Need pain relief in a hurry? Try this pain relief oil to help soothe those tired, achy muscles and joints.
Stooping over to weed the garden. Cleaning out the chicken coop. Planting, harvesting, canning. All these things can lead to muscle pain. Severe muscle pain. When you pull a muscle or overwork it, you want relief.
I love Tiger Balm liniment and always have. It has a cool, refreshing “zing” to it, and it has always helped with minor aches and pains or headaches of all sorts.
The $6 price tag for a tiny jar was never a big issue, as a little bit goes a long way. It’s smooth, creamy and easy to apply. It works where it hurts, basically.
I often wondered if I could make it myself. And, lo and behold, I have something that I feel works just as well, and is easy to whip up an entire batch!
Muscle soreness, stiffness, and pain due to over-activity may all be soothed with this oil. Its only natural herbal ingredients are easily found or grown.
What is Tiger Balm?
Tiger balm is a topical cream that has been used topically for more than 150 years (so its makers claim) to relieve pain and discomfort. You can use tiger balm for taking care of everything from insect bites to arthritis pain and muscle aches.
Available as a salve or ointment, you can find this stiff in most well-stocked drugstores or online, or even better, make your own DIY tiger balm with the recipe we will share below!
What Ingredients are in Authentic Tiger Balm?
While the exact recipe for tiger balm is a closely guarded secret, we do know that there are four ingredients are what give it its unique (and potent!) smell and pain-relieving properties.
It contains a blend of camphor oil, menthol crystals, cajuput oil and clove oils along with other ingredients.
Camphor oil is the main active ingredient in tiger balm and works by numbing the skin, which is why it is often used to relieve pain from muscle aches, arthritis and even headaches.
Cajuput oil has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, while menthol crystals create a cooling sensation when applied topically, making it ideal for soothing insect bites or minor burns.
Finally, clove oil contains eugenol, a natural pain reliever.
All of these ingredients work together to create a wonderfully soothing balm that is both effective and mostly natural.
Homemade Tiger Balm Recipe
This essential oil blend smells amazing, and they all have pain relieving properties. When combined with carrier oils, they create a rub that reduces inflammation and may help in reducing pain.
Jojoba oil is used in this recipe as it may have anti-inflammatory properties. Emu oil is also well known for anti-inflammatory properties, and is often used for many skin conditions.
- 1/2 ounce emu oil
- 2 ounces olive oil
- 5 drops Clove Essential Oil
- 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- 10 drops camphor oil
- 5 grams dried arnica
Put it all together:
- Add the arnica and olive oil to an oven safe bowl and place in a 200 °F (93 °C) oven for 2 hours to infuse.
- Strain the herbs and toss, saving the oil.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly before proceeding to the next step.
- Add all the oils in a small bottle and shake together gently to combine.
How to Use Your Tiger Balm
Tiger balm can be applied liberally to the affected area as needed for pain relief. For muscle aches, applying before bed and then covering with a warm towel or heating pad will help you get some restful sleep.
For arthritis pain, apply in the morning and evening to help reduce inflammation and ease pain throughout the day. And, for headaches, apply to temples and back of neck.
When using any new product on your skin, it is always best to do a patch test first to make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Sometimes, serious irritation can occur, even when using totally natural ingredients!
Simply apply a small amount to a patch of unaffected skin and wait 24 hours to see if there is any bad reaction. If there is, discontinue use and wash the area with soap and water. If there is no reaction, you should be good to go!
Storing Your Homemade Tiger Balm
Store your mix in a glass jar or other glass container, preferably, but plastic is okay too though it will not keep quite as long.
Do try to store it out of direct sunlight. Will be good for up to 3 months, but toss if you notice any signs of mold or other spoilage.
What types of pain do you deal with on a regular basis? Will you try this pain relief oil for treating pain?
Heather’s homesteading journey started in 2006, with baby steps: first, she got a few raised beds, some chickens, and rabbits. Over the years, she amassed a wealth of homesteading knowledge, knowledge that you can find in the articles of this blog.