Tiger Balm, a little pot of joy, natural pain relief for headaches and more!

21 Jan


ME/CFS sufferers know all too well that there is no magic bullet to cure their illness and that recovery is slow and gradual. In light of this, coping with the illness comes down to little things that help manage symptoms in the short term. This gives a little respite whilst gradually building up strength and energy through bigger strategies such as pacing, NLP etc.

Aside from the cornerstone symptoms of ME/CFS of fatigue, myalgia, un-refreshing rest, to name but a few, symptoms of the illness can vary greatly from sufferer to sufferer. For me severe headaches are a real evil. My headaches range from a dull aching in my forehead that can persist for days, to real acute pain that feels like an overly tight helmet is being pressed down onto, and trying to crush, my poor head. The very worst ones send me off to a darkened room to lay down with a cool flannel across my eyes. Once the acute pain subsides I’m often left with a soreness that can again linger for days.

Anyway, enough negative talk about the misery of the symptoms. The more important point is what I do to relieve the headaches.

At this point let me introduce a good friend of mine: Tiger Balm. This is a little gem that  makes a huge difference to my headaches and consequently makes my ME/CFS that little bit more bearable.

Tiger Balm is a little pot of pure joy. I love this stuff! It’s a white ointment made from natural camphor, menthol, clove and cajuput oil. It is all round natural pain relief.

I rub a little on my temples or across my forehead or bridge of my nose, or all of the above (wherever it hurts) when I have a headache and it really does help to loosen and lift the pain.

If I use it early enough (and I guess if the headache is not too severe) a little dab of Tiger Balm can stop the headache in its tracks. Even with the worst headaches (when I succumb to super strength painkillers and take to the darkened room) the Tiger Balm eases the tension, even if it can’t totally see the evil away.

Tiger Balm helps to lift brain ‘foggyness’ and thickness and can also be used to relieve muscle pain and aches. I often rub some into the back of my neck and the warm sensation that results from the balm on my skin really does feel as if the pain and tension are melting away.

Tiger Balm is inexpensive, my little pot cost about £5. It lasts ages (I’ve had mine nearly a year and not made a big dent in it yet and I use it A LOT!). A little really does go a long way, it is pretty strong stuff. It is available from health shops (and probably on amazon.co.uk too!). I carry a pot in my bag when I am out just in case. It is great to ‘clear your head’ when out and about.

Mr B does not like the smell (it’s menthol, think Vic’s Vapour Rub type stuff) but he does like the happier, calmer Jess that emerges from using it. To me the smell is fine! Tiger Balm also doesn’t taste so good (but it’s not meant to be eaten!) – Mr B learnt this the hard way, giving me a nice affectionate kiss on my forehead, not knowing that I’d just applied Tiger Balm to it…it leaves a ‘nice’ tingly sensation on your lips apparently!

A word of warning: watch your eyes! Don’t go jabbing your Tiger Balm slathered finger in your eye, because boy will it hurt! Trust me!

In a nutshell, I really can’t sing the praises of Tiger Balm enough – and no I am not a sales rep for, or any way connected to the commercial enterprise of, Tiger Balm! I am just a girl who has found relief from some of my ME/CFS symptoms through this little pot of joy.

For more info on Tiger Balm check out: Tigerbalm.com


25 Responses to “Tiger Balm, a little pot of joy, natural pain relief for headaches and more!”

  1. 1brelliott1 August 6, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

    Hi again, Just wanted to let you know I posted your lip balm article on my website. Thanks for sharing and hopefully you will get more hits on it as I have it setting up your WP site….Brenda

  2. dawnhosking September 9, 2013 at 10:26 am #

    We have some somewhere – I really must dig it out as my joints (hips particularly) are throbbing like mad at present 😉

    • myjourneythrume September 10, 2013 at 10:07 am #

      Sorry to hear about your joint pain. I hope you found your tiger balm and it eased things. I get a lot of pain in my neck vertebra and upper spine – I constantly smell of tiger balm from massaging it into my skin!

      • dawnhosking September 10, 2013 at 10:21 am #

        I love the smell of tiger balm 😉

      • myjourneythrume September 10, 2013 at 10:57 am #

        Me too, tho my boyfriend hates it!

  3. Lindsay September 10, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    i am sooo glad i read this post! i’ve never used tiger balm, but now i’m going to have to buy some! it sounds like it could really help with the headaches, neck, arm and leg pain I get! thanks for sharing!

    • myjourneythrume September 10, 2013 at 7:51 pm #

      Glad my post helped 🙂 tiger palm is great and it’s a small pot so it’s easy to have in your purse to use when you’re out and about. I use it nearly everyday. I have the white one for headaches and the red one for neck pain. I think in the States you can buy tiger balm patches too that you stick onto the area. I tried these when I was in Philly in April but found the heat sensation too intense but worth a try.

  4. bettermummy2015 December 21, 2014 at 10:26 am #

    I too adore tiger balm! Cannot get enough of it! I just have to be careful as I can’t ‘feel’ it on my skin so I forget it’s there and sometimes have been known to then rub my eyes or something 😉

  5. diane james March 19, 2015 at 8:55 pm #

    can you use the red for headaches or does it have to be white

    • myjourneythrume March 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      I think White is recommended for headaches and red for muscular aches and pain but I’m not sure why that is.

      • Sam Forshaw August 30, 2015 at 3:39 pm #

        I am currently in thailand for few months, and ive just discovered tiger balm. I suffer alot from headaches and migraines and i find it really good, especially the red one. It only cost 50bht out here which is about £1.

      • myjourneythrume August 30, 2015 at 5:05 pm #

        That is amazingly cheap! I would buy a big stash to bring home with me! I’m glad you’ve found something that helps your migraines.

  6. karen February 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

    I have just bought some from home bargains, 2x 18g pots for 99p. I suffer from severe migranes & my 5yr old nephew suffers with juvenile arthritis. Iv read so many great things about this “wonder balm” & I am at the point now, that I will try anything to relieve the migrane’s, as I can be in bed for.days at a time

    • myjourneythrume February 4, 2016 at 9:46 am #

      I hope it helps you Karen. I’ve heard it can help arthritis too. I still find it amazingly helpful for migraines.

      • Karen Bain February 7, 2016 at 12:52 am #

        So far, so good. Iv been applying it to my temples each night & it’s been great for relieving tension after a busy day. Not had a migrane as yet but iv started new meds for this.
        I rubbed a little on a ganglion that keeps appearing on a joint in my finger, I was amazed that the pain dissappeared almost instantly.
        This stuff so far has been amazing

      • myjourneythrume February 7, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

        Karen that’s amazing! So glad to hear it’s helping so much 😊

  7. Plum February 18, 2016 at 3:20 am #

    I too love tiger balm, red, white and also Eagle Brand Medicated Oil a green oil which smells amazing and has same healing type properties of tiger balm, all of which I get at the asian grocer store for a few dollars and they last so long. After applying to temples a headache can be greatly relieved within minutes really. Love your blog which I only just stumbled across.

    • myjourneythrume February 18, 2016 at 8:17 am #

      Thank you Plum! I’m glad you like my blog and share my love of tiger balm. I haven’t heard of the Eagle Brand, will have to look out for it. Thanks for the recommendation 😊

  8. Sara August 28, 2016 at 12:41 am #

    I’ve had a chronic migraine for 7 days…Been to the hospital, tried all sorts of prescribed strong meds…I was lying on my housemates bed having a whinge about it and he said to try his tiger balm, within minutes it had completely gone and I even managed a night out! I had been stuck in bed for days I nearly cried with happiness! Tiger balm is seriously a little miracle, I will never ever ever touch anything else! Love Sara xxx

    • myjourneythrume September 7, 2016 at 9:03 pm #

      So happy to hear it helped Sara! I love the stuff. They do patches which you can stick on your forehead or back of your neck which I’ve found effective too. Xx

  9. Hannah January 27, 2017 at 4:44 pm #

    Can I just add that I find that white tiger balm is great for headaches and the red one is better for muscle and joint aches


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