Tiger Balm Review: Don’t Buy Before You Read This!

Expert rating: stars-icon     By Natalie K (Senior Reviewer) November 24, 2023       Advertising Disclosure

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 What is it?

Tiger Balm is a topical pain relieving ointment that is recommended fore sore muscles, arthritis, and aching joints. It has a warming, tingling sensation when applied and its advertisements claim that it can begin providing pain relief within minutes. The company was founded in 1870 by an herbalist in China who later began exporting his product worldwide. The company continued to developed products based on his original recipe and now they offer multiple different formulas and methods of application.

The most effective joint supplement according to our panel of experts is Flexitrinol. Flexitrinol works to promote the body’s natural wellness systems in order to strengthen joint health holistically. To learn more about Flexitrinol and why it’s so effective, click here.

Tiger Balm Ingredients and Side Effects
Camphor Menthol Cajuput Oil
Cassia Oil Clove Oil Dementholized Mint Oil

Camphor: The main ingredient in Tiger Balm and part of what gives it its distinctive tingle. Camphor is used as a pain reliever and anti-itch medication that has also shown some application for use in treating fungal infections of the toenail, warts, cold sores, and hemorrhoids. Side effects potentially associated with camphor include:

  • Liver damage
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Menthol: A derivative of the common peppermint plant that is generally used as a flavoring agent for foods and other products. Medicinally menthol is used to treat throat irritation, pain, headache, toothache, itchiness, and rashes. Side effects of menthol can include:

  • Itchiness
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Cajuput Oil: A minor irritant that brings a warming sensation to the skin, acting as a counter-irritant to the pain. The oil derived from the twigs and leaves of the cajuput tree has been used to help treat scabies, fungal infections, colds, and toothaches. Very little is known about the actual clinical effectiveness of cajuput oils, and there is similarly little data about its side effects, especially long-term.

Cassia Oil: An oil derived from the bark of the cinnamon tree that has been shown to have some effect on the circulatory system. Because of this it has been used in some medications to treat erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and kidney disorders. Cassia oil is also though to be useful in relieving digestive discomfort such as nausea and expansive flatulence. It is considered safe for short-term use, however doctors recommend against long term or everyday usage due to the risk of liver disease.

Clove Oil: An herbal derivative most frequently used as a flavoring agent or perfume. There is very little scientific data surrounding the effects of cloves, however some home remedies have used it as a topical pain reliever, a treatment for upset stomach, and an expectorant for phlegm.

Dementholized Mint Oil: A popular flavoring and scent agent for food, candy, gum, and other products. Oils taken from mint leaves have also been used in the treatment of nerve and muscle pain, headache, toothache, and as a stimulant. Side effects associated with mint oils include:

  • Nausea
  • Skin irritation
  • Gallstones
  • Breathing difficulty

Most of these ingredients tend to fall into a similar camp of topical pain relievers and mild histamines designed to irritate the skin just enough to distract the brain away from the pain of muscle soreness.

Click here to see our experts’ list of the most effective joint health supplements currently on the market.

Tiger Balm Quality of Ingredients

The ingredients list for Tiger Balm makes it seem like it is most effective as a topical pain reliever. Camphol, menthol, and all of the herbal oils that Tiger Balm uses are non-nutritional in nature and only have a temporary effect on the symptoms of joint pain. There is nothing in Tiger Balm that suggests that it can stimulate collagen or synovial fluid production, provide support for cartilage, bones, or ligaments, or even help the body heal from any damage.

Additionally, their blend uses a number of traditional herbal ingredients that have not been well-studied by western medicine. Clove, cajuput, and mint are all relatively safe short-term, but there has never been a long-term clinical study to examine the effects of their daily use.

Cassia oil has been studied enough to show that there may be a link between long-term cassia consumption and some forms of liver damage. Our staff of nutritional experts is of the opinion that it is irresponsible to recommend products containing cassia oil for daily use.

To see our team’s list of the safest and most effective over the counter joint health supplements, click here.

The Price and Quality of Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm does not distribute their product to consumers directly through their own website, however it is available in quite a few retail locations and through a variety of online sellers. They offer a number of derivations on their products, which will generally be priced in these ranges:

  • 1 .63 oz jar of Tiger Balm Ultra Strength: $6.11
  • Package of 2 .63 oz jars of Tiger Balm Ultra Strength: $10.45
  • 1 36-count box of Tiger Balm Pain Relieving Patches: $38.49

The price of Tiger Balm is about average for most topical pain relievers, however it is less cost effective as a daily supplement. If customers are looking for joint support specifically, a secondary supplement is recommended that will help with cartilage, synovial fluid, and bone health.

Follow this list to see which joint health supplements our experts rated as the best for flexibility, ease of motion, and overall joint health.

Business of Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm is manufactured by a Chinese health and wellness company called Haw Par Corporation Limited. They can be contacted at:

Phone Number: *65 6337-9102

Address: 401 Commonwealth Drive

#03-03 Haw Par Technocentre

Singapore 149598

Email: Haw Par does not make an email address publically available, however they do have a customer comment form on their website.

There do not seem to be any pending legal actions or lawsuits against Haw Par Corporation Ltd. at this time.

Click here to learn more about which joint health supplements will be the best for your body.

Customer Opinions of Tiger Balm

Most of the reviews about Tiger Balm’s effectiveness as a short-term pain reliever are positive, with most customers claiming that it at least helped, if not relieved, their pain. Most customers that used it as a daily supplement, however, complained about its effectiveness. A sample of the complaints found online yielded results similar to these:

“My joints are just as cranky as they’ve always been. Tiger Balm makes them better for a minute but the pain always comes back.”

“I got sick of having to rub this stuff on myself. I started getting sticky and oily and I stank to high heavens.”

The most frequent complaints about Tiger Balm were related to the short duration of its effectiveness and the smell and texture of the balm itself.

To see the list our experts have compiled of the most effective long-term joint health supplements, click here.

How Does Tiger Balm Compare?
  • Product Name
  • User Rating
  • Good Company Reputation
  • Quality Ingredients
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Tiger Balm
  • 34/100
Conclusion – Does Tiger Balm Work?

Most of the data found online points to Tiger Balm as an effective short-term treatment for mild aches and pains associated with light exercise, repetitive motion, or arthritis.

Tiger Balm should not be used as a replacement for a proper joint health supplement. It does not provide the core nutritional support needed, and some of the ingredients should not be used on a daily basis.

Our experts’ advice to customers looking for complete-spectrum joint health supplements is to try Flexitrinol. Flexitrinol’s blend of ingredients works to encourage joint health naturally rather than just treating its symptoms. Click here to learn more about what makes Flexitrinol so effective.

2 Responses to Tiger Balm Review

Brian says:

I rubbed it on my knee and 2 days later I had itchy hives all over my knee. You’d think I learned the first time when I rubbed it on my shoulder, which also turned into itchy hell.

It’s weird because I do not have any allergies to anything, so it must be my skin. I can’t get a tan if anyone was wonder. I think I’ll just use the white tiger balm instead of the red one.

tiger balm user says:

I am a tiger balm user for over 30 years but first time I noticed the expire date is printed under the glass bottle and not on the box. that means when I purchse I should remember to open the box take the bottle out and check the date . that’s not RIGHT .

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