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Similar to a balm, a liniment is a topical preparation that is applied to the skin. Liniments include a medication in their formulation that varies depending on the purpose for which the liniment is being sold.



The viscosity of a liniment is what distinguishes it from a similar ointment or cream, as a liniment is like a lotion in terms of its thickness and viscosity. However, in terms of application, a liniment differs from a lotion in that a liniment is applied with friction and always rubbed into the skin.

One of the most common and popular uses for liniments is to help relieve pain and stiffness often associated with ailments such as sore muscles or arthritis.

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In order to relieve this pain and stiffness, the liniments are made with counterirritant chemicals such as methyl salicilate, benzoin resin, or capsaicin. These chemicals are suspended in a solvent that evaporates quickly, such as alcohol or acetone. Many types of liniments are home-made, such as those herbal liniments discussed in the video below.


Video discussing homemade herbal liniment.


Liniment salves are a very commonly used treatment in traditional Chinese medicine. Those that practice Chinese medicine use liniments to treat a variety of ailments. They are used as topical anesthetics for routine procedures such as setting broken bones to relieving pain associated with bruises and sore muscles.

Liniments can be purchased from drugstores such as CVS, Walgreens, and Rite-Aid, as well as in the drugstore sections of discount stores like Target and Wal-Mart. Liniments can also be purchased online via the links at the top of this page, which are brought to you in association with Amazon.

One specific brand name of popular liniment is ‘Rundles Liniment Salve’ which was once popular, but a similar formula is utlized for the product by the name of ‘Porters Liniment Salve’; this Porter's product is also featured at the Amazon links below.



If you arrived at this site looking for horse liniments, they are featured on the next page. 

rundles liniment salve    liniments