Liniment (or embrocation), from the Latin linere, to anoint, is a medicated topical preparation for application to the skin. Sometimes called balms, liniments are of a similar or lesser viscosity than lotions and are rubbed in to create friction, unlike lotions, ointments or creams. Liniments are typically sold to relieve pain and stiffness, such as from sore muscles or arthritis. These are typically formulated from alcohol, acetone, or similar quickly evaporating solvents and contain counterirritant aromatic chemical compounds such as methyl salicilate, benzoin resin, or capsaicin. Liniments have been around since Antiquity. Opodeldoc is a formulation invented by the Renaissance physician Paracelsus.
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