Elderberry: Going back to basics

January 2015 Posted in Your Health
Nicole Dennis of Yes, It’s Pure Elderberry Remedy

Nicole Dennis of Yes, It’s Pure Elderberry Remedy

By Melissa Wagoner

Nicole Dennis is offering an old method to help keep people healthy during cold and flu season.

Dennis, who was born in Boston, said she grew up “totally not taking natural remedies” and that she “didn’t know there was another way” but several years ago she began exploring natural remedies and came upon elderberry syrup.

“Elderberries have been used throughout history to fight colds and flus,” Dennis said. “There’s actually a record of elderberries being used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.”

Though the raw fruit is highly poisonous, once cooked, elderberry syrup is high in antioxidants and has antiviral properties which have been used medicinally for centuries in many different countries.

Dennis used to buy the syrup but began making her own three or four years ago.

“The bottles I bought were really tiny and it was really expensive and the second ingredient was sugar,” Dennis said. “So I looked online at tons and tons of recipes and then picked and chose what I wanted. It took a lot of batches that were horrible. Some were really vinegary.”

Once the trials were over she made a huge batch and gave some to friends.

“They loved it,” she said. And a business was born.

A cold ‘syrup’ revived
Yes, It’s Pure Elderberry Remedy
This product is a dietary supplement
containing elderberries as well as other
ingredients including cloves, Echinacea,
apple cider vinegar, local honey and cinnamon.
To view Nicole Dennis’ products,
visit www.mkt.com/yes-its-pure

Dennis began making batches at a commercial kitchen in town using berries grown at the vineyard where she works and mason jars as packaging.

“I used to use mason jars because they are readily available and inexpensive. That was fine when I was just selling to friends and family,” Dennis said. “Doing it out of my own money has been a challenge. I need all these ingredients to make a large quantity and it all costs money. But I always figure out how to make it work.”

Though Dennis is still renting a kitchen and doing the rest of the work at her dining room table, her syrups now boast a professional “Yes, it’s Pure” label and are packaged in an easy-to-pour bottle.

elderberryNo longer sold primarily to friends and family Yes, it’s Pure Elderberry Remedy is sold at Shayla Lynn Jewelry and Gifts in Silverton and at stores in Bend, Hood River and Beaverton.

“My aunt, who makes leather goods was nice enough to put my name out there. Now I make two batches a month and a batch is 40 jars,” Dennis said.

Dennis has also begun expanding the Yes, it’s Pure line starting with a natural sunscreen that she estimates at 20 SPF.

“I tried it out on a patch on my back and went out and gardened all day,” Dennis said. “Now it’s all I use on my fair-skinned daughter and my fair-skinned self and we don’t get burned.”

Although Dennis has begun making several other products including bath scrubs, hand salves and lip balm, her primary product is still the Elderberry remedy.

“I have a few other ideas of things I’m going to be working on but I want to focus now on the business itself,” Dennis said.

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