Traditionally, Chinese herbalists and doctors have used medicinal plants to relieve external suffering with help of herbal ointment, oil, lotion or plaster (leaves in ancient times).
One day a discovery was made to combine Camphor, the essential oil of Cajeput, Cinnamon, Menthol, clove, and essential oil of Mint together for soothing of pain. This discovery is today called the Tiger Balm, a Chinese ointment.
This recipe for external use was created in 1870 by the herbalist Aw Chu Kin in Rangoon, Burma. As early as 1926, the family immigrated to Singapore and started to commercially produced in it for the general public.
But why did he name it like this? One could argue that it was by metonymy that the balm was so named, the symbol of a tiger emphasized the strength of this beast, its power comparing the powerful effect that this balm can produce.
Applied to the skin, the Balm creates a pleasant feeling of warmth followed by a feeling of cold which can be extremely effective against muscle and joint pain or naming it as musculoskeletal how it is said in medical jargon. Let us dive deeper into the secret Tiger balm benefits simple explained:
The good arguments of why you should always have it at home!
Are you a sports person or athletic, do you often have muscle and joint contractures pain? Being at home you are often at the mercy of these little daily troubles such as headaches, flu and other seasonal inflammations.
And in addition you do not like to take pharmaceutical chemical based drugs which have too many side effects! Too many complications! Yes it also costs a fortune. If you answer yes to these questions, then the Tiger Balm ointment is the miracle solution to all of your troubles especially since it is has a pure plant origin!
This ointment of the Chinese pharmacopoeia is well known in Asia, thanks to its rare concept that makes him an important partner of natural medicines. It is extremely effective thanks to its warming effect which it generates to quickly reduce the pain while spreading a pleasant smell around you due to the presence of its essential oils.
Originally used to relieve musculoskeletal pain, Tiger Balm also has many other, often unrecognized, uses that we will go through together now:
The essential indications of the Tiger Balm
It is demonstrated that the balm has a very rich structure that gives its significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties becoming therefore essential in many situations of our daily life.
Whether red or white, oil or plaster the product can only exclusively applied externally. How to use it? It is very simple! Just grab a little between your fingers and massage the part that makes you suffer by performing rotational movements.
Read Further: How exactly does Tiger Balm works
As soon as the area is heated, you can stop rubbing: it is at this moment that the ointment will take its action. After feeling the soothing warmth around the area, you will experience a nice cooling effect. This process can be repeated two to three times daily in order to have convincing results.
A. Tiger Balm for muscle pain (joint)
Where does the heating and analgesic property of this ointment come from? In fact, it is due to the presence of the cajeput oil in addition to the Chinese cinnamon essence. On the other hand, the presence of Eucalyptus essential oil in the White Tiger Balm is invaluable in treating rheumatism (Recognized by the World Health Organization or WHO).
These properties are very essential to reduce pain that affects the joints or muscles, regardless of their origins: physical pain that occurs after sports activities for example, arthritis, lumbago … or nervous due to stress. Let’s try to be more pragmatic and see when the Tiger Balm will come to your rescue:
Muscle Pain: In fact the ointment is highly valued by all sportsmen without exception because applied to the sore muscle it is directly infiltrated and its analgesic properties result in a calming and immediate decontracturante action.
Joint Pain and Tendinitis: If you experience joint pain or tendon you should apply the balm on the irritated parts. Tiger Balm is known for its effectiveness in relieving shoulder pain.
Backache, Rheumatism: In this case, rub in well the balm on your back, chest, legs or any area you feel discomfort. The balm also works wonderfully well in the case of torticollis.
B. Against ENT irritations (Ear nose throat)
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Because the white balm is mainly composed of the eucalyptus essential and menthol oil, it is ideal for overcoming colds and other respiratory complications that affect your nose, throat, ears and skin. Thus, you can use it well in the following situations:
Tiger Balm for Cough and Cold, Rhinitis, Sinusitis:
It is administered either by anointing on the chest or by inhaling, but remember it is only for adults and adolescents. In case of inhaling, add the balm in a large container of hot water.
Cover your head with a towel and start inhaling deeply for 3-5 minutes. You can repeat it two to three times daily. The balm will act as an antiseptic and reduce the irritation of the respiratory tract.
Cough: By spreading it on the chest and on the back, the ointment of the tiger helps to unclog the airways perfectly.
Stuffy Nose: You can apply a bit of the balm underneath the nostrils to effectively clear the nose. Please be careful and avoid lips as they are more vulnerable and might burn.
Sore Throat: If you have early symptoms of sore throat or angina, slightly rub some onto your neck before going to sleep. It will battle the condition in its early stages.
C. Tiger Balm for Migraines and Headache
Read Further: Difference of Tiger Balm white red
The analgesic effect of menthol and eucalyptus in the white balm version will sooth you nicely. In case of migraine or headache of low intensity to moderate intensity, spread a bit of this ointment on the temples or on the forehead. It is not necessary for the balm to penetrate deep into the skin; avoid touching your eyes.
Where to buy Tiger Balm and Prices?
In Asia it can be found everywhere. However in Europe/USA on the other hand it is perhaps more difficult to find. Some pharmacies do carry it at a price of 8.70 € for 19 grams.
On the internet the cost is much cheaper and it is only between five and ten euros including shipping costs. Mainly the balm does come in a pot of glass with an unique iron lid. The cost of the oil is between 8 and 12 euros which is sold in a 28ml bottle.
Do you want a Tiger Balm, reliable, original, like the age-old product?
It’s possible. It would be wiser to choose the balm from Singapore or Thailand. But the problem is that it cannot be found locally.
In addition, do not try to find it in organic stores because they seldom or never have it there. Be aware to order your balm from India and China as many counterfeits are being sold, just avoid these sellers like the plague.
Perils of Ointment
This balm is extracted from from distinct essential oils. However, some individuals can not tolerate them because of their formidable action. This herbal medicine contains active ingredients capable of generating untoward effect. Therefore, it is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women and also for children under the age of 7 years old.
As this ointment can be a source of allergy and inflammation to the skin, it is advised to make sure prior applying it if you do not have any allergy against the ingredients.
How to Choose
Even its big fans are beginning to question its effectiveness, as the markets are flooded by cheap imitations from India and China. Avoid them and you will be fine to experience the effects of the real & original balm.
The Tiger Balm is sold in glass jars of 10, 19.4, and 30 grams net, the oil is sold in 28ml bottles. The effectiveness of the product depends on your choice and cause of illness