One lesson I learned from decluttering my beauty and body products is that it pays to use things up. Burn those scented candles and be generous with those creams! It is better to use up your products than to let them expire.
Recently, I used up my trusty Tiger Balm, a powerfully aromatic Chinese ointment for pain. It’s been my go to for hangovers, stress, muscle tightness, and upset stomaches. It by no means heals the problem but it does offset your perception of any unpleasant feelings. It helps you get rest in spite of pain. Sadly, Tiger Balm has changed their formula. I tried buying a new jar from 3 different places and was so grossed out by its rancid smell. The aromatics are a big part of its mechanism of action so the new scent makes it essentially obsolete. Bummer.
In my search for an alternative, I found Achy Breaky Balm, an American brand that claims to give it’s profits to charity. It has the same active ingredients in Tiger Balm and is made of all natural organic ingredients. The sweet spice scent is more subtle than Tiger Balm. It smells like cloves and cinnamon – like the way the kitchen smells when you make hot toddies. I really like it, but don’t think it beats the old Tiger Balm formulation in terms of analgesic potency. When I’m out of this, I want to try the lavender mint version, which I suspect will have a more icy hot sensation, more akin to the old school Tiger Balm.
I’m home today from work with a neck muscle spasm. I get these from time to time when I’m stressed and then sleep wrong. It works best when applied generously to the affected area and can be made into a more intense experience by placing a warm towel over it. For hangovers or headaches, I apply the ointment to my temples, chest, and the back of my neck, take some tylenol and advil, and stay in bed until I feel better. This usually happens after consuming a burrito.
Do you have any secret home remedies?