[title subtitle="Happy Chinese New Year"]Xīn Nián Kuài Lè[/title] In honor and celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year, I’m going to pay homage to my Chinese heritage by sharing with you a couple of my grandmother’s best kept health secrets. Growing up Asian-American, her voice was constantly, if not always, in my head. “Your skin will become more beautiful if you eat more fish,” she’d say. Or, “Rub a boiled egg on your bruise and it’ll go away.” Just like I knew to drink brown sugar soup for my stomachache, I also knew that if I lied down after eating a meal, I’d, in the very words of my grandmother, “become a snake.”
Trust me, the list continues. I’ve pretty much memorized all the home remedies, the dos and the don’ts, by heart. Thanks to my grandmother, there always seems to be a Chinese cure for all of my body’s ailments. I know you’re thinking: Do these outlandish tricks actually work? Believe it or not, some do! Tiger Balm, for example, is what I’d consider, hands down, my MVP. For as long as I can remember, it has been my go-to for everything from nasal congestion to muscle pain, to relieving the itchiness that comes with bug bites.
[title subtitle=""]What the Heck is Tiger Balm?[/title]
Tiger Balm is an herbal Chinese ointment made of what I’d consider to be closest thing to magic—menthol! It comes in two main formulas: red and white. The red formula is good for relieving muscle pain and is usually massaged on top of an injured area while the white formula can be used like Vicks to relieve nasal congestion. Of course, its magical properties do not end there. Tiger Balm really can do SO much more.
[title subtitle=""]My Uses[/title]
My favorite formula is the the white one because it targets all of my specific needs. It's the better option for sensitive skin and I can use it all year round! When suffering from a sore throat or a cold in the winter, I rub some on my chest. When battling allergies in both the fall and the spring, I rub some of the ointment under my nostrils. And, best of all, when itching away at mosquito bites in the summer, I dab some on the bump to relieve itchiness. Sometimes, I even rub the balm all over as a sort of insect repellent. Tiger Balm has been the go-to for other troubles like headaches, arthritis pains, odors, and nausea as well.
[title subtitle=""]My Recommendation[/title]
If you're thinking about trying some out, I recommend going with the white formula first! It's the more subtle version of the beastly red formula. That one just has an extra feisty kick! Though Tiger Balm is already travel-friendly, there is also a miniature size. How cute is that?
But yea, just if you're wondering, G-ma totally approves!