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Red Tiger Balm vs. White Tiger Balm — What's the Difference?

By Urooj Arif & Fiza Rafique — Published on February 29, 2024
Red Tiger Balm is formulated for stronger pain relief with a warming effect, ideal for muscular aches, while White Tiger Balm provides a cooling sensation, suitable for tension headaches and nasal congestion.
Red Tiger Balm vs. White Tiger Balm — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Red Tiger Balm and White Tiger Balm


Key Differences

Red Tiger Balm and White Tiger Balm are both topical analgesics from the Tiger Balm brand, known for their use in traditional medicine to relieve various pains and aches. Red Tiger Balm, characterized by its deep red hue, is infused with additional cinnamon oil, giving it a more potent warming effect. This formulation is particularly effective for deep muscular pains, joint aches, and chronic conditions like arthritis, as the warming sensation helps to increase blood flow and soothe discomfort.
White Tiger Balm, on the other hand, has a milder formulation with a higher concentration of menthol and lacks cinnamon oil, resulting in a pronounced cooling effect. It is designed to relieve tension headaches, nasal congestion, and discomfort from insect bites, with its cooling sensation providing relief from inflammation and itching.
The choice between Red and White Tiger Balm depends on the specific type of pain or discomfort. Red Tiger Balm is preferred for deep-seated, muscular pains where heat provides relief, while White Tiger Balm is sought after for conditions where cooling is beneficial, such as headaches and congestion.
Both products share some common ingredients like camphor and menthol, contributing to their analgesic and counterirritant properties. However, the key difference lies in their additional components and the resulting thermal sensations they provide, which are tailored to different therapeutic needs.
Despite their differences, both Red and White Tiger Balm serve as staple remedies in many households for their versatility and efficacy in providing symptomatic relief for a range of minor health complaints.

Comparison Chart

Primary Use

Deep muscular pains, joint aches
Tension headaches, nasal congestion



Key Ingredients

Camphor, menthol, cinnamon oil
Camphor, menthol, higher menthol concentration

Ideal For

Chronic conditions like arthritis
Inflammation, insect bites


Deep red
White to pale

Compare with Definitions

Red Tiger Balm

It's effective for joint aches and chronic pain.
The arthritis pain in her knee was alleviated by Red Tiger Balm.

White Tiger Balm

White Tiger Balm provides a cooling sensation for relief.
She used White Tiger Balm to cool her tension headache.

Red Tiger Balm

The balm is recognized by its deep red color.
The deep red hue of Red Tiger Balm made it easily distinguishable.

White Tiger Balm

Higher concentration of menthol for cooling.
The high menthol content in White Tiger Balm offered immediate cooling relief.

Red Tiger Balm

Contains cinnamon oil for potent heat.
The cinnamon oil in Red Tiger Balm provided deep, penetrating warmth.

White Tiger Balm

Ideal for nasal congestion and headaches.
White Tiger Balm cleared his nasal passages during cold season.

Red Tiger Balm

Designed for deep-seated pain relief.
For his chronic shoulder ache, Red Tiger Balm was his go-to remedy.

White Tiger Balm

Recognizable by its white to pale color.
The pale color of White Tiger Balm was soothing to look at.

Red Tiger Balm

Red Tiger Balm offers a warming effect for muscular relief.
He applied Red Tiger Balm to soothe his sore back muscles after sports.

White Tiger Balm

Suited for insect bites and minor inflammation.
After a mosquito bite, White Tiger Balm reduced the itch and swelling.

Common Curiosities

Are there any side effects to using Tiger Balm?

Some individuals may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions, especially with sensitive skin or overuse.

Can Tiger Balm be used for all types of pain?

Tiger Balm is intended for minor aches and pains. Severe or persistent pain should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

Can Red and White Tiger Balm be used together?

While possible, it's not typically recommended to use them simultaneously on the same area due to their contrasting thermal effects.

How long does the sensation from Tiger Balm last?

The warming or cooling sensation typically lasts for several hours, but this can vary depending on individual skin types and the application area.

Can Tiger Balm be used during pregnancy?

Pregnant women should consult a healthcare provider before using Tiger Balm, as certain ingredients might not be recommended.

How often can Tiger Balm be applied?

It's generally safe to apply Tiger Balm 3-4 times daily, but overuse should be avoided to prevent skin irritation.

Is Tiger Balm suitable for children?

Caution is advised when using Tiger Balm on children, and it's recommended to consult a pediatrician first.

Can Tiger Balm stain clothing?

Yes, particularly Red Tiger Balm due to its color, it's advisable to protect clothing and bedding when using it.

Is Tiger Balm effective for severe headaches or migraines?

While White Tiger Balm may provide temporary relief for mild headaches, it may not be effective for severe headaches or migraines, which often require specific treatment.

Does Tiger Balm have an expiration date?

Yes, Tiger Balm products have an expiration date, and their efficacy may decrease past this date.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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