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 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)!