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What is White Liniment?

Sara Schmidt
By
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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An old fashioned holistic medicine, white liniment is a cream used to treat sore muscles and body aches. The remedy can also be used on bug bites, rashes, and other skin problems. The inexpensive emollient can be used on humans as well as other animals.

The traditional formula of the painkilling liniment includes turpentine oil, camphor, and ammonium chloride. Other ingredients may include stabilizers, ammonia water, peppermint oil, menthol crystals, and other additives. The main active ingredient, camphor, helps the body simulate a response to heat in order to alleviate discomfort. A typical white liniment product features a minty, wintergreen aroma.

One of the most modern uses of white liniment is in treating animals. Horses in particular are often provided with a cream liniment rubdown when suffering from joint or muscle pain. Horse pain of this type is typically from overexertion, usually from farming or racing.

People typically use other solutions for muscle aches and pains, such as tiger balm liniment, zheng gu shui liniment, or an over-the-counter analgesic liniment. Many modern types of menthol liniment are considered stronger. Some, however, continue to prefer the classic liniment dosage that was introduced in the early 1900s. The homemade liniment is still produced by the family of its original creator, Isaac Hill.

Use of the liniment is not limited to general aches and pains. People with arthritis may find relief within the soothing liniment. Athletes and the elderly may find the remedy useful in day-to-day activities. People suffering from a herniated disc, sports injury such as tennis elbow, or other strain may find relief in the product. A physician should be consulted prior to using this type of pain reliever on children.

In addition to helping the body alleviate stiffness and soreness, this liniment can help treat poison ivy and other skin rashes. Some users keep the cream for relieving sinus congestion. Other uses of white liniment include stimulating circulation and treating bruises.

All types of cream liniment are intended for topical external use only. It may be applied to the skin up to three times daily. Bandages are not recommended for use with this product. If skin is broken or severely irritated, the patient should refrain from using liniment. White liniment is not safe for use around the eyes or any other orifice.

A common method of packaging for this type of traditional medicine is a plastic bottle. When sold as such, the liniment is usually available in a six-ounce (170-gram) size. The product should be kept out of direct heat, sunlight, and reach of children. Shaking is often required prior to use.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Sara Schmidt
By Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for The Health Board, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
Discussion Comments
By anon346104 — On Aug 25, 2013

My husband purchased a liniment for his pain made by Martex Group (Premium White Liniment)used for animals. It does not state that it can be used on humans. It also states that it should not be used for horses intended for food. It does relieve the pain better than others.

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
With a Master's Degree in English from Southeast Missouri State University, Sara Schmidt puts her expertise to use by writing for The Health Board, plus various magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She published her own novella and has other literary projects in the works. Sara's diverse background includes teaching children in Spain, tutoring college students, running CPR and first aid classes, and organizing student retreats, reflecting her passion for education and community engagement.
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