DIY Kitten Balm-A Healthy Alternative to Tiger Balm

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DIY Tiger Balm I’ll admit, more than once, Tiger Balm has saved my neck.  About once a year something happens where I pull my neck muscles-I will be in major discomfort for at least a week.  The only thing that seemed to ease the pain was Tiger Balm. Since Tiger Balm comes in handy for many of us, I thought it was high time to make a DIY tiger balm!

In case you aren’t familiar, Tiger Balm is an ointment that has a heating and cooling effect on the skin that helps relieve pain.  It also comes in the form of a pad.  You adhere the pad to the problem area to experience relief. 

Tiger Balm comes from a secret herbal formula from Chinese emperors.  Today’s version of Tiger Balm contains a large amount of pain relieving essential oils suspended in petroleum. Since avoiding petroleum is a good idea, let’s make our own!

You knew this was coming-modern day Tiger Balm sucks.  It’s full of petroleum.  Some formulations also contain Diazolidinyl Urea, Glucosamine Sulfate, Methyl Paraben, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Propyl Paraben, and Propylene Glycol.

Upon researching Tiger Balm, I found that petroleum is actually linked to estrogen dominance among many other issues.

What modern day Tiger Balm does contain is essential oils.  It has a balm/salve like consistency so it was really easy to recreate!  The oils it contains are camphor 11%, menthol 10%, cajuput oil, cassia oil, and clove oil. 

Before anyone takes to the comments-I know camphor is considered toxic in large doses.  I don’t believe it poses any threat in this balm, but I have lowered the camhpor from 11%.  You can read more about camphor HERE.kitten balm 1

DIY Tiger Balm

1/2 cup Olive Oil (find it HERE)  (coconut oil works here too)

2 TBSP. Beeswax (find it HERE)

1.5 TBSP. Menthol Crystals (find it HERE)

30 drops Camphor Essential Oil (find it HERE)

20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (find it HERE)

10 drops Cajuput Essential Oil (find it HERE)

10 drops Cassia Essential Oil (find it HERE)

5 drops Clove Essential Oil (find it HERE)


  1. Fill a medium sized pot half way full with water.
  2. Place a glass pyrex bowl in the water.
  3. Add olive oil, menthol crystals and beeswax.
  4. Turn stove top to medium heat.
  5. Once the beeswax is melted, remove from heat.
  6. Add essential oils.
  7. Pour into 4 ounce jar.

It’s such a good idea to make a batch of this DIY Tiger Balm ASAP.  You never know when you could get a crick in your neck or pull a muscle.  My husband is pretty serious about weight lifting so I catch him using this, literally on a daily basis! Not to mention it is very nourishing to the skin! You could even use it as a sore foot rub!

More Petroleum Free DIY Products

xx, Jenni

P.S. Did I mention this balm kind of smells like Coco-Cola?  I smell a new lip balm coming on……

UPDATE: I have a new warming muscle rub recipe that uses black pepper essential oil for a warming effect. It is very similar to this one and both are great for soreness.


DIY Tiger Balm

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Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 7 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on living a natural lifestyle.

17 thoughts on “DIY Kitten Balm-A Healthy Alternative to Tiger Balm”

    1. Jackie-I’ve never worked with menthol essential oil. You’ll have to experiment. I’m guessing a little bit goes a long way so I would start out with 5 drops. You can always remelt and add more if it’s not enough.

  1. Can different oils be substituted for the cassia and camphor? I’d like to try and use what I have on hand. I do have arnica, clove and cinnamon.

    1. Hi Robin-arnica or clove won’t be necessary in this balm. You could substitute cassia for cinnamon and leave out the camphor. I think you will still have a great balm!

  2. Made this today and it is absolutely brilliant.
    • Easy clear instructions
    • Takes minutes once the beeswax has melted
    • Smells Amazing!
    • Looks and feels silky just like the real stuff!
    • It does the job intended well
    (I do martial art and after training tonight I’ve put it on my aches and pains, after about 10mins i now feel a lovely cool sensation on these areas)

    Thanks for the Excellent How to!

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