Why Tiger Balm is the Real MVP


Open the medicine cabinet in any Asian household and you’ll likely find an iconic orange, hexagonal jar. This unassuming product carries a mighty name and even mightier benefits – Tiger Balm  

A quintessential ointment that can effectively relieve all kinds of aches and pains, Tiger Balm has become a worldwide phenomena, a unicorn of creams, a staple across all generations. But how does it actually work and what exactly does it do?  

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), pain is a condition in which your body’s qi (energy) is imbalanced. Qi circulates through your body – from your lungs, heart, stomach, and so on – and you experience pain in an area where your qi flow has become stagnated. Chinese herbal remedies, including Tiger Balm, are formulated to ensure all the ingredients work together synergistically to stimulate qi and therefore, reduce pain.  

The origins of Tiger Balm can be traced back to the 1870s. And not much has changed since then – the award-winning formula, the iconic packaging, even the unforgettable aroma.

The OG Tiger Balm

 Tiger Balm is made of two active ingredients and essential oils:  

  • Camphor, derived from the Cinnamomum camphora plant, reduces pain by producing warm and cold sensations in the skin 

  • Menthol promotes blood circulation and reduces inflammation 

Together, these make up the magic behind Tiger Balm.   

So what exactly is Tiger Balm used for?

Some of the most common uses:  

  • All kinds of body aches and pains (muscle aches, back pain, neck and shoulder tension). Rub TB on wherever you’re feeling pain and enjoy a tingly warm-cold sensation. Only thing TB can’t heal are heartaches 😉

  • Tension headaches. Apply TB on your forehead and temples. Studies have shown that Tiger Balm is nearly as effective as acetaminophen (Tylenol) in treating headaches!  

  • Insect and mosquito bites. TB instantly weakens the itchy skin and relieves itchiness.  

  • Cold and congestion. Camphor can act as a mild expectorant, nasal decongestant, and cough suppressant. Methanol can help soothe irritated passageways and relieve stuffy noses.  

  • Sore throats. Apply TB around your neck area before sleeping.  

  • Upset stomachs and cramps. Rub TB around the naval area and cover with your palm for 2-3 minutes to stimulate warmth. 

Christian Taylor, 2x Olympic & 4x World Champion-Triple Jump, swears by Tiger Balm as part of his daily recovery routine.

And even some non-human uses:   

  • Insect repellent. Mosquitos hate the smell of TB. Leave an open tin of Tiger Balm of your room during the summer, and mosquitos dare not enter.  

  • Wooden furniture affected by bugs. Put some balm on termite or bug holes in your wooden furniture and the bugs will die out.  

  • Sticker residue. Rub some TB on any remnants of stickers and you’ll be able to peel it right off. No more scratching the surface with your nails.   

Ready to unleash your pain? Get your own Tiger Balm here.