Tiger Balm

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The white and red versions of Haw Par Tiger Balm

Tiger Balm[a] is an analgesic heat rub manufactured and distributed by the Singaporean conglomerate Haw Par Corporation. It is mainly used as external pain relief.

History[edit]

Tiger Balm Red

A precursor to Tiger Balm called Ban Kin Yu (Chinese: 萬金油; lit. 'Ten Thousand Golden Oil') was developed in the 1870s during the British Colonial era by the practising Chinese herbalist Aw Chu Kin,[1] son of Aw Leng Fan, a Chinese Hakka herbalist.[2] 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 ("Hall of Everlasting Peace"). On his deathbed in 1908, he asked his sons Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par to perfect the product. In 1918, the product was renamed "Tiger Balm" in order to gain broader appeal.[2] By 1918, the Aw family had become one of the wealthiest families in Rangoon.[3] By the 1920s, the brothers had turned Eng Aun Tong into a very successful business empire that produced and marketed pharmaceutical products, including the Tiger Balm medicinal ointment.[4] Tiger Balm sold well in Burma, and was exported to the rest of East and Southeast Asia.[5]

The Aw brothers permanently moved to Singapore due to problems with the British Raj Colonial government in 1924.[5] They set up a branch first at Amoy Street then moved to Cecil Street and finally to 89 Neil Road between 1924 and 1926.[6] Boon Haw also established newspapers in China and Singapore; his daughter said that he spent so much money on advertising that "he thought it would be cheaper to just open a few newspapers".[7]

In 2013, a lawsuit filed by Haw Par against the Indian company Rangoon Chemical Works, asserting that the latter's "Flying Tiger" balm with similar branding infringed on the Tiger Balm trademark, reached the Supreme Court of India.[8] As a result, Rangoon Chemical Works made changes in the branding of its product.[9]

In 2018, there were 10 products being sold under the Tiger Balm brand,[10] in over 100 countries.[11] Tiger Balm generated S$152 million (US$110.56 million) in revenues in 2015.[12] Haw Par's revenues from Tiger Balm sales in India were 85 crore (US$12.43 million) in 2018.[13] The product sold in India is manufactured in Hyderabad by Makson[14] and marketed by Alkem Laboratories.[15] Between 1993 and 2011, it had been manufactured and marketed by Elder Pharmaceuticals.[16]

Composition[edit]

A Tiger Balm production facility in Boon Lay, Singapore
Ingredient Red[17] White[18] Ultra[citation needed]
Menthol 10% 8% 11%
Camphor 11% 11% 11%
Dementholised mint oil[citation needed] 6% 16% 6%
Cajuput oil 7% 13% 13%
Clove bud oil 5% 1.5% 2%

The remainder is a petroleum jelly and paraffin base. The packaging label states that the active ingredients are menthol and camphor.[19]

The original Tiger Balm Red and Tiger Balm White have 25% of camphor. A new product named Tiger Balm White HR uses eucalyptus oil instead of cajuput oil.[19]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Chinese: ; pinyin: Hǔbiao Wànjīnyóu; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hó͘-phiau Bān-kim-iû

References[edit]

  1. ^ Marks, Ben (29 June 2016). "Singapore's Beloved and Creepy Wonderland, Built on the Healing Powers of Tiger Balm". Collectors Weekly. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  2. ^ a b Seng, Alan Teh Leam (28 January 2020). "Tiger balm, the panacea for all ills". New Straits Times. Media Prima. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  3. ^ Ting, Kennie (2019). "The Singapore Story through 60 objects". Advertisement signboard for Tiger Balm Ten Thousand Golden Oil, Singapore, c. 1970s (PDF). Cultural Connections. Vol. 4. Culture Academy Singapore. p. 58. Archived (PDF) from the original on 16 June 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  4. ^ Huang, Jianli; Hong, Lysa (11 December 2006). "Chinese Diasporic Culture and National Identity: The Taming of the Tiger Balm Gardens in Singapore". Modern Asian Studies. Cambridge University Press. 41 (1): 47. doi:10.1017/S0026749X05002349.
  5. ^ a b Pwint, Zon Pann (15 November 2019). "Tiger Balm – from Yangon to the world". Myanmar Times. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  6. ^ Ford, Peter (7 September 2018). "Why Tiger Balm is the secret behind this Singapore theme park". The Independent. Archived from the original on 24 December 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  7. ^ Berfield, Susan (12 February 1999). "Fall of the House of Aw". Asiaweek. Time Inc. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Sc Moved Against Tiger Balm Imitations". Business Standard. 27 January 2013. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  9. ^ "Balm Maker To Redesign Packaging". Business Standard. 27 January 2013. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  10. ^ DeWolf, Christopher (17 February 2018). "The Tiger Balm story: how ointment for every ailment was created, fell out of favour, then found new generation of users". South China Morning Post. Alibaba Group. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  11. ^ Singh, Rajiv (25 February 2018). "Can iconic Tiger Balm makers be third-time lucky in India?". The Economic Times. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  12. ^ "Tiger Balm: Roaring back to success" (PDF). Perspectives@SMU. Singapore Management University. 25 May 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 27 September 2021.
  13. ^ Tiwari, Ashish K (14 February 2018). "Tiger Balm-maker targets Rs 200 crore in India revenues". Daily News & Analysis. Diligent Media Corporation. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  14. ^ Datta, Jyothi (13 February 2018). "A balm for smart-gadget users". The Hindu Business Line. Mumbai: The Hindu Group.
  15. ^ "Alkem to market Tiger Balm range of products in India". The Financial Express. New Delhi: Indian Express Limited. Press Trust of India. 7 February 2017. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  16. ^ Chatterjee, Purvita (1 October 2014). "As dengue, malaria threats loom, Tiger Balm shifts to mosquito repellent". The Hindu Business Line. The Hindu Group. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021.
  17. ^ "Tiger Balm Red - Summary of Product Characteristics". Electronic Medicines Compendium. Datapharm. 18 March 2020. Archived from the original on 4 March 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  18. ^ "Tiger Balm White - Summary of Product Characteristics". Electronic Medicines Compendium. Datapharm. 14 April 2021. Archived from the original on 19 September 2021. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Tiger Balm's Ingredients". tigerbalm.com. Tiger Balm. Retrieved 20 September 2021.

External links[edit]