24.1 C
Lagos
Monday, September 21, 2020

Tiger Balm: Uses and Side Effects

- Advertisement -

Tiger balm is a topical over-the-counter product used to alleviate pain. It is made from ingredients such as menthol, camphor, clove oil, and cajuput oil, which help relieve joint and muscle pain while providing a cooling sensation.

- Advertisement -

Tiger Balm itself has been in the market for over a century. It is manufactured and packaged by Haw Par healthcare in Singapore. The company offers different formulations of Tiger Balm including

  • Classic
  • Active
  • Balance
  • Junior

There are other mixtures of the formula depending on the area it is being applied and is available in various forms such as topical creams, rubs, liniments, ointments, and adhesive skin patches.

Although Tiger Balm isn’t formulated to cure any type of chronic pain-related disease, some studies do support the effectiveness of some of its key ingredients.

Make sure to seek advice from your healthcare provider before using Tiger Balm, especially if you’re already using a prescription or other over-the-counter products to manage pain.

What are the uses and benefits of Tiger Balm?

Most evidence relating to the benefits of Tiger Balm is based on research about its active ingredients.

Some of the benefits of Tiger Balm include:

Cold and congestion

Some ingredients in Tiger Balm may help relieve chest and sinus congestion. They’ve been used for centuries in inhalants, oils, and ointment forms to alleviate congestion from allergies and cold.

Menthol may help ease irritated nasal passageways, helping to clear stuffy noses. Camphor acts as a cough suppressant, mild expectorant, and nasal decongestant.

A 2013 study revealed that people who had inhaled a menthol solution experienced less cough sensitivity when exposed to capsicum, a cough-inducer than people who didn’t.

- Advertisement -

People looking to relieve congestion and other cold symptoms using Tiger Balm should go for formulas that do not contain clove oil, capsicum, and other cough-inducers.

Joint pain

Not much evidence supports the use of Tiger Balm in soothing joint pain. However, a lot of people use the balm to relieve pains and aches related to osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis occurs as the cartilage in the bones starts wearing down, causing the bone to become brittle over time, which leads to joint pain.

In a 2012 study of over 2,000 people with osteoarthritic knee joint, researchers found that about 13% of the participants used rubs such as Tiger Balm to soothe the pain.

The authors couldn’t figure out how Tiger Balm helped reduce the pain, but its active ingredients may numb the pain and reduce swelling.

Shoulder and neck tension

Tiger Balm may help relieve neck and shoulder pain.

A 2017 research showed that menthol – one of the active ingredients in Tiger Balm – helped reduce neck pain in patients who had applied it to the area before undergoing cervical chiropractic treatment.

Tension headaches

A study from 1996 revealed that applying Tiger Balm to the forehead is almost as effective as using acetaminophen (paracetamol) to relieve tension headaches. But while this study is continually cited in medical reviews of alternative headache remedies, more up-to-date research is required.

Aches and strains

Ingredients such as menthol and camphor may help improve the circulation of blood to the muscles, potentially reducing inflammation and boosting healing time.

Camphor also increases the flow of blood to the skin surface, creating a warming sensation that can distract from stiffness and pains.

- Advertisement -

Other Tiger Balm ingredients like methyl salicylate have analgesic properties that help numb the skin, which may reduce aches, and stiffness.

The Tiger Balm adhesive patches are more useful for muscle pains and strains, as the ingredients in the patch are slowly released over a prolonged period.

Some Tiger Balm variations contain capsicum, an active ingredient found in chili peppers. Capsicum inhibits the nerve receptors that send out pain impulses, creating a warm sensation that can reduce the intensity of muscle pains and strains.

Capsicum can lessen many types of pains, including those from cancer, arthritis, and gastrointestinal problems.

Back pain

Tiger Balm has also been used to relieve back pain, especially pain in the lower back. Some use certain Tiger Balm ingredients before or after receiving an alternative back pain treatment, including Gua Sha therapy.

Studies show that people who experienced nonspecific back pain and applied a cream containing menthol and camphor before receiving one Gua Sha treatment had noticed reduced pain and improved health.

However, the authors weren’t able to determine if the active ingredients had increased the effectiveness of the procedure.

Household uses

Tiger Balm has also been used around the house as

  • A deodorizer
  • Wart remover
  • Termite controller and insect repellent
  • Adhesive, paint or wax remover
  • Antiseptic for wounds
  • Fungus remover
  • Machinery or furniture lubricant
  • Massage oil
  • Bath oil

There is no research to support many of these uses; they are only backed by anecdotal evidence.

Risks and side effects

Tiger Balm is unlikely to cause any allergic reaction when used correctly. Tiger Balm should not be taken orally and should not be applied to any sensitive area such as your eyes, ear canals, rectum, or vagina.

- Advertisement -

Tiger Balm should not be used on an open wound or broken skin, burned skin, on sunburned, irritated or chapped skin.

Before using Tiger balm in any of its forms, test it on a small area of your arm first – preferably inside your elbow.

Check the spot after 24 hours to make sure there’s no reaction before applying to a larger area. Discontinue usage if it causes redness, stinging or burning sensation, or itchiness in the affected area.

In extreme cases, Tiger Balm may cause an allergic reaction with symptoms such as swelling in the throat or skin, skin rash, or breathing difficulties.

Make sure to see a doctor immediately if these symptoms persist for a prolonged period. They may be a sign of other underlying conditions.

References

  1. Tiger Balm as a Treatment of Tension Headache. A Clinical Trial in General Practice – PubMed
  2. Inhalation of menthol reduces capsaicin cough sensitivity and influences inspiratory flows in chronic cough – ScienceDirect
  3. 6 uses of Tiger Balm – MedicalNewsToday
Tiger Balm
  • Save
- Advertisement -

Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuel Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuel Eguono is a mass communicator and fashion designer. When he is not behind a laptop screen or on a sewing machine, he spends his time netflixing and swimming.
- Advertisement -

Trending Now

Hair Transplantation is a Safe and Easy Method

Hair transplantation is a safe and easy method to bring back lost hair. A sure-shot cure for baldness and receding hairline, it has proven...
- Advertisement -

Skin Rashes: Causes, Symptoms and Effective Home Remedies

Skin rashes are common skin problems experienced by millions of people worldwide; it is characterized by a visible change in the color...

Atis Fruit: 10 Health Benefits of Eating Sugar Apple

Sugar apple (Atis fruit), is the Annona squamosa fruit belonging to the natives of West Indies and to the tropical Americas like Peru, Mexico,...

Six-pack abs: the Truths and Facts

“How do I get a six-pack?”  This is a question I get asked all the time, and is it possible to get them in...

Spider Bites: Symptoms, Treatment & Identification

Spider bites in the United States are often annoying but they are rarely fatal. If a person gets bitten by a black...

How to Increase Sodium Levels in Your Blood?

Levels of sodium in the blood is often a misunderstood topic and it is extremely necessary that we as individuals understand the meaning and...

What Causes Pain Between Shoulder Blades?

Shoulder blade is in the upper side of your back, the scapulae, which become prominent if you pull your elbows close to your trunk...

Surprising Health Benefits Of Mango Leaves

Mangoes known as the king of fruits are common and popular fruits in Nigeria, there are very common from February/march till the middle of...

8 Ways to Remove Dandruff Without Washing Hair

There are about 50 million Americans are diagnosed with dandruff which is an alert problem. Dandruff not only cause damage to your...

Friends

Newsletter

Nurture yourself with health tips, wellness advice, and more.

- Advertisement -

Related Posts

Will We Ever Trust Machines with Healthcare Translation?

To those of us old enough to remember the days before the internet, machine translation seems like a miracle straight out of science fiction....

5 Causes of Acne That Can Be Cut Out of Your Life

If you've had to deal with a never ending battle with acne, you might be wondering what it is that causes you to keep...

Know the Different Types of Hair Loss?

It has been observed that, some people are very afraid to comb their hair because of instant hair fall. Hairs are made of a...

What To Do If You’re Addicted to Stimulants?

Stimulants, also known as amphetamines, can change the way your brain works, which can affect everything from your behaviors to your moods. Even your...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tiger Balm
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap