What’s Inside Tiger Balm? Hint: Not Actual Tigers

 

Anyone who’s stood within wafting distance of athletes knows the smell: Tiger Balm. The classic pain-relieving ointment can be traced to a Chinese herbalist who began selling it in the 1870s, and sold around the world. The balm promises to “work where it hurts,” and sports professionals agree: A rub of the ointment on a sore muscle eases the aches. But unlike ibuprofen or aspirin, Tiger Balm doesn’t attack the source of the pain. It’s substances cause mild hot and cool sensations on your skin to distract your brain. In other words, Tiger Balm won’t pounce on your pain—but it will confuse and delight your nerve endings. Taking a look at the ingredients, Camphor, Menthol, an alcohol extracted from mint oil, Cassia, and Clove Oils, they can simulate heat as well as cold and Paraffin Petrolatum a mixture of a hard wax (paraffin) and a soft petroleum jelly, together they make a semisolid. The purrrfect vehicle for delivering brightly burning tiger tingles…….Ed

Source: MALLORY PICKETT / Photo:

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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