Liniments are typically sold to relieve pain and stiffness, such as from sore muscles or from arthritis. These liniments typically are formulated from alcohol, acetone, or similar quickly evaporating solvents, and contain counterirritant aromatic chemical compounds such as methyl salicilate, benzoin resin or capsaicin. Opodeldoc is a sort of liniment invented by the physician Paracelsus. Absorbine Jr is a trade name for a brand of liniment for human use widely sold in the United States. The stronger version, Absorbine, is for horses. Traditional Chinese medicine features a wide variety of different liniments, with applications ranging from topical anaesthetics used in bone setting to simple sore muscles and bruises, such as Dit Da Jow or Ligusticum
Liniments should always be applied according to the manufacturer's directions, and diluted as necessary. Many horse owners apply liniments to the legs as a brace, and then wrap over it. In this case, they should be sure that the liniment is not too strong, or it may cause blistering of the skin.
Liniments may be used on the legs and body, but should not be applied to more sensitive areas such as the head, dock, or groin of the horse. The body may also be too sensitive to apply liniments if the horse was recently body-clipped.