What is White Liniment?

Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

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.

White liniment is a potential treatment for herniated discs.
White liniment is a potential treatment for herniated discs.

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.

White liniment can help treat skin rashes caused by the poison ivy plant.
White liniment can help treat skin rashes caused by the poison ivy plant.

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.

Some elderly people use whiteor cardiovascular problems.
Some elderly people use whiteor cardiovascular problems.

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.

White liniment may help alleviate tennis elbow and other sports injuries.
White liniment may help alleviate tennis elbow and other sports injuries.

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.

Some people still use white liniment for overexertion injuries, but others prefer balm liniment or menthol.
Some people still use white liniment for overexertion injuries, but others prefer balm liniment or menthol.

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.

A slipped or herniated disc may cause spinal pressure.
A slipped or herniated disc may cause spinal pressure.

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.

White liniment should be kept out of reach of children.
White liniment should be kept out of reach of children.

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.

White liniment may be used to treat bug bites.
White liniment may be used to treat bug bites.
White liniment is a cream used to treat sore muscles.
White liniment is a cream used to treat sore muscles.
White liniment may be used by some people to reduce the pain and itching associated with cold sores.
White liniment may be used by some people to reduce the pain and itching associated with cold sores.
Sara Schmidt
Sara Schmidt

A graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, Sara has a Master’s Degree in English, which she puts to use writing for wiseGEEK and several magazines, websites, and nonprofit organizations. She has published her own novella, and has other literary projects currently in progress. Sara’s varied interests have also led her to teach children in Spain, tutor college students, run CPR and first aid classes, and organize student retreats.

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Discussion Comments

anon346104

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.

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