Boroline, the Bengali Miracle Cream

The Indian antiseptic ointment has outlasted the British, Partition, and copycats. Its formula for winning isn’t what you think.

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Boroline (Snigdha Sur for The Juggernaut)

Ayesha Le Breton


April 16, 2024


10 min

For Delhi-based Mimansa Shekhar, 38, Boroline has been a household staple for as long as she can remember. She tweeted, “In a world full of Cetaphil, be someone’s Boroline! Who all still uses it?” More than 500 netizens flocked to the comments, sharing their adoration and nostalgia for the product. One user proclaimed, “I relate to this on a spiritual level,” while another said, “My grandma and mom used this and now I do.” 

“The first thought that came to me was, ‘Oh wow, I’m not the only customer,’” Shekhar told The Juggernaut. “I thought I’m obsolete, I’m old school. But no, people still use it. I was so glad.”

Boroline purportedly heals everything from chapped lips to stitches and skin infections. Most Bengalis couldn’t tell you why they turn to it for every occasion or why there’s always a tube in their household. Born out of Bengal’s Swadeshi movement against the British, Boroline has remained popular for nearly 100 years. But this isn’t your typical success story.

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