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Is tiger balm dangerous?

Updated July 19, 2017

According to Greater Green, Tiger Balm is a pain-relief ointment that presents no reported dangers to adults when applied topically, although it should not be ingested by children.

History

Tiger Balm was created nearly 100 years ago from ancient Chinese herbal formulations, and today it is manufactured and distributed by Haw Par Healthcare Ltd.

Ingredients

According to Alternative Health Supplies, Tiger Balm contains camphor, menthol, cajuput oil, clove oil and mint oil.

Dangers

Camphor, if swallowed in large enough doses, can be fatal to younger children, who lack sufficient liver enzymes to break it down, according to Greater Green.

Warning

According to Chiroeco, Tiger Balm Muscle Rub and Tiger Balm liniment contain the compound methyl salicylate, which in high doses contributes to heart arrhythmia.

Precautions

Greater Green recommends that Tiger Balm not be applied even topically to young children because of the danger of accidental ingestion.

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About the Author

Alex Schor has 20 years' experience as a writer and editor. He has a bachelor's degree in English from Dickinson College and is employed as an abstract editor for Information, Inc. of Bethesda. He writes a blog on film, www.orble.com/psychocinemapath.