TIGER BALM: THE ORIGINS
It was originally made around 1870 in Burma by a Chinese herbalist named Aw Chu Kin.
He obtained this ointment by combining various ingredients of natural origin. It is said that on his deathbed he asked his children to perfect the recipe for this balm.
The children took up the baton by moving to Singapore, where Haw Par Corporation was born, the company that owns the registered trademark of the ointment. There are now attempts to imitate the conditioner and copies of the product can be found available on the market.
TIGER BALM INGREDIENTS
Despite the name, this ointment does not contain any ingredients of animal origin, much less tiger bones. Its ingredients are menthol, camphor and other essential oils such as cajeput, cassia, clove and dementulated mint.
The remaining percentage of the compound is made up of paraffin and petrolatum. The origin of the name seems to be linked to one of the sons “Boon Haw”, which means “tiger” in Chinese. The animal, a symbol of strength, courage and vigor, was also associated with particular anti-inflammatory properties.
In ancient times, in fact, it is said that Chinese doctors used to crumble tiger bones into the ointments they prepared. But today it’s just a legend.
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