What Is Tiger Balm?
Tiger Balm, or specifically Tiger Balm Red Extra Strength Pain Relieving Ointment, is a topical analgesic which originated from Asia almost a hundred years ago. It was made for the relief of muscle and joint pains.
This brand has developed various products to cater to different types of of pain and discomfort, but Tiger Balm Red has remained a classic.
The ointment contains natural herbal ingredients that aim to provide care, healing and comfort to your back, abdomen and cramps line.
According to the manufacturer, this product also helps relieve seizures, dizziness, seasickness and nasal congestion due to colds.
Some people apparently use it for sprains and arthritis-induced inflammation as well.
Who Makes Tiger Balm?
Tiger Balm is made in Thailand by Haw Par Healthcare Limited, and distributed by their head office.
Official Address: 401 Commonwealth Drive #03-03, Haw Par Technocentre, Singapore 149598.
Headquarters Phone Number: (65) 6337 9102
Email: [email protected]
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Who Is Tiger Balm For?
This product is suitable for anyone, young or old, suffering from muscle and joint pains due to active lifestyle, sports or working out.
You can also use it for sprains or for menstrual abdominal cramps.
If you are arthritic, applying this ointment on your joints can help alleviate the pain. And it may ease difficult breathing when you have a cold.
Women who are pregnant or nursing should consult a doctor before using this product.
Children should also use this ointment with care and under supervision.
How Does Tiger Balm Work?
The Tiger Balm formulation uses herbal ingredients that are proven to have analgesic properties. These substances are supposedly harmless to the skin because they are natural.
As a topical pain relief product, it can be applied directly onto the affected area. When the ingredients penetrate through your skin, you will feel the effect immediately.
This ointment is considered a safer alternative to analgesics in tablet form as it doesn’t travel through your bloodstream. Therefore, the healing is focused only on the specific pain area.
Menthol, one of the ingredients in this product, provides a cool soothing sensation which numbs your skin’s receptors. As a result, it temporarily blocks your sense of pain.
Tiger Balm Ingredients
Camphor – Powder from the bark of the camphor tree. It can treat cough, relieve skin irritations, and reduce inflammation.
Cajuput oil – Medicinal oil from leaves of the Caju-Puti tree. It is antiseptic, analgesic, expectorant and carminative.
Dementholised Mint oil – Spearmint or peppermint derived from the same plant family. Used to flavor candies and gum as well as to treat indigestion, respiratory problems, headache and pain.
Clove oil – Essential oil extracted from the clove plant. It can reduce toothache, eliminate acne, and kill candida. It’s also good for cough, asthma and headache.
Cassia oil – A close relative to cinnamon with a strong, spicy aroma. It helps improve blood circulation, relieves joint pain, and strengthens gums and hair roots.
Paraffin – A white or colorless, soft, solid wax derived from petroleum, coal or shale. It provides lubrication in cosmetic and medical products.
Petrolatum – Popularly known as petroleum jelly, it is also derived from petroleum. It is a moisturizing agent in personal care products.
Tiger Balm Side Effects
Common side effects from using this product are diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, stinging of skin, and stomach cramps.
Camphor is one of the active ingredients in Tiger Balm. Camphor products are not safe for use by children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
When swallowed, camphor can cause trouble breathing, seizures, and even death. High doses applied to the skin can result in skin irritation. And when inhaled, it can lead to seizures.
Menthol, another active ingredient in this product, can cause skin irritations, rashes or allergic reactions.
Tiger Balm Dosage
We did not find any product label of Tiger Balm showing directions for its use.
Just the same, there is a standard procedure for using topical analgesics containing camphor and menthol:
First, wash your hands before and after applying the ointment.
Next, try it on a small skin area first to test your skin’s reaction.
Finally, massage the ointment onto the painful area until thoroughly absorbed into your skin.
Do not apply this on irritated or broken skin. Also, do not cover the treated area with a bandage, or expose it to heat such as from a heating pad.
You shouldn’t use this product one hour before or after your bath or shower.
Tiger Balm Reviews
There was a conflicting mix of feedback from different Tiger Balm users. Many of them mentioned the same properties of the product, but they experienced opposite results.
For example, some found the small jar just the right size because they needed to apply only small amounts. Others, however, were disappointed that it wasn’t enough to cover their pain points.
Another feature that customers disagreed on was the smell. One group called it “scent” (pleasing) while another referred to it as “odor” (displeasing).
And as to efficacy, many users said it works to relieve their muscle aches, headaches, and sprains. For many others, the product did not work at all for their back pain and aching muscles.
Furthermore, a number of people noticed some inconsistencies and quality control issues.
For instance, the strength is milder in the ointment they ordered online compared to the one they bought at a retail store.
One user received a reused label and packaging on the product she ordered online. Another one got “Flying Tiger Cub Balm” instead of Tiger Balm.
Where To Buy Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm is available in major retail stores all over the US, such as Walmart, Target and Walgreens.
You can also purchase it from various online retailers, including Amazon.
Does Tiger Balm Really Work Or Is It A Scam?
It’s always a pleasant surprise to find a traditional Asian medicine such as Tiger Balm Red Extra Strength Pain Relieving Ointment on the US market.
This is evidence of the positive effects of globalization: We are able to access products from around the world without leaving home.
But (there’s always a but, right?) sometimes quality suffers when something journeys thousands of miles before landing on your doorstep.
Unfortunately, this seems to be the case with Tiger Balm. A few buyers of the product felt deceived when their order did not look, smell or feel as anticipated and advertised.
And, of course, there is a downside to having a global presence. Some customers who have tried it in their Asian travels noted that the one sold in the US doesn’t work as well or last as long.
So, are you an adventurous person? Do you have a penchant for trying out imported goodies? Nothing wrong with that, but be careful with medicinal products. Just because a pain relief product is an international brand doesn’t mean it’s consistently effective.