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Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Wonder of Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm
Photo by Robbie1.
I first came across Tiger Balm a few years ago when holidaying in Thailand. I purchased the white version. I never used it while I was there but I wish I had as it would have stopped the itching of all the mosquito bites I had!

I haven’t stopped using it since I came back though. It has so many uses – a lot more than it says on the pot. I carry it with me everywhere.

There are two varieties of Tiger Balm available – white and red. Each has the same ingredients but the amount of each differs. The red version also contains Cassia. Tiger Balm Red is the original product and is better for stronger pain. Tiger Balm White is a gentler product but is still very effective.

Tiger Balm White has the following ingredients: - 8% menthol, 11% camphor, 16% dementholised mint oil, 13% cajuput, and 1.5% clove bud. Tiger Balm Red has the following ingredients: 10% menthol, 11% camphor, 6% dementholised mint oil, 7% cajuput, 5% clove bud, and 5% cassia. Some of these oils are used in aromatherapy.

Let’s look at these oils individually.

Menthol. It reduces itching giving relief from insect bites and stings. It is an analgesic so it can be used to relieve minor aches and pains such as muscle cramps, sprains, headaches and similar conditions. It is a decongestant helping with colds, coughs, respiratory problems and sinus conditions.

Mint. Because of its antiseptic and expectorant properties, it is beneficial in the treatment of colds and flu, insect bites and stings, asthma, and other respiratory problems. It is ideal for treating headaches, relieving nausea, motion sickness, and dizzy spells. It is an antispasmodic making it useful for cramps, muscle spasms, and tension.

Cajuput. Like the menthol and mint, cajuput oil cools down the body and helps with infections and fever. It is also a decongestant and an antiseptic helping with respiratory conditions. Not only can it give relief from itchy insect bites but it can also be used to ward off insects. It is helpful in skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis. Due to its analgesic, antispasmodic and anti-neuralgic properties, in can be useful in treating muscular aches and pains, gout, muscle spasms, cramp, headaches, period pain, joint pain, sciatica, neuralgia, arthritis, and rheumatism.

Clove Bud. Clove bud oil has very similar properties to the oils already mentioned. It is an analgesic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-neuralgic and an insect repellent. It can also be used for acne, bruises, burns and cuts, and keeping infections at bay. It helps lift depression, improve memory, and helps lethargy. It is excellent for toothache – massage the outside of your jaw with some clove oil or tiger balm to ease the pain.

Cassia (also known as false Cinnamon). It is very beneficial for arthritis, rheumatism and other muscle and joint aches and pains. It can also help with fever, coughs and colds, and other respiratory problems. Cassia is found in the Tiger Balm Red.

When these essential oils are combined in Tiger Balm (or if you blended them yourself) they create a synergistic blend enhancing their properties especially the ones which are common to all the oils, for example, decongestant and analgesic.

Tiger Balm is for external use only and should not to be taken orally. Avoid contact with the eyes. It should not to be used on children under 2 years of age.

Tiger Balm contains no animal products and is not tested on animals. So no it DOESN’T contain Tiger!

So as you can see, Tiger Balm can help with a wide range of ailments from insect bites, to headaches, colds and flu to muscular aches and pains.

For further information on Tiger Balm, visit the official
UK Tiger Balm website.

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