Newest Review: ... of a tiger and there is plenty of information written on the box and the label. Tiger Balm has quite a strong smell, but this isn't a bad... more
Relief from those seasonal aches and pains.
Member Name: QueenElf
Advantages: Works on every kind of pain.
It might sound strange talking about aches and pains around this time of year, but it's better to be prepared for everything the weather and the seasonal exertions throw at you. So many people don't realize how much extra work they are taking on and that's before the day itself. There's extra shopping, walking around town centers, tidying the house and in some cases even getting the decorations from the attic can cause back pain to name just one problem. Of course you might be like me and foolishly decide to do some large household changes and they take a lot out of you. I'm having my kitchen redone and it's been going on since late October. Now I'm getting the guttering done before Xmas and in preparation for any unexpected weather problems.
I'll be looking at several health remedies this month and I've started with Tiger balm because it's the only thing that eases my aching joints and helps me sleep as well. I've already got aches and pains from arthritis and yesterday I could hardly stand upright with my left hip going into spasms. I'd taken my maximum prescribed tablets of eight co-codamol and I still couldn't sleep. Then I remembered I had a pot of tiger balm and spent ages finding it. The relief was worth it though.
What is it?
Tiger Balm is a Chinese remedy for all kinds of things. One of its main ingredients is camphor so this can be used for a stuffed up head cold as well as a rub for joint pain. I first bought mine from a tiny shop in a seaside town after I'd pulled a muscle and could hardly walk. I hadn't come across it before then but there wasn't a chemist nearby and the shop sold all kinds of things. This was back in 1985 so you can see how long ago it was. I think the owner stocked just about anything and this pot was unlike the ones you can buy today, it was the strongest one, the wild tiger balm.
Modern equivalents are not quite as strong so I've put this under the red tiger balm category since you can buy this in most chemists. It's an ointment free from animal fats, which probably sounds peculiar with the name, but the tiger symbolizes strength. Since this is rubbed into the affected area I'm going to list the ingredients since some can cause irritation.
The white and red are much the same, with one slight addition in the red that I find slightly more effective so I'll list this.
Camphor BP 11%
Menthol BP 10%
Cajuput Oil BPC 7%
Clove oil BP 5%
These ingredients are in a base which consists of Cinnamon oil (in the red), Dementholised mint oil, yellow soft paraffin and hard paraffin.
It's manufactured in Singapore and sold under license by an English company.
What does it do?
When rubbed into an aching joint or muscle it warms the skin area, which helps to promote healing. The active ingredients both soothe and help the pain, though the initial feeling is one of intense heat. This soon dies back leaving a cooling sensation that really does ease the pain. If it doesn't feel hot then you haven't used enough. A little does go a long way so use about the size of a ten pence piece and rub into and around the affected area. It really does help and the added smell, though very pungent, helps relaxation and easy breathing.
Where can you buy it?
Ideally in any large Boots store though you can buy it in bulk on Amazon and other online shops. It cost about £4.50 but lasts for ages so it's well worth the price. I've seen this in the Pound store but the jar is very flimsy and the ratio of the ingredients is not as strong, so I stick to my glass jar with its unique octagonal top. Although it doesn't state how long you can keep it for I've had my current jar for about three years and it still smells strong. I've tried other rubs when I've been in tears with the pain and thought a medicated gel rub would be better, but I always return to this.
Whether it's because I believe in the product or the rub suits me it works well and the only side effect I've had is a slight stain on my sheets and that washes out. There are times it can't be used and these are on the enclosed leaflet. These are sensible precautions but I will mention them. -
Do not use on broken or irritated skin.
Keep away from eyes and mucous membranes.
Tiger balm is for external use only.
Do not use as an inhalant.
Not suitable for children under two.
Avoid excessive use in pregnancy and lactation.
I've been using this for thirty years without any harm and although it's not intended as an alternative to medication it really does help at the site of the pain and that for me is where it really counts.
Thanks for reading and stay healthy.
Summary: The best external rememdy for aches & Pains.