Tiger Balm as a treatment of tension headache. A clinical trial in general practice

Aust Fam Physician. 1996 Feb;25(2):216, 218, 220 passim.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of a topical medication, Tiger Balm, in the treatment of acute tension headache.

Design: Randomised, double blind, three group comparison.

Setting: Patients were recruited by newspaper advertisements and general practitioners who were also responsible for enrolment. Pre-treatment assessments took place in seven general practices.

Intervention: Groups were given either Tiger Balm, topical placebo or paracetamol.

Main outcome measures: Headache severity and medication relief scales were measured by self-report.

Results: There was a statistically significant difference (p < 0.05) in headache relief between Tiger Balm and placebo. The difference between Tiger Balm and medication was not significant.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Analgesics / therapeutic use*
  • Camphor / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Combinations
  • Eugenol / therapeutic use*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Chinese Traditional*
  • Menthol / therapeutic use*
  • Tension-Type Headache / drug therapy*


  • Analgesics
  • Drug Combinations
  • Menthol
  • Eugenol
  • Camphor