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Blog - Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary



(As published for Plant Healer Magazine‘s Winter 2018 edition)

There is an enchantment I’ve had with the concept of spa time, perhaps because I see it as indulgent self care- something this momma and herbal dispensary navigator needs dearly during precious moments to herself. When I combine this desire, along with my fascination with all things from the sea, I naturally gravitated to an old world treatment which combines the two, known as Thalassotherapy. If this comes as a new term to you, in breaking down the word we have “Thalassa”, meaning Sea, and “Therapaeia” to mean healing treatment. The word spa comes from the Latin acronym of “sanitus per aqua”, which translates as “health through water”.

Thalassotherapy treatments can be offered in many forms, which traditionally require elements that come from the ocean, or sea. These elements include seawater, seaweed, marine mud, sand, and whenever possible, a humid coastal climate- or a humid environment recreated in the spa using steam, and filling the environment with an abundance of plant life. Divine.

As an herbalist, and for the purposes of this paper, I want to focus primarily on the aspect of Thalassotherapy that is known as Algotherapy; the healing properties of seaweeds, and how they can be used externally in a therapeutic manner. When speaking of seaweeds, I am referring to all of their colour categories: reds, greens, and browns, unless otherwise specified.

Historically, Thalassotherapy’s first recorded cultural use was in ancient Egypt, although all coastal people that have been studied throughout time show evidence that their cultures celebrated the ocean as a vital part of daily life, and basked in the health benefits from ocean waters, and the life contained therein.

It is well known that health practitioners throughout history have recommended that those dealing with serious illness go to live by the sea. As Plato once put it; “The sea cures all ailments of man”. Spending time on the coast, where land life originally emerged, is going back to the elements of our nature’s deepest roots. It is, after all, the birthplace of humanity. Similarly, I know of no better comfort than that of the mother to an ailing child.

These elements, of our nature’s deepest roots, are the minerals and trace minerals that nourish the human body, and are found in a concentrated amount in marine plants, known as seaweeds, or more technically, macroalgae. Seaweeds are shown to have, on average, 10-20 times the amount of vitamins and minerals than land plants. The body uses these nutrients to support all of our essential biological processes. When we receive the necessary amount of minerals and trace minerals, it optimizes our ability to function as healthy, happy, whole human beings. This is the primary and most potent way in which using seaweeds in Thalassotherapy are so beneficial to the body. The skin absorbs these elements directly into the bloodstream, and delivers them where needed very quickly, without having to go through the slower processes of digestion, such as when ingesting seaweeds in dietary therapy. Often the feedback I receive from clients, upon recommending the addition of seaweeds to their baths, is how quickly they feel their bodies are able to get into a state of relaxation. Specifically, the high levels of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and zinc available in seaweeds plays a strong role in both the body and mind’s ability to relax. Minerals have a very grounding effect, calming the nervous system as a whole.

The delivery method of the therapeutic constituents in Thalassotherapy is mainly through the epidermis, as the skin absorbs the nutrients from the seaweeds. Another therapeutic factor received from the seaweeds is their skin softening hydrocolloid properties when applied and absorbed topically. There is also an exfoliant factor in some specific species of seaweeds, as well as localized circulatory stimulant effects on the area of application, all of which we will explore further along through this article.

Because of the minerals and trace minerals that are available from these ocean plants, their effect on mental health is seen to be quite significant. For example, Iodine, which is a key trace element attributed to the human brain’s development and evolution, is easily absorbed through both the skin as well as can be absorbed through the lungs when inhaled, as it evaporates in hot water. Inhaling iodine can be soothing to our lungs, and helps to eliminate any potential pathogens that are lingering in the respiratory system. Iodine has been found to be deficient in people that do not regularly consume ocean sourced foods, and as it is an important factor in the function of the thyroid, it’s optimal levels are paramount to healthy metabolic function. Iodine is also important for breast health, both in the treatment and prevention of fibrocystic breast tissue, and very importantly lowers the risk of breast cancer.

Seaweed has been shown to act as a local stimulant when applied topically, increasing blood flow to the area. This supports the theory that seaweed wraps have been successful in diminishing cellulite, as the extra blood flow helps to move out stagnation. This localized stimulant effect is also part of the mode of action for treating arthritic conditions- this, along with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant benefits, and highly nourishing compounds. The increased circulation to the area brings needed nutrients in, drives toxic particles out, soothes the inflamed tissues, and decreases the effects of stress on the area.

Thalassotherapy can be a very simple process, as easy as adding kelp fronds to a hot bath and soaking up it’s goodness, or creating some basic seaweed wraps and masks, directly applied onto the skin, and allowing it to penetrate for a reasonable amount of time. Below I have listed some of the basic ways in which you can start to work with Thalassotherapy in the sanctuary of your own spa room, create spa ritual gatherings with community, or recommend clients to work with this effective therapy to support the improvement of health concerns.


Seaweed Baths: This is the simplest way in which you can incorporate Thalassotherapy into your routine. It is a formidable experience of rest and relaxation, a truly enjoyable way to experience the health benefits of seaweeds! You can add any full seaweed fronds to your bath- I do recommend including kelps (brown seaweeds such as Kombu or Wakame), for highest iodine availability. You do not need to worry about absorbing too much iodine and getting over stimulated- The skin’s wisdom and protective mechanisms will only absorb the amount of iodine needed (think about the red iodine tincture you can paint a spot on your arm with;  if the spot disappears quickly, it shows you have a great need for iodine, if it lingers, you are likely not deficient. This is a great example of the skin absorbing only how much iodine the body requires.) Some spas have had a clawfoot bathtub out on the beach, a fire underneath the tub to warm the water, and cedar planks lining the bottom so as not to burn the skin when lying down in the bath. This has an added layer of being out in a natural surrounding, with the sounds and songs of the sea adding to the medicine of this ritual of relaxation. The heat from the water opens the skin’s pores and encourages absorption of seaweed’s health benefits. Once the bath is complete, the tub can drain back out onto the shore and the seaweed can directly return to the earth. If you are in an indoor bath using seaweed, ensure that you remove as much of the seaweed as possible prior to draining, as it will clog up the drain if left to go down into the pipes.

Waterbirth: During waterbirth, seaweed is an exceptional addition to the birthing waters as it mineralizes the waters and can help to relax the mother during labour. The quality and fluidity of the seaweed can be a special focal point, as when it is immersed in water, it’s fluidity, flexibility, and graceful flow helps demonstrate as a guide to the mother, showing her the same qualities that can bring ease to the process.

Footsoak: Creating a footbath is a sure way to do away with sore and tired feet. Adding seaweed to the soak speeds up the time in which it takes to feel relief, and is something you can do to help re-mineralize your body with the simplest of supplies. A large bowl, bin, or any old bucket will do!

Seaweed Body Wraps and Masks: This is a fun one to play around with, as you can create a whole variety of different wraps and facial masks with either seaweed being the only ingredient added to your blender with water, or getting more creative with your recipes and mixing it with some of your other favourite topical ingredients. Kelp powder mixed with honey and ground oats is one of my favourites, but really any natural ingredients that have beneficial properties for the skin can be used. Once you have your chosen blend, grind into a powder, mix with water into a paste that you can apply all over your body and face, allow to let penetrate on your skin for at least 10-15 minutes, up to as long as is comfortable, and rinse off once you are complete. This can be an effective treatment for both acute and chronic dermatitis issues.

Exfoliants: There are a couple of unique red seaweeds known as Turkish Towel (Chondracantus sp.) and Turkish Washcloth (Matocarpus sp.) that have this unique property. They are covered in little papillae that act as scrubbing exfoliants on the skin, sloughing off dead skin cells. All seaweeds also have emollient, skin softening properties to them, and so using these seaweeds as washcloths very much brings in an ebb and flow, cleanse and build effect in benefitting the health of the skin.

Emollient Gels: One of the most popular ways in which seaweeds are used around the world is for their gelling properties, which is found in both brown and red categories of seaweeds. They contain a starchy carbohydrate substance, known as phycocolloids, that give them their smooth, slippery texture, and cooling nature. Within the brown seaweeds, the phycocolloids are called alginates, and in the reds they are the agars and carrageenans. Because of this gelling ability, they are added to most things on store shelves that are “thick”, for example: toothpaste, ice cream, paint, and lotions. It is fun and easy to make gel out of seaweed by slowly warming it up in water, bring to a boil, strain, and set in the fridge. You can use this gel for your hair and face and will notice it’s highly emollient, softening properties that moisturize dry, brittle hair and skin.

This gel also reinforces the hydrolipidic (protective) barrier of the skin. Pure luxury from the sea!

Skin creams and lotions: For those of us that feel happiest and at home in the outdoors, adding seaweed to lotions can bring an extra level of protection from extreme winter and summer weather patterns. Specifically, this protection comes from the phenols found in the browns, especially species that grow in the intertidal zones. A great example is Bladderwrack (Fucus sp.). As this species is exposed to strong weather patterns during low tide, it contains protective chemistry that also protects our skin when applied topically. It has been shown to protect against both sun and wind damage to the skin.

Seaweeds also regulate sebum levels, making it an effective addition to minimizing acne.

Although traditional Thalassotherapy centers are generally located within 500 meters of the sea, this practice does not need exclude the people that live inland. If anything, it is even more important for those that do not live close to the coast to get proper amounts of iodine in their systems. Seaweed trade has been found to go back as far as we have anthropological studies for- something the Kelp Highway theory has proven to show as early as 14,000 years ago.

Seaweed took up a big portion in many traditional people’s trading baskets, as it dries easily, shrinking down to one tenth of its fresh state, and it’s density of amino acids and trace minerals make it an ideal substance to carry for optimal nutritional needs. Currently it is reliable to access clean sources of seaweed from committed, ethical suppliers of botanical medicine and is indeed one of my strong commitments to providing in our dispensary.

As you play with some of these seaweed bathing and health practices, bringing in the aspect of spirit creates a foundation of wholism to one’s entire being. The rituals that spring forth from the deeper subconscious, while working with these ocean wonders, can have a spiritually hygienic effect. Caring for, and cleansing our bodies and minds, can become a sacred ritual that nourishes us deeply within, carrying forward into our entire way of being.  

The mythical nature that comes from the sea is a gift that we can harness to spark magic in our lives, drawing in the ocean’s forces through working with seaweed.

She imbues us with her qualities that are captured so well by her marine plants. Flexible, fluid, calm, cool natured; gifts we so dearly need in a society that has become so fast and inflamed.

The Celtic story of the Selkie is a heart touching teaching of staying true to your roots, and moving freely through life in the truest form of your nature.

Getting into communion with seaweed, by applying it to one’s body, is a way of putting on your sealskin, as the selkie so craves and desires getting back to her truest nature, in union with the sea.

Beltane… The Initiation of Summer

solar yearLike many old world traditions, the days of celebrating Beltane have come and gone. There was a time in Northern Europe though, when Beltane (May 1st) and Samhain (Nov. 1st ) were considered the most important dates in the calendar year. These dates are mid-haven between Equinox and Solstice, and carry an important traditional significance as the beginning of Summer and Winter. As such, they were celebrated with many rituals and ceremonies to ensure a prosperous and healthy season to come. Beltane also served to connect everyone in the community with the importance of giving thanks for the abundance they already had.

Lion’s Mane Chai Elixir

Lion’s Mane is essentially mother nature’s gift to your nervous system. These medicinal mushrooms contain two nerve growth factors (hericenones and erinacines) which stimulate the regeneration and remyelination of nerves. These compounds help improve memory and cognition, and also show promise in the treatment of many conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, brain and spinal cord injuries, anxiety and depression.

Harmonic Arts’ Lion’s Mane Dual Extract Powder
is a convenient way to incorporate the benefits of Lion’s Mane into your life! The 
dual extract mushroom line is superior in that it uses both a water and alcohol extraction method to derive more medicinal benefits from the mushrooms than just a steam extraction alone. These extractions are more bioavailable for the body, meaning you will be getting more medicinal benefit out of the mushrooms. Not only does the Lion’s Mane Dual Extract Powder taste good, but it mixes easily into drinks like coffee or tea, stirred into oatmeal, added to smoothies or blended into a herbal elixir tonic like the following recipe.

This Lion’s Mane Chai Elixir is a creamy and delicious way to enjoy the benefits of this incredible mushroom.



  • Start by simmering 1.5 Tbsp of the chai blend in 500ml of water on low-medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, for a strong chai flavour
  • Strain off the tea and pour into a blender
  • Add the Lion’s Mane powder, coconut cream, tocotrienols, coconut butter and honey to the blender.
  • Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds
  • Pour into your favourite mug and sprinkle cinnamon and cardamom powder to top.


Amelia Patillo is a wellness and adventure enthusiast living in Vancouver, BC.
She’s on a mission to educate, inspire and empower others to live a more vibrant life!
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#teafortrees: An Exciting Initiative to Help Protect the Cumberland Forest

Since the inception of Harmonic Arts in 2009, our dream has been to support the health of individuals and the environment. We believe businesses can be one of the best avenues of real and lasting change, and see it as our responsibility to find creative ways to “be the change we want to see in the world”.

Inspired by the actions of the Cumberland Community Forest Society, we’ve found a number of ways to support their work in our hometown. The organization works to buy back biodiverse forest lands that are scheduled to be logged, preserving hiking and biking trails enjoyed by the community. Between 2013-2016, Harmonic Arts contributed to many community events- raising close to $10,000 in donations from our artisan tea blend sales, and the bi-annual non-profit Vancouver Island Herb Gathering we help organize.

Eager to do even more in 2017, we committed to giving profits from all of our tea blends to the forest initiative in a campaign we called #teafortrees. This allowed us to raise an additional $10,000 this past year. Thrilled with these results, Harmonic Arts is hoping to have an even bigger impact with our #teafortrees campaign in 2018, with a goal of raising $15,000!

When you enjoy any of the Harmonic Arts Artisan Tea Blends, 50 cents goes to protect the Cumberland Forest. Our tea blends have been uniquely crafted for taste and health benefits, using only the highest quality herbs, while drawing inspiration from our sweet little mountain town with a big love for nature.

You can purchase the mug in the photo here – all proceeds go to support CCFS.

To further support this effort, please share our teas with your community, let us know your experience with a testimonial on our website, or use the hashtag #teafortrees to share on social media.

To contribute direct donations to the Cumberland Forest, visit

Botanical Blessings in 2018 from all of us at Harmonic Arts.

Categories: Blog, Healthy Lifestyle

Hygge: Creating Well Being, Connection and Warmth

If you can imagine content moments, gathered around the hearth in good company, with a warm cup of tea held in your hands, you can quite likely feel what the concept of hygge means, right down to the marrow.

As we are coming to a place of realization and understanding that the importance of quality supersedes quantity, embracing the concept of Hygge has become something of great value while the daylight hours subside, and the temperature starts to drop.

The term Hygge is a word new to the trends of well being in North America, coming from a traditional practice in the Northern European country of Denmark, and is still commonly celebrated amongst the people in its native homeland. It is something that we all do in cold climate countries really, although acknowledging it as a practice, further cultivating its qualities, and embracing it as something that is good for us is just the medicine we need while life continues to quicken.

Etymologically speaking, it stems from the roots of a hug, to comfort, and a great source of wellness that comes from the original depths of the holy water well itself. Hygge represents the sacred familiar that we feel in the temple of our homes amongst friends and family. It is a concept that appeals to the cultures of colder northern climates, as winter can be felt as a time of significant challenge. The way of Hygge has shown to be a valuable way of being, mastering the art of feeling into a state of wellness during winter months. Much of the explanation as to why the people of Northern Europe are considered some of the happiest on earth is due to this lifestyle.

So how do we practice this art of Hygge? More than anything, it is in choosing less, scaling back, slowing down, and connecting in. Essentially, it is simply getting cozy that best describes the how and the what of it all. Why has this simple concept become something that so many of us are drawn to? Looking at how, as a society we have moved away from our varied traditional roots, the old stories have become lost- those stories that once spoke of familiar ways that nourished it’s people for thousands of years. Many of those traditions and stories revolved around the seasons, specific to the land, unique to each bio-region. Colder climates require a much different lifestyle approach than that of tropical or desert landscapes. As the world has decentralized and the entire planet has become humanity’s home, we are now looking to relocalizing some of the basic lifestyle practices that our sense of wellness dearly misses, and wildly needs. Embracing Hygge is an opportunity to connect into the dark hours, the cold temperatures, and the deep nourishment that we need to give and receive together amongst loved ones. Igniting the light from within is what is nature’s invitation, as the sun’s energy retracts in winter months. Reflecting this practice of igniting the inner light brings the central focal point of warmth and brightness into our hearts, hearths, and homes. It is, in essence, another way in which we align our lives with the land, the seasons, and the cycles of the sun and the moon.

Some of the ways of feeling nourished and connected associated with this idea are…

  • Gathering around a fire, indoors or out.
  • Holding and sipping a warm cup of tea.
  • Lighting soft candles.
  • Burning aromatic herbs.
  • Sharing nourishing food.
  • Telling stories, old and new.
  • Engaging in playful games.
  • Playing music together and singing songs.
  • Dancing.
  • Laughing.
  • And any other expression of Nourishing our Joy while it is cold and stormy outside!

Really what this all means to your intimate self can only be defined by you, however focusing on bringing this concept into the slow, steady rhythm of your world, is the idea we hope to share.

Winter time is an incredible opportunity to go inside, and to find the deep inner meanings and messages that are cast aside during states of strong outer movement throughout summer. Now, as we contrast with the winter movements that we so enjoy carrying out in the strong elements, it is balanced with slow, warm, deep, spicy, toasty, snuggly, fuzzy, soft, cozy, comfy, gentle, creative, engaged, and loving, face to face connections.

Gather on in. Gather in hearts, minds, and souls. Let us unify closely together so that the kinetic energy contained amongst one another works to keep us warm.

angela willardAngela Willard became a Clinical Herbalist through the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in 2005. She has since practiced as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. Angela actively adds herbal and health tools to her basket of wisdom by continually upgrading her knowledge with a strong focus on Women’s health and wellness. Sharing information that empowers people to live with integrity and reach their highest potential is a true calling, one which fuels her on her path. She balances her time between raising a young family and nourishing her passionate purpose as an herbalist.
Categories: Blog, Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

Looking for a healthy stuffing recipe?

Food is important in our life for several reasons. Firstly, we couldn’t survive without it. It’s our source for nutrients, sustenance and life essence. Secondly, food brings us all together. Connecting and the creation of relationships, family and community are largely centered around meals and eating together. This is particularly true for the Thanksgiving holiday. Friends and family gather around meals cooked with care to express gratitude for each other and the blessings in our lives. This recipe provides a delicious, nourishing dish filled with nutrition and plant medicine to share while you connect with your loved ones.

Hope you have a Thank-full long weekend with friends and family!

Gluten-free and vegan unless you choose to use on of our recommended substitutions.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup of diced celery
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • small handful of fresh sage, chopped
  • small handful of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • large pinch of sea salt
  • fresh ground coarse pepper


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

In a medium sized pot bring 1 cup of vegetable broth to a boil. Add in the quinoa and bay leaf, salt, pepper and stir. Set to low heat and simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat {do not lift lid} and allow the quinoa to steam for another 10 minutes. When that is over, you will have picture perfect quinoa – trust me, no  more soggy mess!

Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over low heat. Add in the chopped celery and onion. Cook until they begin to become clear, about 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to medium and add in the vegetable broth, sage, thyme, garlic powder and season with more salt and pepper if needed; simmer for a few minutes.

Combine the quinoa with the veggie mixture and add in the last 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, stir together well. Place the stuffing mix into a greased oven safe dish. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes. Then broil under a low flame until the top become golden brown.


Brown rice or fermented sourdough bread can be substituted for quinoa*

Bone broth can be substituted for vegetable broth* 


Health Benefits Of This Recipe


Bay Leaves: Recorded as far back as 1629, Bay trees were planted around settlements to keep the plague at bay! The leaves contain antioxidant volatile oils which have a stronger overall effect on the body than Vitamin C.bay leaves watercolor It’s antioxidant effects are comparable to resveratrol (the heart health component to red wine) and flavonoids from green tea.

Sage: The name directly translates as Elder or Wise, as this herb supports our bodies to reach the golden years. The latin translation of the word Sage is Salvare- meaning to save or cure. It is often used in bone broth soups to fight off infection or colds. Sage brightens the mood, increasing a sense of gratitude, sharpens the memory in which one can give thanks for past cycle’s gifts, and streamlines focus into the moment- supporting full presence with loved ones.

Thyme: One of the major therapeutic compounds in Thyme is thymol, an antiseptic that kills microbes, and has an especially profound effect against acute bronchitis causing viruses and bacteria. Fall is a season where we once again become particularly susceptible to coughs and colds, so why not add some Thyme to your favourite fall dishes to prevent those stubborn chest colds!

Quinoa: Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids. It is also high in fiber, magnesium, B-vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants.

Bone Broth: Aside from the benefits of all the proteins and sugars, and whatever nutrients might be hiding in the marrow, bone broth is extremely high in minerals. Bones from land animals are rich in calcium,magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, and fish bones also contain iodine.

Categories: Blog

The Sacred Masculine; Supporting Our Strong Warrior From Within

The Sacred Masculine; Supporting Our Strong Warrior From Within

By Angela Willard

I’ve recently come out of a long cycle, firmly planted on purpose, where I had surrendered myself and my abilities towards growing and cultivating the things I held dearest to my heart. Throughout this journey, I hadn’t planned on sacrificing my well being in the process, which is what began to happen as I ploughed on at full fight and flight speed, in order to get things done.  

Eventually, my plate became so full that something had to give- although I realized that between the commitment to my family, and the responsibility to my business, I couldn’t find an area of least importance I wanted to release. In acknowledging this truth, I needed to assess the ways in which I was showing up, and how I could enhance my energy reserves out of a constant state of overwhelm. How could I shift the feeling of “I can’t handle this” to “I got this”? I eventually realized it came down to perspective. Not only is perspective a way of mind, it is also connected to a way of physical being. When the body is overwhelmed by stress, it directly affects the mind’s eye in which it views the world. hand holding globe at sunset

We can change our external lives to mirror a more zen, minimalist tone in many arenas, but there are some areas that we hold so dear to us, in which our passions can express themselves, that we strive to fill them to the brim with strong efforts. Calling on and drawing from our inner reserves to manifest our soul’s purpose needs core strength to keep us well connected to mindful ways.

Experiencing this process has taught me much about balance, give and take, presence, wellness, and to how to be there to nourish myself as much as I do for others. In practicing what I have learned, I am able to bring my wellness forth as fuel to accomplish my goals.

What I’ve come to realize is this:

When I feel supported, nourished, and strong from within, I experience my day with an open flow that simply feels right.

In times when I feel stretched to my fullest while carrying my strengths capacity, I need to lean into the support of the net I’ve woven of loved ones, plant allies, personal prayers, and rooting practices that carry me through.

Currently, a support I lean into are the tonic herbs in the Sacred Masculine formula.

Essentially, this formula has been created to work on the stress response, recalibrating the perception of stress to the modern day culture we now live in. It helps to re-wire our nervous system to respond appropriately to today’s world, versus automatically switching into a fight or flight mode of fear based, protection perception. The Sacred Masculine blend opens up our view finder to see that our full plates serve our highest purpose, uses stress to our benefit to create focus and concentration, and helps streamline all efforts in the direction of what we are here to create.

I’ve broken down the components of this blend below to describe their actions and uses, and how they all blend in harmony to create the above desired effect.jar of sacred masculine tonic blend

  • Eleuthero: Soothes nervous exhaustion and adrenal fatigue. Balancing to an under or overactive thyroid due to hypothalamic stress. It is an energizing and uplifting herb, and is especially helpful during times of melancholy and depression.
  • Pine Pollen: An androgen to help keep testosterone levels in balance; testosterone can enhance the positive effects of cortisol such as strength and concentration.
  • Astragalus: This is the herb of resilience, allowing us to bounce back from challenging circumstances.
  • Reishi: Calms states of hypertension, autoimmune issues, and frayed nerves.
  • Chaga: Offers stress management for the body and mind, minimizing the effect of oxidative damage from physical stress.
  • Fo-Ti: Rejuvenative to the nerves, brain cells, and endocrine glands.
  • Nettle Root: Supports water channels, which are affected by the moon, as are women (kidney/bladder health), and integrity of connective tissues (nourishing muscles and joints).
  • Shilajit: Enhances energy, memory, and mood!
  • Cayenne: Gets the system moving (especially cardiovascular and digestive); De-stagnates.
  • Licorice: Contains steroids that increase the function of the adrenal cortex. Harmonizes all botanicals in an herbal formula.

The times of our modern culture have called us to reclaim our natural ways that allow us to exceed in our lives- no longer by the measure of material success, but by how deeply we love, how hard we laugh, and especially how much we’ve shown up for the things that matter to us most in this world.

Allowing the grace of the Sacred Masculine, within ourselves, and within our relationships, offers us the knowing of both how to be strong, and how to be soft.

This is key to the long term resilience women need to show up, be the change, and lead by example. It’s time to join the movement, and start caring for your self, so that you can be fueled and charged to follow your dreams, experience life fully and reach your highest potential for the benefit of yourself, and all the living beings of this world.



“I felt the effects of Sacred Masculine within a few days time. Where I had been stressed out, burned out and fatigued, I now felt energized, and capable of handling my responsibilities and schedule. Sacred Masculine has been such a support and me and my adrenals are so happy to have it in our pantry!”

-Harmonic Arts Customer

To purchase your jar of Sacred Masculine click here.

Dealing With Cravings On A Cleanse

During a cleanse it’s inevitable that some cravings will come on, especially when we may not be eating as much calorie dense food as we’re used to. Sometimes cravings come on so strong you feel like you’re turning into a ravenous beast that simply MUST have whatever it is you’re craving in that moment.

Moments like this are normal…but the first thing to do is catch your thoughts, examine them, and determine if you’re just hungry and your body/brain are defaulting to the calorie dense foods that they remember. Consider if you truly do want to eat these foods or if it’s just a passing craving, if you’re feeling emotional, stressed, or are simply just hungry and need to eat something healthy to curb your craving.

Breath deeply and think about how you will feel after you eat whatever it is that you’re craving, and if the consequences are worth a few moments of temporary pleasure.

Here’s a list of common cravings that could come up, and some cleanse friendly alternatives that can help you curb that craving, and keep you feeling great:

  • Bread: Eat quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet, rice, or root vegetables. These foods are  a good source of gluten-free carbohydrates, loaded with fiber to fill you up, and vitamins, minerals and protein. If you simply must have some bread look for gluten-free breads/wraps but preferably the ones with the fewest ingredients, and organic ingredients. You can also bake your own yeast-free gluten free bread using gluten free flours. There are many great recipes online.

  • Cheese – Try making your own nut cheese (eat in small amounts), or sprinkle some nutritional yeast on your meal (goes great on salads, steamed vegetables or whatever you can think up). A craving for cheese could also be a need for healthy fats, so eating foods like Avocado, Coconut, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax, or small amounts of cold-pressed oils can help nourish your body and curb your desire for cheese and other dairy products.

  • Alcohol – Try fermented beverages like Kombucha or Jun, fresh coconut water, or make an herbal soda with carbonated water and Harmonic Arts Herbal Root Beer Syrup or Chaga Kola Syrup.

  • Coffee – We often use caffeine as a stimulant when we are tired. One way to rely less on caffeine is to get adequate sleep. Caffeine is a poor replacement for rest that our body needs. Earlier bedtimes, using less electronics and artificial lighting in the evening, and relaxing evening teas like chamomile can help create a better night time routine to help you get to sleep earlier. As a replacement for coffee try Harmonic Arts KickStart, Herbal Teas, Matcha, Yerba Mate, Guyusa, or Herbal ElixirsRoasted Dandelion Root also makes a great coffee substitute that is very cleansing. Water can also be a great resource for helping you cope with consuming less caffeine. Every time you crave coffee or other caffeinated beverages just sip on some water. Being hydrated will help you stay more alert, improves digestion, and is essential for cleansing.

  • Sweetener – Dates, Molasses, Maple Syrup, Honey, Stevia Leaf, Berries, Yacon

  • Dessert – There’s nothing wrong with craving something sweet after a savory meal. The key is to avoid the heavy, sugar laden common dessert foods like cake, cookies, ice cream, pie etc. You could have a piece of fruit and a cup of herbal tea with some honey, or make a small dessert smoothie with some frozen berries, almond milk or water, and banana. Eating it out of a small bowl with a spoon makes a smoothie seem more like dessert, especially if you make it thick.

  • Salty Crunchy Snacks – Try replacing things like chips, crackers, and other salty snacks with fresh vegetables like carrots, celery, snap peas, and cucumbers. If you prepare them in advance and have them ready in the fridge or in your lunch bag, they’ll be ready and easy to grab when you’re craving a crunchy snack. You can also try healthy snacks like brown rice cakes,  and for something salty dried seaweeds like dulse and nori are a great way to get those ocean minerals into your body and curb a salt craving. Upgrade your salt with high quality mineral salts like pink crystal salt, smoked sea salt, black lava salt, and other sea salts that are much better for your body than standard table salt. Avoiding heavily salted, processed foods will help your taste buds adapt to less salty food. That way, when you do use salt, you need less.

    The key to dealing with cravings is to figure out the source of the craving and what the best option is to overcome it. If it’s stress or emotions you can try some physical activity, or something calming like yoga or meditation. If it’s true hunger then you definitely need to eat, just choose the best, healthiest alternative possible and you’ll stay on track.

    We don’t always choose the best options. We aren’t perfect beings, so if you do give in to a craving, don’t beat yourself up over it. Simply examine the source of the craving, how/why you gave into it, and what your intentions are to deal with those cravings moving forward.

Have you joined our Facebook group yet? If you have any questions, please ask them there or email us at

Happy Spring Cleansing!!
The Harmonic Arts Team

Triple Chocolate Love Pie

When you’re making a Triple Chocolate Love Pie, there is always an extra important ingredient that needs to be included… LOVE

So take your time and enjoy the creative experience…

Everything else is great to have checked off on your list, but if something is missing, it’s ok, there are always options and alternatives.. So treat this recipe as a blueprint, and get experimental if you like. Just make sure you add the LOVE in, and your creative masterpiece will come out beautiful.

Strengthening Commitment to Your Self

The earth has circled around the sun yet again, and many of us find ourselves in a similar place as we did this time last year; ready to make a commitment to that which is important, and close to our hearts. Perhaps it is a desire to more deeply commit to your health, to your relationships, or to your career. What you are committed to does not measure the success of your intentions. It is the strength of your commitment that will determine success.


How can we fortify the agreement we decide to make with ourselves, in order to bring to fruition the important matters of our hearts?

Winter Health Alignment

winter alignmentWinter’s Decline

When it comes to health, many people see winter as the toughest time of the year. It’s not uncommon to feel challenged with immune issues, stress, depression or a lack of energy in the winter months. Partly this is because it’s the natural completion of the life cycle. The world around us is retreating into sleep mode. If our actions and choices are not in alignment with this seasonal tone, our health and wellness will suffer.

4 Favourite Natural Cold and Flu Fighters



This time of year I actively add an ounce of cold and flu prevention to my family’s daily regime.

As our bodies adjust to the shifting seasons and the retracting light, fortification to the immune system becomes an important intention.

In that, I choose anti-microbial herbs as defense, immune boosters as offense, and deep immune tonics for conditioning and maintenance.



Cold Defense– When we feel a hint of the winter wetlands hit with stormy cold symptoms, we pull out this blend to come in strong with support to our natural defenses. This blend is ideal to take when sensing oncoming symptoms of a potential cold or flu.



Immune Boost Tea– This tea is a favourite for it’s healing essence that permeates the air while it brews up on the stove during colder months. It boosts our resistance to winter bugs while warming the body from the outside-in.immune boost tea


Elderberry Syrup– This one is always welcome to all members of our family, even the choosiest of palates enjoy the sweet berry flavour of this classic syrup. Elderberry is said to have a center of gravity on the lungs, and its anti-viral properties either keep colds and flus at bay, or lessen the impact of such symptoms.Elderberry-Syrup


Viral Support– This blend has a deep penetration to trigger the immune system. It lends support to the body in conditioning for its best defenses yet.Viral-Support-50ml


Rolling through this winter cycle, you may also find some of these products to be especially helpful, assisting you through the season with a lowered level of stress on your health and wellness!


angela willardAngela Willard became a Clinical Herbalist through the Wild Rose College of Natural Healing in 2005. She has since practiced as an Herbalist through many avenues including consulting, growing herbs, wildcrafting, and co-creating Harmonic Arts Botanical Dispensary. Angela actively adds herbal and health tools to her basket of wisdom by continually upgrading her knowledge with a strong focus on Women’s health and wellness. Sharing information that empowers people to live with integrity and reach their highest potential is a true calling, one which fuels her on her path. She balances her time between raising a young family and nourishing her passionate purpose as an herbalist.


Closing of the Veils – Giving Thanks to the Natural World

Join Herbalist Yarrow Willard as he explores a few ways in which we can deepen our Kin-ection and offer our thanks for all the abundance we have received in the year.

At Winters Door we have an opportunity to honour the Death/Hibernation process within ourselves and the world around us.  In doing so, we create space to for new life to flow through us once more.
In this Video the Herbal Jedi shares a variety of ways to do this, and why it is important.

Plus a few herbal gems and bits of knowledge along the way.

Categories: Blog, Video Blog

Elevated Donut Bites

Truth time – I made these healthy donut bites specifically so I could use the Elevate Elixir Blend. I’m obsessed. Ever since the weather turned, I haven’t been able to get enough of its creamy, rich, cardamom flavour! Last year it was our Activate Elixir Blend I put in everything, but this year it’s Elevate. I use it in my coffee, hot almond mylk, breakfast oats and most recently my baking.  If one of the other elixir mixes is your current favorite you can substitute it in favour of mine.elevated donut bites


⅔ cup rolled oats

⅔ cup dates (de-pitted)

⅔ cup nuts (soak for 1-4 hours and then rinse) – I used cashews

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons maple syrup

⅛ teaspoon vanilla powder

.1 teaspoon Elevate elixir

½ teaspoon 5 Mushroom Blend (or another mushroom powder)

To make the dough:

Add oats, dates, nuts, elevate, mushroom powder and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until the ingredients have turned into a moist dough.

Ball the dough into the size of your choice (I made bite size) and place on a tray covered in parchment paper in the freezer for 20 minutes

To make the glaze:

In a pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat on stove

Once melted, turn off heat

Immediately add vanilla powder and maple syrup

Whisk together and transfer to bowl

To Finish:

Remove donut bites from freezer

Roll each donut bite in the  glaze

Place back on parchment paper

Once all bites are covered in glaze, place in freezer for 10 minutes

(If you have leftover glaze, repeat above process)

After the the glaze has frozen on your scrumptious Elevated Donut Bites, you can transfer them to a  sealed container and keep in fridge.

I was inspired by a recipe from This Rawsome Vegan Life  which I then elevated with a few awesome Harmonic Arts products!



This delicious and easy recipe is brought to you by Harmonic Arts team member Kelsey, who is a  Holistic Nutritionist inspired by West Coast living, meeting her farmer, playing with her food and getting outside.

Chaga – A Medicinal Mushroom

Chaga (Inonotus obliquus): This mushroom shows up as a sclerotia (growth) that is found mostly on birch trees in the northern regions of our planet. It has been used for at least several hundred years in Russia and Eastern Europe and is well known and used extensively by indigenous people of northern Canada, Europe and Siberia.

As a superfood and medicine Chaga has gained much popularity over the last 10 years, mostly due to its heavily researched anti-tumor and immunomodulating properties. Chaga is also employed as a potent antioxidant for which it is starting to get quite a reputation.

 Some studies suggest Chaga can be used as an anti-inflammatory, reducing pain sensations and has blood sugar regulating properties. Like other superfood mushrooms Chaga must be prepared in a way that makes its Chaga Tea Cutcompounds available for absorption in the body. This means cut pieces of the mushroom must be lightly simmered as a broth or a decoction style tea, prepared was a dual extract tincture, or pre-extracted edible powder form.Chaga Chunks -Wild Harvested

The tea has a nice flavour with hints of vanilla, it can be used as a base for smoothies, hot drinks or soups, the tincture or powdered extract can be consumed on their own or added to food and drinks.


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