Friday, November 09, 2007

Beeswax Base Used in Alaskan Herbal Product Line

Yup'ik Way Comes in Jar Form
Dustin Solberg, The Tundra Drums, 11/8/2007

Gloria Simeon of Bethel didn't look far when she chose the name for her cottage industry 10 years ago. Yup'ik Way comes from the street where she makes her home in Bethel.

Simeon's business sells an array of herbal products packaged in small glass jars. She collects ingredients such as fireweed, yarrow and spruce needles from locations she believes to be free of human traffic.

Her goods are sold in four Bethel outlets, arts and crafts shows such as that hosted by the Alaska Federation of Natives convention two weeks ago in Fairbanks, and by mail order.

Her understanding of the medicinal qualities of native plants began with her grandmother. The next step, developing products for the public, required research.

With only word-of-mouth promotion to spread the word, she has now sold her several recipes for a decade. Her son, Quentin Simeon, designed the Yup'ik Way logo that appears on each jar she sells.

Her products include a Fireweed and Yarrow Skin Tonic and a Balm of Gilead containing spruce needles. Extra virgin olive oil and beeswax form the base of the products, which bear the silver hand of authentic native handicrafts from Alaska…

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