My grandma came to America in 1996, with her sons and daughters. Although she has resided here for 20 years, she still turns to Chinese remedies. This is tiger balm. Some have a red tint while others are transparent. My grandma uses it for everything: headache, stomachache, and just about any other types of pain or ache. It is applied to the skin and provides a cooling sensation. It also has a strong scent that might be unpleasant for those who never experienced it before. I grew up with this; it was the Tylenol of my family. Whenever I had a stomachache, it would miraculously go away when my grandma applied Tiger Balm. Although I initially despised the pungent odor, I eventually grew accustomed to it and somewhat enjoyed it. Today, whenever I see Tiger Balm or smell it, it reminds me of my grandma and how she has held onto Chinese traditions despite efforts of assimilation.
– Lillian Chan