This fantastic little roller has all the punch of Tiger Balm, but without the greasy carrier oils or the smelly, tingling post-application hands. It’s easy to apply at your desk at work (depending on where on your body you need it, I suppose…), and since it has an alcohol base, it dries very quickly on the skin, leaving behind the essential oils to light a fire in your sore muscles and soothe any aches and pains.

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I’ve been meaning to make Tiger Balm in a few different forms for at least a year now, but it wasn’t until Abby asked about roller tubes that something clicked. You see, I love the idea of a Tiger Balm massage oil as it wouldn’t require exposing the essential oils to any heat, but I was really worried about the spill potential of it. The roller solves that.

My little 5mL roller bottle. I got mine from Saffire Blue.

My little 5mL roller bottle. I got mine from Saffire Blue.

After that, the jump to an alcohol base was an easy one. The oil base always takes time to absorb into the skin, meaning you are often left sitting with your pants pulled half down or your shirt hiked up around your ribcage until the oil absorbs enough to re-dress yourself. Since alcohol evaporates off quite quickly, this pocket roller is the perfect solution for on-the-go Tiger Balm application, especially if you don’t want to get oil on your clothes.

The essential oils in the bottle.

The essential oils in the bottle.

Another major bonus of this Tiger Balm roller is that it uses a 5mL bottle, which means you only need 2.5mL of essential oils. In quantities that small, we can measure in drops, making this not only quick to make, but accessible to anyone who is without a scale.

Menthol essential oil is solid, so it needs to sit in a hot water bath before it can be measured out. I'm not sure how measuring out crystals as a replacement would go, but it should work.

Menthol essential oil is solid, so it needs to sit in a hot water bath before it can be measured out. I’m not sure how measuring out crystals as a replacement would go, but it should work.

My first test case for this roller was myself, of course, but I want to tell you about test case #2. Alex came into work having thrown her back out for the second time in a week, and was sort of hobbling/waddling through the office like a 95 year old. Luckily, I had this little roller in my purse, and Alex agreed to be my guinea pig.

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She said the cooling sensation started immediately, and the warmth kicked in after than. Ten minutes later she said her back felt substantially better, and that the relief had made it all the way into the muscle—it wasn’t just warming her skin.

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So, if you’re nursing an ache, going on a hike, or are looking for a pain killing addition to your natural first aid kit, make this fantastic roller. You’ll love it!

Red Tiger Balm Pocket Roller

10 drops camphor essential oil
12 drops cajeput essential oil
8 drops menthol essential oil or 1–2 menthol crystals
4 drops cassia essential oil
16 drops peppermint essential oil
Perfumery alcohol, to top off

Place the essential oils in the bottom of a 5mL roller bottle. Top off with perfumery alcohol, cap, and shake to combine. Let the essential oils dissolve in the alcohol for at least an hour before using.

To use, roll a liberal amount over the effected area. Keep away from sensitive areas!

If you don’t have perfumery alcohol you can use cheap vodka or a light carrier oil of choice (grapeseed oil or safflower are good choices), though using oil will obviously not have the same quick-dry effect as the alcohol.

Looking for information on essential oil substitutions? Read this.

Wondering about essential oil concentrations? Read this.

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