Daily OTC Pearl: Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm is frequently used for the relief of back pain, joint pain, stiffness, sprains, and arthritis pain.

OTC/Lifestyle Pearl of the Day: Tiger Balm

Indication: Tiger Balm is a topical OTC pain reliever that contains ingredients such as camphor, menthol, cajuput oil, and clove oil. It comes as a cream, gel, or liquid that is applied superficially to the area of pain and absorbed through the skin.

Insight:

  • Tiger Balm is often used for the relief of a variety of types of pain, including back pain, joint pain, stiffness, sprains, and arthritis pain.
  • History: Tiger Balm has a long history. It is manufactured and distributed by Haw Par Healthcare in Singapore, boasting a "secret" herbal formula that dates back as far as the Chinese emperors. Today, more than 20 million jars of Tiger Balm are sold each year in over 70 countries.
  • The active ingredients include:
    • Camphor, which comes from the Cinnamomum camphora plant, induces warm and cold sensations in the skin and increases blood flow.
    • Menthol, which is made from mint oils, may induce constriction of the muscles inside the blood vessels, which has been shown to reduce pain.
    • Cajuput oil comes from cajuput trees and is used for pain relief from toothaches and headaches in some cultures.
    • Cassia oil, which comes from the bark of the Cinnamomum cassia plant, may have an anti-inflammatory effect.
    • Demetholized mint oil comes from a peppermint plant and has been used as a topical treatment for pain.
    • Clove oil, which comes from a clove plant, is used for pain relief from toothaches.

Sources:

Tiger Balm: Uses, Formulations, and Precautions (verywellhealth.com)

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