3 days ago, when I was practicing yoga, I clearly did something wrong. I don’t know what but I stepped off my yoga mat with an aching shoulder. While I was reaching for my tiger balm an idea came to my mind. Why not make my own salve for muscle aches.

I’ve been making all my lotions, soaps and other cosmetics for a while, so why not replace my good old store-bought tiger balm with a version of my own? Why did I never thought of this before?

Especially after giving its ingredients a closer look, I was more than determined to make my own. I always thought tiger balm was an ancient all-natural herbal remedy but, it contains petroleum jelly, something I rather don’t put on my skin.

After doing some research, I’ve made this recipe and it did wonders. The basic components of hot (or red) tiger balm are Menthol 10%, Camphor 11%, Mint oil 6%, Cajuput oil 7%, Clove bud oil 5%, Cassia oil 5% and petroleum jelly and paraffin. To make an all-natural version I swapped the last 2 components with beeswax and sweet almond oil.


Homemade Hot (or Red) Tiger Balm Recipe


Tiger balm can help you to reduce and soothe muscle, neck and joint pain. It helps with headaches, arthritis, rheumatism, and respiratory issues as well. Tiger balm has rubefacient and analgesic properties when applied to the skin. The active ingredients dilate blood vessels which increase blood circulation and produce warmth. This speeds up the healing process and reduces the sensation of pain.


How To…

  • Melt the beeswax and almond oil in a double boiler on low heat.
  • Stir the mixture until liquefied and well combined.
  • Add the menthol crystals and essential oils and stir well.
  • Pour the mixture immediately into a clean and sterile container or jar and close the lid to avoid evaporation of the essential oils.
  • Let the tiger balm cool and thicken until a cream-like consistency before applying.
  • Apply on the affected areas 3 to 4 times a day.


Tiger balm is a very strong and powerful, so if you want a milder blend, add more almond oil and beeswax and tweak it to your needs. Tiger balm is for external use only and should not be used on infants under 2 years of age… And watch out for your eyes, always wash your hands after applying. Substitute the clove bud and cassia essential oil with ½ teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil and this recipe will make you an excellent homemade “Vapo-rub” when struggling with respiratory problems.


As always, your feedback, experiences, and recipes are much appreciated, so please share them with us in the comment box below.



Thanks for reading. I hope this information was helpful. Until next time!



Amy Goodrich

Amy Goodrich


Crazy cat lady, life and food lover, certified biologist, and holistic health coach.

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