Some of my most cherished childhood memories stem from the time spent outdoors at my childhood home in the heart of Pennsylvania farm country. On sultry, summer evenings, the neighborhood children and I would gather under the century old oak at the back of the yard to chase fireflies, attempt to locate the oxymoronically well-hidden, bellowing bullfrogs, stomp through the nearby fields, or simply gaze up at the stars to invent our own constellations. Now, decades later, I look back on those amber evenings with a mix of warmth and despair. With the worldwide rise in synthetic chemical and pesticide usage topping out at over 5 billion pounds per year, there may come a time in the future of our children, or our children’s children where a nighttime of play near a farm may be more deadly than heartwarming; where the fireflies have had their lanterns permanently extinguished and the bullfrogs have been eternally silenced, all because their habitats are the continual targets for pesticide spraying.
For this reason, along with many others, the team here at Gilead’s Balm is fully committed to ensure that we prepare and deliver a 100% organic product that will repel the mosquitos, ticks, and flies in your backyard, but, unlike traditionally insecticide-based bug sprays, will allow them to continue playing their integral (if annoying) role in an ecological system far bigger than what we can see from our kitchen table.
But, rest assured, our commitment to global ecological responsibility extends far beyond our respect for insect life. The organic ingredients which we combine to provide you with comprehensive relief from tick and insect bites are supplied only from growers and harvesters who offer their workers fair, living wages. From the foragers who hand-pick the Virginia cedar that eventually becomes our cedar essential oil, to the farmers who collect the leaves and wood of eucalyptus trees in Australia, you can use Gilead’s Balm with the confidence that your purchase has benefited farmers and laborers around the world.
As we mentioned before, Gilead’s Balm is 100% free of the synthetic, chemical insecticides that fill the bottles of traditional insect repellants. After developing a severe allergic reaction to DEET (the key chemical insecticide in nearly all modern repellants), I began looking deeper into the true nature of this chemical that we have long been advised to liberally apply to ourselves and to our children. What I found was truly shocking. DEET, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is known to cause adverse skin reactions, neurological effects, including seizures, global brain disfunction, and, in extreme cases, even death. However, this same government agency continues to promote DEET use, simply because the benefits allegedly outweigh the risks.