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It was developed during the 1870s in Rangoon, Burma, by herbalist Aw Chu Kin, son of a humble Hakka herbalist in China, Aw Leng Fan. His father had sent him to Rangoon in the 1860s to help in his uncle's herbal shop. Eventually, Aw Chu Kin himself set up a family business named Eng Aun Tong meaning "Hall of Everlasting Peace". On his deathbed in 1908,he asked his sons Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par to perfect the product. By the 1920s, the sons had mde it a very successful business empire in Burma with its runaway success, the Tiger Balm medicinal ointment.
Named after Aw Boon Haw whose name means "Gentle Tiger", Tiger Balm is an herbal formulation for external pain relief. Tiger Balm is available in several varieties, the "cold" Tiger Balm White (recommended for use with headaches) and the "hot" Tiger Balm Red. Another version is called Tiger Balm Ultra.
- From the package notes that accompany Tiger Balm
Tiger Balm is made from a secret herbal formulation that dates back to the times of the Chinese emperors. The Aw brothers, Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par, inherited the formulation from their herbalist father who left China. They called it Tiger Balm, after Boon Haw, (whose name in Chinese meant "Tiger") who was instrumental in devising the remarkable selling strategies that made Tiger Balm a household name in many East and South Eastern Asian countries today.
when Aw Boon Haw travelled to Singapore in the 1920s to seek new markets for Tiger Balm, he set up a branch first at Amoy Street, then moved to Cecil Street and finally to Neil Road between 1924 to 1926, at the junction of Neil and Craig Road. During the 1930s the Aw family founded the Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore and Hong Kong to promote the product.
|Dementholised mint oil||6%||16%|
|Clove bud oil||5%||1.5%|
Tiger Balm is claimed by proponents to relieve mild ailments.
In popular culture
In "Home Insecurity," an episode of The Venture Bros., villain Baron Ünderbheit discovers his trusted henchmen have betrayed him, and thus forces them into resignation. They are presented with Tiger Balm as a seemingly amicable parting gift, though it turns out to be an omen for Ünderbheit's retaliation for their betrayal, subsequently revealed to be "tiger bombs."
In the Mountain Goats song Love Love Love, Sonny Liston rubbed Tiger Balm into his glove.
- Tiger Balm: Heritage, retrieved 2009-09-30
- Tiger Balm information
- Tiger Balm shop
-  The Guardian, "Have you been watching... Whitechapel?
- Larsson, Stieg.The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Knopf, 2008.
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