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Sinuses consist of four pairs of hollow cavities located in the cheekbones, forehead, between the eyes and behind the nasal cavity. Except for a thin layer of mucus, healthy sinuses are empty, but when inflamed, they over-produce mucus that drains into the nose. Tiger Balm, a multi-purpose ointment containing camphor, menthol, clove and eucalyptus oils, has been used in Asia for centuries, and many of its ingredients are also found in brand-name decongestants. One reputable study concluded that Tiger Balm relieved the pain from sinus headaches even faster than acetaminophen.

Sinus Headaches

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Heat a damp towel in the microwave or oven.

Apply small dabs of Tiger Balm on each temple and massage into the skin. Individually and in combination, Tiger Balm's ingredients do several things: act as a mild local anesthetic, create a sensation of warmth that helps divert attention from pain, ease muscle tension, and increase blood circulation to the area, thus promoting healing.

Close your eyes and relax until pain is relieved.

Sinus Congestion

Heat water and pour into a bowl.

Put a dab of Tiger Balm under each nostril. Sinus congestion may be caused by allergies, viruses and bacterial infection but increasing blood flow causes the nasal passages to open, allowing excess mucus to drain. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of some of Tiger Balm's ingredients also help neutralize infectious agents.

Drape a towel over your head.

Close your eyes and position your face over the basin.

Inhale the steam until nasal passages clear.


The composition and proportion of ingredients in white and red versions of Tiger Balm differ somewhat. In red Tiger Balm, which is formulated primarily for relieving muscle pain, the color comes from cassia (cinnamon) oil. White Tiger Balm, which contains eucalyptus and higher concentrations of menthol and mint, contains no cinnamon oil and is preferable for use as a decongestant and around the head area.