burdock, Oregon Grape, and Yellow dock. You can also take advantage of some of the seasonally edible young shoots and greens in the wild. Such as Miner’s Lettuce, Sheep sorrel, Yellow Salsify, Dandelion greens, Lambs quarter, Fireweed, Ostrich fern (fiddle heads), Fir tips, and Maple blossoms to name a few.

Spring is also a great time for a new seasonally appropriate herbal tea. Some of our suggestions are
Green Qi – Electrolyte and mineral rich. A fresh spring blend using the unique bounty of seasonal west coast herbs and seaweed. (also wonderful served chilled with lemon).
Cleanse Blend – Gently helps removing toxins from the body. Working on the liver, kidneys, blood and colon
Seasonal Response – A flavourful and nourishing way to ease the bodies reactions to allergies, both environmental and specific.
Kick Start – A robust and flavorful energy drink. Served hot and makes a great coffee substitute. There is a small amount of caffeine in it, although the main effect these herbs have is helping balance and nourish our energy levels of the body

At Harmonic Arts we also have 4 different cleanse kits. Each based on a different level of health enhancement.  The Cleanse, Gut Ecology, Vitality, and 21st Centurion. All can be customized with to the individuals unique body constitution or cleansing dietary program.

Other Spring suggestions from Harmonic Arts are:

Combination Liquid Extracts– the Green Spirits elixir, Liver tonic, Weight Loss tonic, or Allergy ease,

Greens– Chlorella, Spirulina, Moringa, or our Green Power blend

Detoxifying Clays– Internally- Bentonite or Zeolite Clay. Externally- French Green or Bentonite Clay

Of course there are many great single herbs available at Harmonic Arts as well, Check out the online store for more details. If you don’t see or know what you are looking for, just ask us, we’ll be happy to help!


Chia Superfood Parfait

Incan Spirulina and Lemon Coconut Berry Bliss Chia Parfaits
variations served with a layer of
Cashew Cream or Avocado Chocolate Whip

This recipe is a favourite, and can have many wonderful variations, presentation is especially lovely in a martini glass, goblet, or Gourd.  The basic theme is layering and having fun with this versatile and amazing superfood. The chia can be served slightly warm  to create an oatmeal like consistency, which is very nice for the colder months.

Marshmallows from the Root

Making your Marshmallows using Marshmallow Root powder is easy, and a fun way connect with the plant from which this treat originated from.

photo(58)Recipe: Preheat oven to 250F, Whisk 4 egg whites until foamy, add 1tsp vanilla extract or vanilla powder, whisk in 3/4 cup sugar, whisk in 4 Tbsp of Marshmallow Root Powder, lightly grease cookie sheet and drop 1 inch diameter sized dollops onto sheet, bake for 30-40 min and voila, enjoy your home made marshmallows! Store in Fridge for up to 1 week.


Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe for Immune Protective Vitality

shiitake soup harmonic arts

Add more wild mushrooms to your diet to up your immune system’s protective vitality with this wild mushroom soup recipe.


-30g of Harmonic Arts Tonic Immuni-Tea*
-Or 10 Astragalus Slices* and 10 Reishi Slices* and other tonic herbs of choice
-2-5 Shiitake Mushrooms*  and 2-3 Maitake Mushrooms*
-1-2 Tbsp Harmonic Arts 6 or 14 Mushroom Powdered Extract (optional)*
-1/2 c. slightly sprouted beans, such as adzuki, black beans, black eyed peas, lentils (sprout the night before, optional)
-3/4 c. barley or rice
-2 c. of seasonal vegetables- carrots, squash, zucchini, potatoes, celery, cabbage, kale and or chard
-2-4 Garlic cloves, sliced
-1 small Onion, chopped
-1 tsp of tamari
-Miso to taste, try around a 1/4 c.
-Seasoning spices of choice*, such as ginger, chilies, celery seed, cummin or other herbs/spices.

Shiitake soup

Optional add ins

-2-3 Tbsp Harmonic Arts Sea veg blend*, or other sea vegetables*
-1/3 c. fresh wild burdock and/or dandelion roots sliced thin
-1/3 c. wild greens such as nettles, lambs quarter, or chickweed (if in season)

*Available from Harmonic Arts


1. Fill a large soup pot with 4 liters of the best water you can get (spring water is ideal, if available).

2. Add the Tonic Immuni-tea blend or Astragalus, Reishi, and other tonic herbs. Bring to a boil and lightly simmer for 20-40 min. or longer. Strain herbs and use the liquid as a broth base for the soup. This is called a decoction.

3. Add Shiitake, Maitake, Mushroom powder extract and sprouted Beans. Simmer for 20 min. (to slightly sprout the beans, soak  overnight or for 8 hours, rinse and change the water 1-2 times. Beans can also be sprouted for longer if desired).

3. Add the barley or rice and simmer for another 30 minutes

4. Add vegetables of choice, onion, garlic, spices, sea veg, fresh burdock/dandelion and simmer for another 15-20 minutes.

5. Reduce heat. Add miso, tamari and other seasonings to taste. Miso should not be boiled as it destroys the pre and pro-biotic aspects.

This Recipe is a loose guide. Like all things in the kitchen, it is best to customize based on the ingredients you have on hand and your specific needs.

When to use:

This is a highly nourishing deep tonic and immune protective soup. It is best used anytime from late fall to early spring, and especially in the mid winter months or in cold weather. It is helpful if one is feeling weak, run down or low energy. Making a hearty meal like this will help bring back vitality and health. Vitality Soup is an ideal addition for those who suffer from weakened immunity, auto-immune conditions, allergies, diabetes, hepatitis, or other forms of weakened health.

Herbs of choice:

The Tonic Immuni-tea blend from Harmonic Arts or Reishi and Astragalus are included as Adaptogenic Immune Tonic Herbs, and by no means are these the only herbs that lend well to a soup like this. Other good choices of tonic herbs based on personal specifics can be: Chaga, Ginseng, Eleuthero, Ashwagandha, Fo-Ti, Rhemmania, Codonopsis, Wild Yam, Goji, Maca, Burdock and Dandelion. If you are using a small cut of herb, they can be put in a re-usable muslin tea bag*, cheese cloth pouch or should be strained out before adding other vegetables. Another option is to add herbal powders and not filter them, although this will leave some sediment in the soup. For more ideas on herbs to use in your decoction base check out our post on Making Herbal Decoctions.

Have fun with creating your own Vitality Soups and nourishing your loved ones with these great food medicines.

549070_423208021050754_926539210_nHerbal decoction bases:

A Decoction is a herbal tea that is lightly simmered for 30min-5 hours. It is different from an Infusion, which is a tea that is steeped in hot water, but not simmered. Typically decoctions are done with  woody plant parts like roots, barks and seeds as well as mushrooms, where the medicinal compounds require longer extraction as they are contained by tough fibrous cell walls. They are not ideal for leafy green herbs or those containing highly volatile oils.

How else can I use the Tonic Immuni-tea base:

Once created, a decoction can be used in many ways other than as a broth base for soup. It is great just to drink as a tea, but one of my favourite options is to make it into hot tonic drinks. This can be done by adding super food powders like Raw Cacao or our Super Power Blend, a nut mylk, coconut oil or cacao butter and sweetener to the decoction base, and then blending while still hot. This is like a nutrient infused, amped up hot chocolate.  It is also great used cold as a smoothie base, or as a base for making your own nut mylks.

As it can take up to a few hours to make a strong decoction, sometimes it is ideal to make more than you are able to use right away. After straining, they can be stored in mason jars or other glass containers in the fridge, and reheated or used cold when desired. Most will last for up to a week, so it is best not to make more than you can use in this amount of time.


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