In the West, people usually use talc and some medical substances, but in Thailand, the fighters use a very specific oily liquid that has many functions, but can come off as odd to someone not acquainted with it. This is why we have decided to analyse the Muay Thai Oil for you.
Muay Thai liniment oil is used to reduce the pain from muscle soreness, and to regenerate from injuries faster. It also reduces the risk of skin injuries, swelling, and it helps to warm the muscles before training and fighting.
In this article, we will go through all the aspects of Muay Thai liniment oil. What exactly it is and what is it made of, from where does it originate, safety issues you need to know, and lastly, where you can buy the oil for yourself.
What Is Muay Thai Liniment Oil?
Muay Thai liniment oil – also known as simply Muay Thai Oil, or Thai oil or, in Thai, Namman Muay – is an oily liquid used primarily by Muay Thai fighters, but its usage has spread to other sports (e.g. cycling, football, other combat sports and martial arts), but also to sports enthusiasts and gym goers. Muay Thai oil is very helpful – so they say – as it has several medical benefits.
It helps alleviate the pain from training and fighting (especially sore muscles), it helps the regeneration of injuries, but it also reduces the risk of skin injuries, it helps to warm the muscles during stretching and can reduce swelling if it appears. Interestingly enough, it can also – supposedly – clear nasal congestion.
The thing with Muay Thai oil is that most of its benefits are just hear-say. People who’ve come into contact with it always confirm its benefits, but there is no precise scientific proof. The ingredients (see below) should work like described above, but no one ever made a precise scientific study to confirm or deny its effects.
How Old is Muay Thai Oil?
Muay Thai oil is relatively young. The oil was initially made exclusively in Thailand, by one of their apothecary franchises, and has been on the market since 1960.
Initially, it was made as a supplement to help fighters warm up before matches, but its usage has increased as the decades passed. Also, a lot of international companies today make their own brands or derivations of Muay Thai oil.
What Is Muay Thai Oil Made of?
One source states that it’s main ingredient is a North American plant called American wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), which was used by Indians to treat respiratory infections and generally has some health benefits.
The big question here is – how did the Thai people ever think of applying this plant, since it grows only in North America? They could’ve travelled – certainly – but it first appeared during the 60s, during the Cold War and a general period of post-colonial unrest in Indochina, so it is very suspicious.
But who knows, maybe someone from North America brought it to Thailand? We’ll probably never know.
Other source states that its main ingredients are menthol, eucalyptus, methyl silicate and alcohol, with some other less important additions. This sounds about right, since these are all known and available ingredients whose effects have been studied and are well known.
You will find this information on the declaration of a Muay Thai oil bottle. Can you trust it? We have no clue. We know people use it, we know that people don’t usually die or get sick from it, but we cannot be sure that the declaration on the bottle is correct.
Plus, the recipe has changed over the years and people say that the oil has been improved over the years, which means that you can never be 100% sure about its contents.
What Does Muay Thai Oil Smell Like?
The oil has a very strong odour. If you ever come to a gym or stadium, you’ll immediately smell the strong fragrance. If you’re used to it, you won’t pay much attention, but for those who are not used to it, it might be quite unpleasant.
The smell is said to be very exotic, a strange combination of strong menthol with just a touch of eucalyptus. Most of you will know the fragrance as it is somewhat similar to pain alleviators available in the West, but this is a more natural odour and is probably quite stronger. The good thing is that you’ll probably get used to it very quickly.
Is Muay Thai Oil Safe?
As stated, we don’t know for sure. We’ve used, but haven’t tested it on large basis. There have been no media reports on the dangers of using Muay Thai oil and we do know that people use it. The bottle itself has a general declaration that you should consult a physician before you use it, but that’s about it.
Certainly, if you know you’re allergic to some of the presumed ingredients, you should avoid using it, but that’s a valid warning for any drug or medication, not just this.
We’ve stated that no one actually tested this oil. There have been no scientific evaluations, no drug trials and no clinical trials, so most of it is just hear-say. It’s also not approved by any Western drug agency, which mean that you cannot buy it there.
To conclude, Muay Thai oil is probably not that dangerous, as people wouldn’t continue using it after more than half a century. Still, we cannot clearly state that it’s completely safe, which is why we advise you to inform yourself well before you decide to buy it and use it.
Where Can You Buy Muay Thai Oil?
Because it’s not approved by Western drug agencies, you cannot get your hands on it that easily. In Thailand, on the other hand, it is available and if you’re travelling there and are interested in buying it, you won’t have any issues.
You can also purchase it online, as retailers offer the product via sites such as Amazon and eBay. It’s not that expensive – around $5 or $10 – but be sure to use it over two or three months, as it loses its effectiveness with time and when exposed to air.
Here is the most commonly used one. As it is really cheap, we recommend giving it a try.
And that’s it for now. Keep checking to see our new content and more on the topic of martial arts.