Homemade Tiger Balm

In most modern cities in Thailand today, traditional cosmetic recipes enjoy more popularity than the latest brand-name items.

People there easily see the benefits of using homemade natural remedies instead of the mass-produced chemical alternatives. Herbs are commonly used cosmetically for their natural tonifying, rejuvenative, and antibacterial properties, and the people in Thailand seem to understand this in a way that many Westerners donít.

A favorite topical application for soothing sore muscles, Tiger Balm is also great for colds, congestion, and sinusitis, when applied to the chest and throat. Try out this pure and totally natural recipe:

10 drops essential oil of peppermint
10 drops essential oil of eucalyptus
5 drops essential oil of clove
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
15 g beeswax

Heat olive oil and beeswax in a double-boiler over low heat. Stir until wax is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in essential oils, and pour into small glass or metal containers to cool.

Note that commercial Tiger Balm is available in several strengths, and that you may adjust quantities of essential oils in this recipe. This recipe calls for essential oils, but extremely strong decoctions of fresh herbs may be used as well by following the directions here:

Combine fresh herbs in a pan with a pint of water; boil to reduce water. Strain. Combine liquid with oil and wax, and continue cooking over low heat until water has evaporated, making sure not to boil the oil. Remove from heat and cool in glass or metal container.

Adapted from A Thai Herbal, by C. Pierce Salguero (Findhorn Press, 2003). Copyright (c) C. Pierce Salguero. Reprinted by permission of Lantern Books.
Adapted from A Thai Herbal, by C. Pierce Salguero (Findhorn Press, 2003).

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Valentina R.
Valentina R.3 years ago

Tiger balm... does not sound very good.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B.3 years ago

"No tigers were harmed in the making of this balm." You'd have to add the label.

Ajla C.
Past Member 3 years ago

Probat cu,hvala

Patricia A.
Pat A.3 years ago

Am going to try this - thanks.

Gail C.
Gail C.6 years ago

To THOMAS S [jun 29, '09]: Did anyone let you know what would make the balm have "ultra strength", or increase the heat? Please comment on it, if so.


Thomas S.
Thomas S.6 years ago

tiger balm, awesome. I normally use the ultra strengh. can u suggest which ingredient would increase the heating and soreness relief or combo thereof. for the strongest effect possible. thank you again. good stuff.

Sue M.
Sue M.7 years ago

lable on the tiger balm shows menthol, which is actually a different plant but the active ingredient is similar. Be careful with eucalyptus oil, a relatively small amount ingested can kill.

Mary T.
Mary T.7 years ago

Gotta save this for later. :) Thanks.