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What is the difference between white and red tiger balm?

Credit: Steffen Buus-Kristensen Wikimedia
What is the difference between white and red tiger balm?
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Tiger balm is used to relieve numerous health complaints.  Invented in the 1870s by a Chinese herbalist, tiger balm contains menthol, paraffin, camphor and four essential oils including mint, clove, cajeput and Chinese cinnamon.  But what is the difference between white and red tiger balm?  

White tiger balm: what are the benefits?

White tiger balm is recommended for treating the symptoms of respiratory illnesses such as:

  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Nasal congestion 
  • Mucus 
  • Sore heads 

White tiger balm contains camphor, menthol and eucalyptus meaning it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.  This is why it is very effective in respiratory tract infections.

Apply a little knob of white tiger balm onto the sinuses, throat or thorax and massage in the affected areas slowly taking care to avoid your eyes.  It’s properties will help to clear the respiratory tracts.  Apply some of the tiger balm onto your temples and forehead to relieve a sore head.  If you suffer from travel sickness you can also inhale white tiger balm in a tissue.

Red tiger balm: when can it be used?

Red tiger balm can be used to relive:

  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Torticollis,
  • Sore back

Red tiger balm contains clove and cinnamon essential oil as well as camphor and the other essential oils that are traditionally used.  These spices have heating properties that are effective at naturally relaxing muscles and painful joints.

The red tiger balm can be applied directly onto the muscles or painful joints.  Apply a little amount of the balm onto the affected area and then massage until the balm penetrates into the skin.

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