Homemade White Tiger Balm

A few weeks ago I went to my acupuncturist (she’s wonderful!), and afterward so gave me some Tiger Balm for my legs and neck. I’d never tried it before, but it was love at first try. Awesome stuff. All cooling and delightful. The only un-delightful part was the base: petroleum jelly. All kinds of great essential oils… and petroleum jelly. Ick.

As soon as I got home I began researching the ingredients in Tiger Balm. Essential oils of cajeput, menthol, camphor, mint, clove, and cassia (only in the red version). All told, the essential oils compose 50% of the balm. The rest of it is carrier oils and some wax to or other solid fat to thicken the mixture into a balm.

I couldn’t resist—I ordered the ingredients I didn’t have off of NDA, and as soon as they arrived I made up my very own, petroleum jelly free tiger balm. And wow, does it ever clear the nostrils (and soothe the muscles, of course!).

Homemade White Tiger Balm

5g Camphor essential oil
6g cajuput EO
4g menthol EO
1g clove bud EO
8g mint EO

1g vitamin E
10g beeswax
10g cocoa butter
3g emu oil (or andiroba oil)
3g andiroba oil

Combine the oils and beeswax in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until melted.

While the carrier oils are melting, weigh out the essential oils into a non-porous container.

The carrier oils (the beeswax, specifically) should be just barely melted. We don’t want the mixture to be any hotter than necessary. Add the essential oils, heat and stir as necessary to blend, and then quickly decant into a small container to cool.

Massage into sore muscles and enjoy the cooling sensation (it’ll take a couple minutes to kick in)!

This entry was posted in Body, Body Butter, Salves & Natural Healing and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

Wondering where I get my ingredients? Check out my Where to Buy Ingredients page for a giant list of suppliers all around the world. Also, check out the FAQ for answers to lots of common questions :)

105 Responses to Homemade White Tiger Balm

  1. Kathy Mallory says:

    When you say that you ordered your stuff from NDA, what is that? I tried to google it and nothing came back. Do you have a web address? Thanks!

  2. Rogelia M Trevino says:

    You have an awesome site. Thanks for the great helpful information!

  3. Amanda says:

    How much did this make? what size containers?

    • Marie says:

      It makes about 1/4 cup, or half of a 125mL mason jar.

      • Amanda says:

        Thank you! So would a 2 oz tin be about right?

        • Marie says:

          That would be just about perfect. If you have a little bit leftover you can always apply it straight away to test it out (I know I always do!).

      • Rassac says:

        Hi Marie, why does this recipe make 125ml when the ingredients total to around 50g? I’m assuming that each gram is 1 ml.

        Sorry for asking this question… I’m trying to calculate to different quantities too. Also, I noted that the hot balm contains 25g of beeswax and 25g of cocoa. Is it because you wish to do a bar rather than a balm? Or maybe because cassia may be too strong?

        Thanks always for your dedication and quick replies!

        • Marie says:

          Hmm… 125mL was probably generous of me. If you look at the main photo where you can see the balm in the jar, the jar is a 125mL jar, and the balm comes up ~2/3 of the way, so 60–80mL is more accurate. Whoops! That said, when you’re dealing with anything that isn’t water, 1g does not necessarily equal 1mL (I learned this lesson when I was cooking this way with oils and fruit purées…oops). For instance, 1mL of mercury weighs 13.5g.

          The hot tiger balm contains different base ingredients because I was experimenting after learning a few things from making the white balm first. Because each of the balms are 50% essential oils, you need a lot of hard oils and beeswax to get a balm instead of an oil. Unfortunately, to combine the essential oils with the beeswax and other ingredients, you need to melt everything together, which means the essential oils need to be at the temperature of all the other ingredients—with beeswax that’s ~60°C. That’s very high for the essential oils, which are very volatile and heat sensitive. So, with the bar, I swapped out all the soft/liquid oils for cocoa butter to try and firm the balm up a bit more without adding extra wax, therefore exposing them to less heat damage and losing fewer of them to vaporization.

  4. Souljourney says:

    What do you use to measure the essential oils? I’ve only seen recipes that mention number of drops. About how many drops in a gram?

    • Marie says:

      A millilitre is about 20 drops (depending on the liquid, but this seems to be a popular rule of thumb), and a millilitre of water is 1g. So, multiply the number of grams by 20 and you should have an approximate number of drops. All the same, I’d highly recommend using a scale or at least measuring spoons (5g= approximately 1 tsp) or you’ll be counting a lot of drops!

  5. Amanda says:

    Awesome information! I had been wondering that too! Thank you so much! I’ve got everything now except the cajeput.

  6. Judi says:

    I would like to try this but don’t have andiroba oil or manthol EO.Is there something I can use in place of these? I do have wintergreen EO but not sure it would do the same.
    Love your page.Thank you for all the wonderful ideas !

    • Marie says:

      Judi—You can use more emu oil or cocoa butter to replace the andiroba oil, but the menthol essential oil really is necessary. It’s what really gives the balm that great cool/hot/evaporating sensation, and really helps clear your sinuses. New Directions Aromatics has it at a pretty reasonable price (they recently dropped pricing by 25%): http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.ca/menthol-liquid-essential-oil-p-300.html.

      • Judi says:

        Thanks for the link! I am in Alberta and it looks as though this shop is in Ont. I order from a place in B.C. and they don’t have menthol EO but they do have the crystals that Amanda mentions in the next post. (Thanks Amanda) I am thinking shipping for just a small item from Ont. will be pricy.
        If I can use the crystals, I have them already :)
        This sounds as though it would be good for me and a few others I know :)

        • Marie says:

          The menthol crystals should work if you use the same amount by weight—let me know if you try it! I’m out in Alberta and I find the shipping from NDA in Ontario is about ~$16 per order, no matter how much I order. That’s a pretty good deal if I’m order 5kg of coconut oil, several liters of other oils, and a bunch of little things, but high enough that I’d never place a one item order from them. Next time you need something really heavy I’d recommend giving them a try :)

  7. Amanda says:

    I have menthol crystals that I got from here – http://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=128731&Redirect=/bulkmisc/bulkmisc.php#bu_men

    I’m going to assume that the crystals will work fine since the EO says that it’s a solid at room temperature as well. The crystals liquify around 105 degrees. I used them in a home made ‘vick’s’ vapo rub.

    Do you think that would be ok as well?

    • Marie says:

      Since menthol crystals are oil soluble, this should work. Recommended use of menthol crystals is up to 8% of the recipe, and the tiger balm recipe calls for ~8% menthol essential oil, so I would recommend using the same amount of the crystals (4g) by weight. Just be sure to heat them with the carrier oils, as you want to heat the essential oils as little as possible!

  8. Judi says:

    Thanks Marie. Glad I will be able to use what I have.
    I just love looking at all your recipes.Thanks so much for sharing :)

  9. Judi says:

    I will do that for sure. I just ordered some oils and things so it won’t be for awhile now.
    What part of Alberta are you in? I am NE of Edmonton.
    There is a supplier in Strathmore that I sometimes order from but find shipping high.If your closer, you may be able to pick up and save the shipping.

    • Marie says:

      I’m down in Calgary, Judi (don’t hold it against me, haha!). I just checked out Lynden House and wow, they’re expensive! I just compared a few items, but their Shea Butter is $24/kg while it’s $8.80/kg from New Directions—ouch!

  10. Judi says:

    Haha! I won’t hold it against you!
    Wow! I guess the money saved is well worth it! I usually order from:
    They usually have everything I need and I think the prices are okay.I will have to compare some of the things I order regularly.

  11. Maria says:

    love this recipe

  12. Judi says:

    Marie. Just wondering if you know of a good recipe for spray on conditioner for dogs.
    I have 2 non shedding dogs and their coats get so dry in winter.

    • Marie says:

      I love my Ultimate Hair Serum. I don’t put it in a spray bottle, but you probably could (not an atomizer, though). I use it on my ends and it’s great! You’d probably need to give your dogs a little canine massage with it, and maybe leave out the essential oils so they don’t eat them.

  13. Judi says:

    I am going to make the hair serum and try it for them and me!! :)
    I have heard that some EO’s are okay to use on dogs but I will see how they do without.

  14. Kristie says:

    I have a jar of this (purchased from a Massage Therapist) and the ingredients are Eucalyptus, Clove, Wintergreen, Bay, Cajaput, Camphor, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Menthol Crystals, Shea Butter, Beeswax & Cayenne Base oil. Some of these oils I’ve never heard of, but the smell is great when combined.

    I purchased Shea Butter @ http://www.coastalscents.com/. This and many other butters and oils from Africa. Prices seem good, but I don’t have anything to compare with. Unrefined Shea Butter = $8.49/lb. $36.95/5 lb.

  15. sarah says:

    Hi Marie,
    I was just about to place an order through NDA for some emu oil – it is so expensive up here – about $26 for 60 ml. I know NDA has it cheaper, but they offer emu heavy, regular or light – have you ordered any of those from NDA before? And which would you suggest for homemade tiger balm? Keep up the awesomeness!

    Sarah from Peace River, AB

    • Marie says:

      Sarah—I’ve never ordered emu oil from NDA (I got mine locally as there was a great deal on it) but you’re right, that is awfully steep. You might consider substituting andiroba oil for it (it’s supposedly very good for circulation), or some other liquid oil.

  16. Della says:

    I’m not familiar with andiroba oil. Can you suggest a reasonable substitute?

    • Marie says:

      You can use emu oil if you’re ok with using animal products, otherwise I’d suggest using a liquid carrier oil (grapeseed, olive, etc.). Andiroba is included because it increases circulation, so you could add a bit of cassia oil, which does a great job boosting circulation (though that will turn your tiger balm into red tiger balm).

  17. Deirdre says:

    What could vegetarians use instead of emu oil? No emu should have to die for my neck rub.

  18. Marge says:

    I haven’t heard of emu oil or andiroba oil. This balm recipe almost sounds like a salve. I’m wondering if the emu and andiroba oil can be substituted for coconut or olive oil? Add in some beeswax (so it will harden when cool) and of course add the other essential oils listed in the recipe…

    • Amanda says:

      I made it with Shea, coconut oil, and sesame oil. I don’t think beeswax would be necessary. It should be relatively soft.

      • Marie says:

        You definitely need the beeswax, Amanda—trust me on this one. If you mix together shea butter, coconut oil, and sesame oil, you’ll have a pretty soft, though solid-ish butter (depending on ratios). But, this tiger balm is 50% essential oils, which are all thin liquids. Once you add them to that mixture, you will have a very runny, liquid tiger soup! I once tried making tiger balm by mixing the essential oils in with coconut oil (50% EO blend, 50% coconut oil) and it was completely liquid—I might as well have used olive oil. It made a nice massage oil, though. I’ve also made hot tiger balm massage bars using a mixture of beeswax and cocoa butter for the carrier oils, and even then the bars are really quite soft—like softened butter.

        • Amanda says:

          Oh gosh! I’m so sorry! I went back and looked at my recipe and I DID use beeswax. My bad! I used 10 grams of Shea Butter, 10 grams of beeswax, 6 grams of coconut oil, and 1 gram of sesame oil (it’s high in vitamin e and cheaper).

          It works really well for my husband, but the essential oils are too irritating on my skin. My hand and arm turned red, prickly, and itchy just from rubbing on him. He likes it though!

          • Marie says:

            Ha, no problem! With all the concoctions we make it’s super easy to forget the specifics of each recipe without referring to notes 😛 I’m guessing your version is softer than mine as the shea butter isn’t brittle like cocoa butter is, but it sounds awesome. I love the sesame oil tip! And I’m glad to see a fellow metric-system user here 😉

    • Marie says:

      Marge—Both emu and andiroba oil are carrier oils that are high in healing properties. Emu oil is great for soft tissue injuries, sunburns, arthritis, wounds, and insect bites. Andiroba, the animal free substitute I’ve mentioned, is a great anti-inflammatory, and is great for healing wounds & insect bites, increasing circulation, and preventing infection with its antibacterial and antifungal properties. While you can replace these oils with something more common like coconut oil (I would recommend a blend of a liquid oil and coconut oil to imitate the thickness of emu/andiroba), that’s kind of like replacing whole grain flour with white flour—it will perform the bulking & moisturizing duties, but none of the nutritional duties.

  19. Stacy says:

    Love that this contains no petroleum jelly!

  20. Amanda Joy says:

    My husband has been begging me to make him some tiger balm since I started making lotion bars and other personal care products. Thanks so much for posting this recipe, I can’t wait to surprise him! Also am switching to NDA after checking out their website and products. Their prices are awesome and based upon the reviews, the quality is as well. Love your blog!

    • Marie says:

      I’m so thrilled to be of use! I absolutely love my homemade tiger balm (the hot stuff is awesome, too). I figure NDA should be paying me for all the plugs I give them on my site 😛 I just love their prices, variety, and quality—they’re my first choice for everything! Thanks for reading :) I really appreciate it!

  21. Rassac says:

    I can see that the essential oils are more than 2% of the whole recipe. Is this considered safe? Or is beeswax stronger to dilute these oils?

    • Marie says:

      You’re right, Rassac—they’re actually about 50% in this recipe, which is pretty unusual. It’s because we want them here for their physical effects on the skin, not just for scent (the store bought stuff uses a similar concentration to get the same effect). This blend is perfectly safe for topical applications, but do be sure to keep it away from the eyes and any mucus membranes, and to wash your hands directly after application. The blend is designed to increase circulation while giving a cooling sensation on the skin that lasts ~30 minutes. The most irritating/heating EOs (clove, and cassia in the red one) are kept at lower concentrations to ensure you get a pleasant effect, not an irritating/painful one. Enjoy it, it’s great for sore muscles!

      • Rassac says:

        Thanks Marie,

        Very informative website!

        I was wondering if anyone knows any website which sells pure essential oils other than those stated over here as I’m from Europe. Is there a way how I could recognise whether this is a serious company or not? If not, is there any way how to recognise pure from not… Smell appears to be more or less the same from what I read.

        • Marie says:

          Rassac—Where in Europe are you? I know that the company I buy from has a branch in the UK, and they might ship to you.

        • Marie says:

          Also, look into the labelling laws in your country—here in Canada they have to list all the ingredients, so if it is diluted they have to tell you what the EO has been diluted, and it if is an artificial fragrance it must be labelled as such. Assuming the laws in your country are similar, that should make figuring it out pretty easy. Another thing you can do is go to your local farmers/craft market and look for people who are making soap and other things that use EOs in your area, and ask about their suppliers.

          • Rassac says:

            Thanks Marie for your help… The UK branch should be fine for me :) I will contact them to check out the shipping pricing though as they are not calculated automatically in the website.

            I have seen other recipes which use shea butter or any base oil such as olive oil, jojoba and almond. Is there a reason why you chose to use cocoa butter instead?

            As a side note, once I read that if you drop pure essentials oils on a paper they will leave no stain. If they are diluted, they will. Have you ever tried this out with your oils? Do you believe in this technique to check the purity of the oil?


          • Marie says:

            Yay! Hopefully the shipping rates are reasonable.

            My choices of oils/butters to use are always based on their individual properties, texture being one of the most important considerations. Shea butter is soft and sticky at room temperature, olive/jojoba/almond are all liquid, and cocoa butter is brittle. In this particular recipe I use cocoa butter because it is very brittle, and I need as much thickening help as I can get here. Tiger balm is 50% essential oils, which are generally quite thin liquids. If you mix that much liquid oil with more liquid oil, you will have more liquid. If you mix it with shea butter, it will be very, very runny, and possibly even totally liquid if you live in a warm climate. Cocoa butter, however, will work with the beeswax to balance out the liquids and meet halfway for a semi-solid balm.

            I’ve never tried the paper trick, so I can’t say if it works (especially since some EOs are very colourful, so I’m not sure it would hold true). I have always relied on suppliers with good reputations, and the strength of Canadian labeling laws.

  22. Tasha says:

    I have just started to make my own health and beauty products and I am excited about finding your site. Can’t wait to try some of these diy’s out!

  23. Patsy Behrendt says:

    More goodies that I can’t wait to try! My husband always has a sore muscle of some kind and this will be so perfect! Thank you for sharing! I am going to have to win the lottery to be able to pay for all the orders I am going to place!

  24. Kisa says:

    I have also subscribed to your Instagram :) loving your website and all the info and recipes! Thank-you so much! Looking forward to your next post :)

  25. Heather says:

    For the mint, does it matter if it is peppermint or spearmint?

    • Marie says:

      It does, though you can use either. Peppermint will have a much, much stronger effect than spearmint, so choose one or the other based on how strong you want the balm to be.

  26. Jonah says:

    Very cool! I’ve been meaning to make some Chinese herb stuff with beeswax and sesame oil, this is inspirational.

  27. Lynne says:

    Hi Marie,
    thank you for your Tiger Balm recipe. I’ve found all the comments helpful also. A friend of mine used it on me for a massage recently and I can’t wait to make my own for my clients. When I make my own salves, I find it helpful to melt the ingredients in a glass measuring cup in a pan of water to beter control the melting. Also, to avoid heating up the EOs, I add them after the mixture has cooled a bit but is still liquid.

    • Marie says:

      You’re very welcome, Lynne! I believe I used a double boiler when I made my hot tiger balm bar, and you’re very right, it does make things much easier! The trickiest part with tiger balm is that a full 50% of the recipe is essential oils, which are liquid. So, if you want the salve to be even remotely solid, you need to throw in lots of beeswax as part of the other 50%… but beeswax has a really high melting point, and you don’t want the EOs to get that hot if you can avoid it… but you need to combine the lot when everything is liquid… somehow. I think the water bath should help give you more time to work with everything, but yeah… I found the whole process to be rather irksome (plus it made my entire house reek of tiger balm, haha). Enjoy your homemade tiger balm!

  28. Atlal says:

    Hi, what is the problem with petroleum jelly??

    • Marie says:

      The biggest one is that it’s derived from petroleum—a totally unnatural product. It’s not outright hazardous, but it’s pretty much inert. Your skin can’t absorb it, so it just sits on top of your skin, preventing your skin from breathing (like a sticky version of rubber gloves). You can do so much better in terms of nourishing your skin. It’s like choosing between a diet of high fructose syrup vs. a diet of whole grains and veg. One is highly processed and does pretty much nothing for you, while the other is loaded with all kinds of beneficial fats, vitamins, and nutrients. You can read more here.

  29. Abby says:

    This recipe looks great, can’t wait to try it! My ingredients are supposed to arrive Monday, I’m super excited! Have you ever considered substituting a light carrier oil for the beeswax and cocoa butter and then putting it in a roller ball tube? Or perhaps keeping it as is and putting it in a chapstick or deodorant tube? I love how well tiger balm works, but I hate having the smell (and sometimes warming/cooling) on my hands… If you have any input or experience, let me know! :)

    • Marie says:

      How exciting! I love waiting for a new box of goodies to arrive :) I have actually considered a tiger balm massage oil, among many other tiger balm formats… it’s been on my list for about a full year now! Yipes. I really should get on that, haha. Stay tuned! I’m sure I’ll need it when Canada thaws out and I get back to my bike rides 😉

  30. Diana says:

    Wow! This is going on my to do list once i get supplies. Iove this stuff; grew up with it and we always have one in the house somewhere.

  31. Miss.Fanny says:

    hi i am wondering what oil i could use instead of andiroba oil, because i have everything for the recipe except that…. dont have emu oil either :p

    thanks! 😀

  32. sarah says:

    Hi Marie,
    loving your work :-) just wondering how you go about deciding the amounts of ingredients to use when you are ‘converting’ a market product into one of your own? I have a product from a company here in Aust. ( Plant Essentials), called Citronella and Aloe body spray. I love it and quite happy to buy it from them, but I want to make all my own stuff and tweak the recipe to suit myself. So how can I guess appropriate amounts of things. Eg, in your Tiger Balm, how would you know the right balance?
    Thanks again for a massive amount of inspiration. Heading out in two weeks for a soap making workshop and i am so excited! Your recipes will come in handy :-)

    • Marie says:

      Hi Sarah! Thanks for reading :)

      I’m actually currently working on an article on developing your own DIY recipes & dupes, so I’ll give you the cliff notes. For dupes, the first thing I do is look at the ingredients list. Since the ingredients are listed in descending order of quantity, that gives you an idea of relative amounts. For instance, if the ingredients read “water, grapeseed oil, emulsifying wax, essential oil”, you can be certain there is more water than grapeseed oil, more grapeseed oil than e-wax, and so on and so forth.

      From there, I’ll research the ingredients and find out why they’re in the concoction. If it’s an anti-acne product, I’ll prioritize the ingredients with anti-acne properties. I’ll also take note if any of them are irritating, and add those to the “less” category.

      After that I’ll draft up a basic recipe and go from there. If the first go works, awesome! If not, I’ll tweak the amounts based on my experiences with them (always get to know your ingredients on their own) until it works.

      Have fun at your workshop!

  33. Jan says:

    Good grey Morning Marie, just poured the white tiger balm, added a smidgen more beeswax and poured in .35oz push tubes/mini deodorant containers, stole some for my elbow (tendonitis)..so warming! You had mentioned that you were thinking of tweaking the formula by adding some chili seed oil..as I’ve also added that to my ever-growing EO collection wondering if you had experimented with adding it in yet, and if so, what proportion?
    Continued thanks,

    • Marie says:

      Awesome! And your mini deodorant tubes idea is a great one for quick & easy application—I’ve got a roller version coming out soon that works in a similar fashion :) And yes, I’ve got the chili oil one down—recipe coming out soon(ish…) 😉

      • Jan says:

        Roller version…intrigued, I’d send you a pic of the min tubes (.35oz) if you’d like, anxiously awaiting your tinkering with the chili seed oil…much like I’m waiting for your cinnamon patchouli soap to set up in my homemade wooden soap mold! Such fun with your blog :)

  34. Miss Fanny says:

    Hey, i was wondering where you bought your Menthol Essential oil? I couldn’t seem to find it on NDA or saffire blue.

    i finally got the Andiroba oil in the mail, and i made this recipe and it turned out great! i put them in 15ml glass jars from NDA and it looked just like the real tiger balm ! but your recipe is way better than the store bought tiger balm! good job!

    you should write a recipe book! it would be so nice to have a written book of your recipes :) I think lots of people would like that! :)

    • Marie says:

      Hi Miss Fanny! I got my menthol EO from NDA, but they’ve since discontinued it, and I’ve never seen it anywhere else :/ You can use the crystals instead, though—I would recommend using the same amount by weight as the EO.

      I’m so glad you made this and love it! Now you’ve got to try the hot stuff—it’s awesome, too 😀

      I would LOVE to write a book! It’s definitely on my bucket list :) I’ll be sure to let you know if I get the chance to!

  35. Ana says:

    Hi Marie!
    First of all congratulations on your great site! I love it!
    I have a degree on chinese medicine and I’ve just started to make my own balms.
    I usually use sesame oil with beeswax on making the tiger balm (sesame oil moistens dryness, promotes bowel movement and neutralizes toxins).
    I have a question I hope you can answer… Normally I just make small quantities of balm, but my patients always want to take some so I’m wondering if I can make large quantities of balm without compromising the result…?
    Thank you so much! :)

  36. Ida Kamilla Bjørge says:


    Great blog and good recipe! How long will this balm last? I made a mosquito repellent balm last summer and after a while (2 months) it was full of white spots in it, any idea if there is any essential oil that causes that? Like colve oil?
    I wanna try this recipe, but I want it to last long since tiger balm s not something you use that often :)


    Ida Kamilla

    • Marie says:

      Hi Ida! There are two types of spoiling we’re worried about when making things: rancidity and mould.

      Rancidity is a problem with oils, but it takes a very long time to set in. Oils, when kept somewhere cool and dark, will generally last years (though some are more shelf stable than others). You’ll know an oil has gone rancid when it starts to smell off, sort of like very old lipstick or a bag of 10 year old trail mix you found at the back of your pantry.

      So, for things that are just made from different oils (tiger balm, body butters, lip balms, massage oils, etc.), rancidity is what you’re worried about, and you’ll generally have a few years before that sets in. You can delay it by adding an antioxidant like rosemary seed extract. I store yet-to-be-started lip balms and body butters in my fridge.

      Mould becomes a problem when water is involved—lotions being the main culprit. The shelf life of something with water will depend greatly on how the concoction was prepared, how clean everything was, and how it is used and stored. I tend to store my lotions in pump-top bottles so I’m not constantly dipping my dirty fingers into the lotion, and this really helps extend the shelf life—generally up to two or three months.

      You can add a broad-spectrum preservative to recipes that include water, but I generally prefer not to unless absolutely necessary (especially as I know of no truly natural broad-spectrum preservatives). I prefer make things in small batches and watch for signs of spoilage, as I do with food in my fridge. If you notice changes in colour, scent, or texture, or you see mould or separation, it’s time to chuck it out.

      • Ida Kamilla Bjørge says:

        Hi again!

        I made this balm about a week ago, and it was so good. But now it has those white spots in it again, and a really wonder whats causing them, like what happened to my mosquito repellent balm. I used new oils, clean jars, and added vit E. Any idea what it can be?
        F.ex does clove bud oil give white spots? I would liketo make these for little christmas presents, but not fun when they look moldy.

        Ida :)

  37. J says:

    Hi There,
    have you ever made a tiger balm soap? was thinking about remelting the soap that are now ready and was wondering if it’s possible


    • Marie says:

      HI J! Since tiger balm needs to be about 50% essential oils it’s not a great candidate for soap. That volume of essential oils would significantly effect the texture of either bar or liquid soap, plus then you’d be washing off all those essential oils, and they aren’t cheap!

  38. Dori says:

    Hi Marie, I am in the process of making my third batch of your White Tiger Balm…..awesome stuff! My Son fell off of a ladder at work and hurt his back. This has really helped the sore muscles while he heals! Husband uses it on his wrists and knees for arthritis pain also.
    By the way, I used the menthol crystals…melted into the carrier oils, and they worked well!
    Thank you for another great recipe!

    • Marie says:

      That’s wonderful—I’m so glad this stuff is kicking butt for your family :) I always travel with tiger balm of some kind for sore muscles and even bug bites (I find it helps kill the itch).

  39. Meg says:

    I love that this tiger balm recipe (versus your others) has emu and andiroba oil in it. Can I add a few grams of cassia and/or chili seed EO to make this a hot balm? I’m guessing I would have to bump up the beeswax and cocoa butter by the same amount? Thanks!

  40. Shelly says:

    Wanted to say I have made (and tweaked) recipe, and I absolutely LOVE the fact it’s good for me unlike normal tiger balm.

    The recipe I use (w/tweaks):

    5g Camphor EO
    6g cajuput EO
    4g + 2 tsp menthol crystals disolved into Olive Oil (I love the extra menthol and is more soothing)
    1g clove bud EO
    8g mint or peppermint EO
    20g beeswax
    7g + 3 tsp Pure organic olive oil

    As you can see, I added in extra menthol for more of a punch, and I use straight up beeswax/olive oil instead of buying a bunch of different oils/butters for the base. But thank you so much for the base recipe because I love it dearly (and use it on a constant basis for managing chronic pain)

    • Marie says:

      Awesome! I’m so glad you’re loving it 😀 I’ve found the homemade stuff really trumps the stuff from the store, especially since you can make it exactly the way you want to. Score!

  41. Miki says:

    You are mistake about what makes the difference between red and white tiger balm. It’s ammonium hydroxide that turns the balm red. I’ve used the original recipe for many years now, and whilst the commercial version may have petroleum jelly in it (I’ve only ever seen pictures), the original Chinese recipe uses emu oil or tallow as it’s base.

    • Marie says:

      I would love some reliable sources on this, as my research on ammonium hydroxide shows it to be far more useful for cleaning windows than soothing sore muscles.

  42. miki says:

    Whilst that would be true of industrial grade ammonium hydroxide, food and pharmaceutical grades are quite another story, and used in many recipes and preparations that call for an alkali salt–everything from cupcakes to chemo drugs–which is exactly what ammonium hydroxide is: an alkali salt. In the case of tiger balm, it’s used to draw out peripheral edema. You’ll have to do your own research on that, but suffice it to say that a two minute google search just lead me to quite a few dojos and clinicians who all use it in their balm preps, too, so….At any rate, my recipe came from a Chinese apothecary in Shanghai back in the early 1980s via Dr. Michio Kuchi, who was my macrobiotics teacher at the time. I think he’s dead now, but I’m sure any other CEM practitioners could give you plenty of evidentiaries if you really want them.

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