History Lesson: For thousands of years, tiger bones were used medicinally in China. In the late 1800s, a dying Chinese man asked his sons to complete his life’s work. The Aw brothers completed the herbal mixture known today as Tiger Balm in Burma. Manufactured and imported from Singapore, Tiger Balm now contains menthol and camphor as active ingredients, as well as four other oils and some other ingredients to add volume. It’s named after the man who helped develop the marketing strategies that made Tiger Balm so popular throughout Asia, and it’s made its way to the United States.
Why do I know so much about Tiger Balm? Because I use it for everything, nearly everyday. I buy it in bulk online and there are many different products for different purposes. The three that are in the house right now are: Large Pain Relieving Patch, Fast Relief Muscle Rub, and Ultra Sports Balm.
If you have congestion, put some under your nostrils. For a cough, apply it to your chest and throat. Headache, put some on your neck and temples. Stomach aches and digestive problems, apply to your abdomen. Even put it on really bad mosquito or fly bites to relieve the itching sensation.
However, the reason I made this post because this is hungry and fit, is related to muscles and working out. Aside from the other specialty products like shoulder and neck rub, red, white, arthritis, etc. the three listed above are the ones I prefer from experience.
Tiger Balm Muscle Rub: Before workouts, I apply a small amount to my muscles that are going to be pushed very hard. I massage it in vigorously and allow the cool burn to set in before starting my workout. I use it before strength training, hard runs, really anything very intense. I also use it before swims even though you’re not supposed to mix these products with water, i.e. showers and swimming without some time in between. If I have any muscle pains while standing (see glossary), then I’ll apply a bit if it’s a knot or something acute.
Tiger Balm Sports Balm: This is my drug of choice, since I don’t drink alcohol (more than one serving), smoke cigarettes, or do any actual drugs. This is what I apply to various body parts when they are not feeling well, see the list above. I also apply it to my joints in a generous amount before a workout. I will also treat joint pains with this while standing. For a leg workout, I will apply this to my knees and ankles. I would recommend everyone keeps it away from their pelvic/groin/hip area. This product burns much more and is VERY pungent.
Tiger Balm Pain Patch: I use this for when I am in extreme pain, typically in my lower back, or any part of my back really. Sometimes I will throw one on my stomach if I’m in extreme pain. They stick relatively well, but don’t last for extremely long, so don’t try to walk around with one. Although, if you’re using one of these you shouldn’t be walking around.
So, I recommend trying something different and going on Amazon and buying some Sports Balm at the very least. I honestly believe everyone should have a tin of this. If you’ve been lifting heavy for the first time and you’re form isn’t great you’ll start to develop early tendonitis like symptoms. Throw some of this on your elbows before hitting the bench press again and keep those elbows tucked in, and you’ll feel much better.