Tiger Balm owes its origins to a soothing herbal balm
prepared for Chinese emperors who had suffered from various aches and
Chinese herbalists and healers used it for their patients
as an analgesic rub blended from natural ingredients.
The fact that the formulation, which was to become Tiger
Balm, survived into a more enlightened age was due to one man.
This was Chinese herbalist Aw Chu Kin, who lived in
Rangoon. His desire was to treat his patients the best way he knew. He had
studied the types of effective remedies and discovered that the blending
of various active ingredients - such as camphor, clove and menthol -
really brought relief.
Tiger Balm's formulation makes it effective as a mild
analgesic, for countering irritation, and for promoting blood flow.
The entrepreneurial side fell to his two sons Aw Boon
Par and Aw Boon Haw. It was Aw Boon Haw who lent his name, meaning
Tiger, to the remedy. As well as being an anglicised version of Haw's
name, the tiger, synonymous in the East with strength and vitality,
seemed the obvious association for such a pain reliever.
They realised the potential of their father's product
and together transformed his home-produced remedy into the world
renowned brand it is today. Having created the brand name Tiger Balm
they moved from Rangoon to Singapore in 1926.
Tiger Balm is one of the world's leading topical
analgesics, with a soothing action that relieves muscular aches and
pains. Tiger Balm's unique formulation contains camphor, menthol,
cajuput oil and clove oil.
Today, Tiger Balm comes in two versions, the mint
oil-scented Tiger Balm white, and Tiger Balm red with its comforting aroma
of cinnamon oil.
Now millions of jars are bought annually throughout the
world. It is available from Boots the Chemist, other pharmacies and health
by weight amt. needed for 56oz. batch
20% 9.6 oz.
32% 15.36 oz.
Bees wax 20% 9.6
4% 1.92 oz.
oil of clove 8%
oil of cajuput
8% 3.8 oz.
oil of cinnamon
8% 3.8 oz.
optional)ammonium hydroxide 1 oz.
Melt beeswax and petroleum jelly in a pot until completely liquified.
Remove from heat, quickly stir in camphor blocks (may help to chop or
grate camphor). Add rest of ingredients, stir until consistent, and
camphor has melted. Pour into permanent container, and let congeal. The
above recipe will make a nice tiger balm equivalent to the commercial
white stuff. If ammonium hydroxide is added, it turns red, and adds a
little more heat to it.