BADGER BALM CHEST RUB
TEST SERIES BY MIKE WILLIAMS
INITIAL REPORT - February 28, 2010
LONG TERM REPORT - June 17, 2010
Milliken, Colorado, United States
5' 9" (1.75 m)
225 lb (102.00 kg)
I was introduced to backpacking as a teenager through scouts in Colorado Springs, Colorado and fell in love with it. I continued to actively backpack through college and took a break to start a career and family. A few years ago we decided as a family to become very active in hiking, backpacking and camping. Currently my wife, son (8 yrs) and I hike and backpack extensively in Colorado and South Dakota as a family. We continually look for the right balance of lightweight, durable, comfortable and safe gear for our family to enhance our outdoor experiences.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: W.S. Badger Company
Also referred to as: Winter Wonder Balm
Manufacturer's Website: www.badgerbalm.com
MSRP: US$ 10.00
Tin Size: 2 oz (56 g)
Other Details: Certified Organic
The Badger Aromatic Chest Rub (henceforth referred to as the rub or balm) comes in a compact tin with a tight fitting lid. The tin includes product information including an ingredients list as well as certifications of the product being organic (identified 5 times on the small tin). One thing that is missing from the packaging is directions on how to use the product, even though the product name "Chest Rub" is self explanatory, there is no mention of the amount to apply or its suggested frequency.
|Courtesy of Badger Balm Website|
The rub itself is a waxy, petroleum jelly like substance that contains natural oils and extracts that are claimed to help support the body's ability to heal itself. The rub has a very unique smell which can be attributed to its strong scented ingredients. In my opinion it smells like furniture polish and is not an appealing aroma. However, it does not have an overpowering or offensive odor that cuts directly through my nasal passages like other medicated chest rubs I have used in the past.
When I initially touched the balm, it felt very oily and slick, but after a short period of rubbing the oily feeling vanished and the only remnants of the rub was the scent. After a brief wash with soap and water the scent remained and only after a second more vigorous wash with hot water did the scent disappear.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
As mentioned previously, the packaging did not include any directions or instructions. At the time of this review the manufacturer's website did give a brief insight into the directed use of the product; "You can use this as a warming chest rub, or put a half a teaspoon full in a humidifier or pot of hot water and breathe in." I have not been able to find anything that states how much or how frequently the product should be applied.
The website has limited guidance on the recommended use of the product however it does identify what the product is intended to do; "to soothe and ease the minor coughs, colds and stuffy noses". It is also important to note that the website points out that this product is not a medicine or a drug but rather a traditional remedy.
The product ingredients (all of which are certified organic) contain:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Castor Oil - a calming emollient pressed from the seeds of the Castor Bean plant.
Golden Yellow Beeswax
Extract of Ginger
Essential Oils of:
- Blue Gum Eucalyptus
- Tea Tree
- Gum Benzoin - a liquid resin extracted from an evergreen tree, this oil has a sweet scent similar to vanilla.
- Ravensara Aromatica - has a piercing menthol aroma; similar to Eucalyptus but slightly softer, and more refined.
TRYING IT OUT
Since I have received the product I have not been sick or felt a cold coming on. I have applied the product, it goes on easily and I don't feel like I have an oil slick on my chest. The aroma of the balm doesn't cut through and open my nasal passages when I smell it, but I can feel that it does get deep into the passages. While the scent is not overpowering I'm not keen on it, however it isn't offensive either and as long as it helps me breathe when I'm congested I don't care what it smells like.
To be honest, I don't want to get sick, but if I do I'm interested to see how the balm works. I'm what my wife calls a baby when I get sick and anything that could help me get back to normal is a good product in my book. In the unfortunate event that I get sick I hope that this product will do as it says it will: Rub it in, Breathe Easy and Breathe Deep.
This concludes my Initial Report. The Long Term Report which will provide more details to my experiences with this product is below.
Product Use and Performance
Unfortunately, during this test phase of the Chest Rub I have not been sick and I was not able to test the product as thoroughly as I would have liked. I did experience a one week period of allergies that made me extremely congested. I normally do not suffer from allergies however, this spring season seemed to be an anomaly and hay fever really knocked me in the keister.
My symptoms were extreme nasal and sinus congestion that included plugged ears. These made it very difficult to breath and I had a hard time sleeping which made me tired and contributed to headaches at work. Given my symptoms I thought that the Badger Balm would be a great product to use to help remedy my ailments, so I began applying the rub on the second night that my symptoms presented themselves.
I applied the rub liberally to my chest and rubbed it in. While the rub was not greasy I certainly felt that something was on my chest and that feeling increased when I put my T-shirt on that I slept in. When I initially applied the chest rub I did not notice the smell or felt that the balm was having any effect, but after 5 minutes or so I began to smell the balm. While I originally felt that the odor of the rub was not welcoming, I was really excited and pleased to smell the rub. At the time, I was not able to smell or taste anything all day and I found the odor to be rather pleasant and refreshing. It is odd that I really enjoyed smelling the balm when I was congested, this feeling was almost a craving while I was congested and I find that even now, when I am not congested that I don't care for the smell of the rub. Additionally, my wife commented that the smell of the rub was not offensive to her and I was allowed to sleep in my own bed, I'm grateful I wasn't sent to the guest room.
Once the rub was applied and the vapors penetrated my congested nasal passages I was hopeful that the congestion would diminish, but I did not see a significant improvement. My sinuses remained congested, they were only slightly better, and I continued to have difficulty breathing at night. The difficulty of breathing at night, combined with a T-shirt that was plastered to my chest made for a very restless night. I did not use the rub during the day, I really didn't want to smell like the rub in my office or sneak off to the bath room to re-apply the balm.
I did continue to use the rub for the next three nights with similar results and more restless nights. At the end of the 4th night of use I decided that sleep was more important than the test results and I took an over the counter antihistamine that worked 45 minutes after my dose. I slept like a baby and felt wonderful the next day.
I really don't know if the Chest Rub was designed for use to remedy hay fever or allergies. I think that they are a bit more complicated than the common cold; heck an allergy is an allergic reaction to an external stimulant and I'm not sure that eucalyptus vapors can do much for that. Given that, I think it would be unfair to say that the product doesn't work because I don't feel I was able to use the balm in the manner for which it was developed.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved.
What I can say is that I did feel some slight effects of the rub. I was pleased with the aroma when I was congested but I feel that the vapors were a little too mild to be impactful for what I was able to use it for. I will always be baffled why I don't like the odor when I'm not congested and that I kind-of crave the vapors when I am. I also liked the fact that my wife did not find the smell offensive, sleeping in my own bed when I'm not at my best really makes a big difference.
At this point I can't say that I would rely on or use the rub if I got congested again, certainly not when combating allergies. I am interested to see what impact the rub would have on the common cold, but I know that antihistamines typically give me proven and effective results, but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't or couldn't use both at the same time.
This concludes my test of the Badger Aromatic Chest Rub. I would like to thank W.S. Badger Company, Inc. and Backpackgeartest.org for the opportunity to try this product.
Read more reviews of Badger Balm gear
Read more gear reviews by Michael Williams