HomeHealth & WellnessTiger Balm, Ingredients, Uses, And Benefits Of The Ointment

Tiger Balm, Ingredients, Uses, And Benefits Of The Ointment

Tiger Balm is a remedy originating from traditional Chinese medicine. It is an herbal ointment known for its ability to relieve pain (analgesic effect) and reduce inflammation through topical application, i.e., directly on the skin. This remedy, which boasts centuries of history, is particularly appreciated for its effectiveness in mitigating joint and muscle pain, relieving headaches, and providing benefits to the respiratory system, among other uses.

Tiger Balm Ingredients And Formulations

Tiger ointment is composed of natural ingredients, herbal substances,  menthol extracts, camphor, clove oil and mint oil, eucalyptus oil, and salicylates, each chosen for its therapeutic properties. The characteristic intense aroma of Tiger Balm is almost immediately recognizable and is part of the healing olfactory experience. Tiger Balm is available in two main formulations: the original red and the white one. It is applied to the painful area and absorbed through the skin. It can be purchased in cream, gel, or liquid form.

I Use Red Tiger Balm

The red formulation is the “Red Tiger Balm,” which has a warming effect and is mainly used to relieve muscle and joint pain (such as arthritis pain, back pain, neck pain, sprains, and stiffness).

I Use White Tiger Balm

The ” White Tiger Balm” has refreshing properties and is used to combat headaches and stomach aches and relieve the symptoms of colds, nasal congestion, cough, and general tiredness. Additionally, Tiger Balm is used to provide relief from minor skin irritations such as insect bites and mild sunburn but not to treat severe burns. 

Ingredients And Properties Of Tiger Balm

  1. Menthol: refreshing effect, natural anesthetic, relieves muscle and joint pain. They are also used for relief from colds and nasal congestion.
  2. Salicylate: refreshing action, acts as a natural anesthetic, and contributes to the reduction of muscle pain.
  3. Camphor: refreshing or warming effect, promotes blood circulation, helps relieve muscle pain, and improves circulation
  4. Cajeput oil: analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties, used to treat muscle and respiratory pain.
  5. Cassia oil: warming effect, may have anti-inflammatory effects. Relative to cinnamon, it is often used for its warming properties.
  6. Clove oil: analgesic, antiseptic. They are traditionally used to relieve pain, especially in the teeth.
  7. Dementolated mint oil: refreshing and can help clear the airways. The mint variant is used for its soothing properties.
  8. Petrolatum: creates a protective barrier that may clog pores if used frequently.
  9. Paraffin is an emollient component used to give consistency to the ointment and can block pores.
  10. Vaseline: Vaseline is an emollient that forms a protective barrier on the skin. It may cause skin problems if used in excess (occlusion).
  11. Essential oils: various therapeutic properties. Preferable over petroleum derivatives for a more natural and less occlusive effect on the skin.

Please note that the precise composition of Tiger Balm may vary depending on the specific product and formulation. Additionally, while some ingredients are lauded for their beneficial effects, others may be less desirable for long-term use or people with sensitive or problematic skin.

Also Read: Quality Of Life: What Is It? Can It Be Measured?

How To Apply Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm is used only topically on the part of the body where pain is felt, massaging the product until it is completely absorbed. The lotion can be used as needed, so you can reapply it when the pain returns up to four times a day to relieve symptoms (usually effective in 10-20 minutes) . You can also use the ointment if you take over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers by mouth. However, it is best to consult a doctor if you use the ointment together with other topical pain relievers, as the combination may irritate the skin.

Benefits Of Tiger Balm

Thanks to its therapeutic properties, Tiger Balm is an excellent ally for the relief of physical symptoms. 

Here are some of its main benefits.

  1. Relieves Muscle and Joint Pain: By applying Tiger Balm to your skin, you can get immediate relief from muscle and joint pain. This is particularly useful for those suffering from back pain, muscle tension, and joint pain caused by physical exertion. 
  2. Reduces Headaches: Thanks to its analgesic properties, Tiger Balm can be applied gently to the forehead or temples to relieve headaches. Its refreshing formula can help reduce the feeling of pressure and tension in the area.
  3. Soothes Insect Bites: Tiger Balm’s anti-inflammatory properties make it effective in reducing itching and inflammation caused by insect bites. Applying a small amount to the affected area can help relieve discomfort.
  4. Improves blood circulation: Tiger Balm can be used to improve blood circulation. By gently massaging it into the skin, you can promote blood flow and reduce the feeling of heaviness and fatigue in the legs.
  5. Relieves Nasal Congestion: Applying Tiger Balm to your chest or neck can help clear your airways and relieve nasal congestion. Its decongestant and balsamic properties can provide immediate relief during a cold or flu.

Tiger Balm Side Effects And Contraindications 

It is essential to carefully read the instructions on the Tiger Balm package and test it on a small area of ​​skin before use to ensure it does not cause skin irritation. Irritation may cause pain, redness, or, more rarely, blisters and bleeding. In case of allergic reactions, redness, or irritation, it is best to discontinue use immediately. Furthermore, it is essential to avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes.

The medicine should not come into contact with your eyes, mouth, nose, or genitals, and you should be careful not to touch these areas while the medicine is in your hands. If the product ends up in these areas, rinse thoroughly with water. Furthermore, it should not be applied to damaged or irritated skin (such as cuts, abrasions, or sunburn). Do not bandage or tightly wrap the affected area, as this may increase the risk of side effects. 


  1. In case of allergies to aspirin, salicylates, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). 
  2. Excessive temperature and sun exposure may increase the risk of side effects.
  3. Do not apply the lotion immediately before, during, or immediately after activities that increase the skin temperature (bathing in hot water, swimming, exposure to the sun, intense physical activity) or in hot/humid climates.
  4. Wait until the skin has cooled.
  5. do not use tanning lamps, hot water bottles, or heating pads on the treated area
  6. Please do not use it on children under two years of age.

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