Tiger Balm is legal in most countries worldwide. Tiger Balm is marketed as a natural remedy but it is important to know that it’s technically a topical medication.
How to use
Apply Tiger Balm to the part of your body where it is needed.
For example, if you’re using it for colds, dizziness and congestion, Tiger Balm white may be applied to your chest and forehead.
To enhance its effects, it is recommended massaging Tiger Balm into your skin until it’s fully absorbed rather than just applying it and letting it sit on top of your skin.
Do not hesitate to repeat the process up to four times per day. You’ll also want to avoid bathing immediately before or after use as it will remove it from your skin.
Tiger Balm uses
Tiger Balm is a multipurpose product that may be used for a wide range of issues, while the main is pain, we list here 18 different potential uses:
Toenail fungus: The active ingredient camphor may treat this type of fungal infection. However, this study was done using Vicks VapoRub, not Tiger Balm.
Back pain: The active ingredients camphor and menthol may help soothe this type of pain.
Common colds: Menthol may alleviate cold symptoms.
Congestion: A combination of menthol and eucalyptus may clear up congestion.
Flu-related symptoms: Menthol and eucalyptus may help aches associated with the flu.
Headaches: Menthol may provide relief. The addition of eucalyptus can also have pain-relieving effects.
Non-arthritic joint pain: Menthol and camphor may help treat this type of pain when it’s related to exercise and other activities.
Minor burns: Camphor and menthol may cool and soothe them.
Mosquito bites: Menthol may treatTrusted Source and repel these bug bites (but using a physical repellant, like bed nets, alongside menthol is best).
Neuropathy: Capsicum may alleviate neuropathic symptoms.
Muscle aches and strains: Menthol can provide reliefTrusted Source.
Osteoarthritis pain: Capsicum and menthol may alleviate this type of pain.
Poor blood circulation: The key ingredient camphor may improve blood circulation.
Rheumatoid arthritis pain: Menthol as well as anti-inflammatory ingredients like cassia and capsicum may reduce this type of pain.
Shoulder and neck pain: Topical menthol gel may help provide relief from this type of pain.
Stomachaches: Some people claim menthol and camphor help treat stomachaches when applied to the abdomen, but research is needed.
Stretch marks: Proponents of Tiger Balm say its blood flow and cooling effects can improve stretch marks, but research is need
Toothaches: Some claim the menthol and clove and cajuput oils can soothe toothaches when applied along the jawline, but research is lacking.
Differences between Tiger Balm white and red
The main difference is that Tiger Balm White has menthol and methyl salicylat but tiger Balm Red has menthol and camphor.
How Tiger Balm works
Tiger Balm is touted as a topical natural pain-relief method. This is often safer over the long run compared to long-term use of OTC or prescription pain relievers.
The way these products work is based on their combination of ingredients:
Camphor has both cooling and warming effects on the skin and also increases blood circulationTrusted Source. It may also treat toenail fungus.
Menthol or methyl salicylate are made from mint extracts. They’re common anesthetics and work by constricting muscles to help decrease muscular and joint pain. This ingredient may also help aid colds and congestion when inhaled.
Cinnamomum cassia oil provides anti-inflammatory effects. It may soothe arthritis and other inflammatory pain.
Eucalyptus can also help treat coughs and colds.
Capsicum may help reduce inflammation and pain in a variety of chronic conditions, such as arthritis and neuropathy.
All Tiger Balm products have either camphor or a form of menthol, but the other ingredients may vary.
Tiger Balm side effects
When used as directed, Tiger Balm is unlikely to cause side effects. In some cases, it may cause:
stinging or burning sensations
breathing difficulties (when applied on chest for congestion)
It’s recommended to do a patch test before applying Tiger Balm to a large area of the body.
To do this, apply Tiger Balm to the inside of your elbow. Wait a couple of days to see if you have any adverse strange reaction. If this isn’t the case, you’re likely safe to use Tiger Balm for pain on other parts of your body.
Tiger Balm warnings
Tiger Balm is considered safe for adults when used as directed.
Don’t take it orally. Don’t apply the product to irritated, sunburned, and chapped skin. The menthol can cause further irritation. Also avoid placing Tiger Balm in your eyes, mouth, and any open wounds.
Tiger Balm isn’t intended for the inside of the ears, the eyes, genital area or in the groin.
Don’t cover the application area with heat pads, cold packs, or bandages.
While no drug interactions have been identified so far, it is still advised to check with a doctor before you try Tiger Balm if you take any herbs, vitamins, or medications.
Avoid using Tiger Balm alongside other products containing similar ingredients.
Tiger Balm is an OTC remedy that can help alleviate pain.