Meet the Merchants: Daniel Island resident creates homegrown product line in RD Naturals
Every year many Daniel Island residents are taken down by the flu. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, more than 400 cases of the flu have already been reported in the area this winter. Daniel Island resident Sara Gail has made it her business to fight the flu. Her island-based company, RD Naturals, makes elderberry syrup and elderberry extract, a natural way to treat both cold and flu symptoms.
Gail moved to Daniel Island in 2013 and the neighborhood became a catalyst for the creation of RD Naturals.
“In a way, you could say that Daniel Island chose me! I started making elderberry syrup about three years ago for just a few friends and neighbors on Daniel Island,” Gail explained. “Flu season of 2016-2017 arrived in full force and suddenly I had hundreds of people asking for elderberry syrup.”
RD Naturals has grown over the past few years, and the elderberry syrup is available at stores throughout the area and on Amazon prime.
Gail, a registered dietitian, emphasizes the science behind her products. “Research has shown that taking elderberry shortens the duration of the illness and reduces the severity of the symptoms by at least 50%. Elderberry compounds are rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, and stop viruses from replicating in the body. These powerful antioxidants work to keep the immune system strong and resilient,” she explained.
Her Daniel Island customers swear by their results. “The elderberry syrup was a huge hit with our 2-year-old son, Maverick. It really helped boost his immune system while he was sick,” said Josh Wurdemann, co-owner of Sanctuary Blue. “We love supporting fellow Daniel Island businesses. The quality is so much better than what you find normally, so it’s a win-win,” he added.
Customers appreciate that Gail is local. Daniel Island resident Elizabeth DeStefano discovered RD Naturals on the Daniel Island Moms Facebook page and now uses the products on a regular basis. “I do prefer the fact that Sara is local — both because it feels good to support local businesses, when possible, and for the ease of quick access that it provides us,” said DeStefano.
Daniel Island local Laurie Steinke used to purchase her elderberry products at the supermarket until she learned about Gail’s homegrown product line. “I especially love that she lives on Daniel Island like me, as this supports the ‘Buy Local Be Local’ vibe I like about Charleston. And the elderberries are from her own trees! It’s as close to living in the country that you can feel in the ’burbs,” said Steinke.
Jerry Kernick, a local registered nurse, touts the benefits of Gail’s products, “Using it has helped me avoid many flare ups of colds and sinus problems when taken early.”
Another satisfied customer, Michelle Fiorello, highly recommends RD Naturals. “Sara is a delight to work with,” she said. “After incorporating her products into my daily routine, I feel great!”
To find out more about Gail and RD Naturals, check out her website at www.rdnaturals.com.
If there are any local merchants you’d like to see featured in an upcoming column, send an email to marie@thedanielisland news.com.