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Terebinthina Canadensis. Br. Canada Turpentine.

"Canada Turpentine is the oleo-resin obtained from Abies balsamea, Mill." Br.

Canada Balsam, Balsam of Fir; Balsamum Canadense; Baume du Canada, Fr. Cod.: Terebenthine du Canada, Fr.; Canadischer Terpentin, G.

The term turpentine is usually applied to certain vegetable juices, liquid or concrete, which consist of resin combined with a peculiar volatile oil, called oil of turpentine. They are generally procured from different species of pine, fir, or larch, though other trees afford products which are known by the same general title, as, for instance, Pistacia Terebinthinus L., which yields the Chian turpentine. Some French writers extend the name of turpentine to other juices consisting of resin and essential oil, without benzoic or cinnamic acid, as copaiba, balm of Gilead, etc. We shall describe particularly, in this place, the turpentines which are either now official or have recently ceased to be so. A brief botanical view of the plants from which they are respectively derived will be in accordance with the plan of this work. It is proper to observe first that the family Coniferae includes about three hundred and fifty species. These may be divided into two sub-orders, as Engler and Pranti suggest—viz., Pinoideae and Taxoideae. Lindley had previously recommended a similar sub-division, but considered each subgroup as deserving of family rank, and gave them the names Pinaceae and Taxaceae, which is commonly followed by the authors of Manuals of Botany. The Pinoideae may be further subdivided into the (A) Abietineae, including Araucaria, Pinus, Cedrus, Larix, Picea, Tsuga, Abies, Sequoia, Taxodium, etc.; and (B) Cupressineae, which include Thuja, Juniperus, etc. The Taxoideae include Ginkgo, Taxus, etc.

The genus Pinus is represented by about seventy species, which are widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere of both continents. The principal centers of distribution of the species of this genus are in the Western United States (twenty-five species), Eastern United States (thirteen species), and the highlands of Mexico. It is one of the most important genera from an economic standpoint. The following species yield valuable timber: P. palustris , P. Strobus, P. echinata, P. Lambertiana, P. ponderosa, P. monticola, P. heterophylla, P. sylvestris, P. Laricio, P. nepalensis, P. Thunbergii, and P. densiflora. Turpentine is obtained chiefly from the Eastern American P. palustris and P. heterophylla; it is also obtained from P. Pinaster and P. halepensis of the Mediterranean basin, and from the Himalayan P. Roxburghii. The edible seeds (Pine Nuts) of several species yield important articles of human food, the best being produced by the nut pines of Western North America, by P. pinea of the Mediterranean, P. Cembra of Europe and Asia, and P. gerardiana of Northwestern India. Pine wool, a coarse fiber manufactured from the leaves of P. Laricio, P. sylvestris, and other European species, is used to stuff mattresses and cushions, and woven with animal wool, is made into hospital and military blankets and into underclothing which are reputed to possess medicinal properties. In the Southern United States carpets are woven from the leaves of P. palustris. The bark of several species contains sufficient tannin to make them valuable for tanning leather.

1.—Pinus palustris Mill. (P. australis Michx. f.).—The names by which the tree is known in in the Southern States are long-leaved pine, yellow pine, Southern pine, hard pine, Virginia pine, and pitch pine; but the first is the most appropriate. The leaves occur three in a group, being from ten to fifteen inches long, subtended at the base by a conspicuous scaly sheath from one to one and a half inches long. The leaves are crowded at the ends of the branches. The cones are terminal, conical, and armed with a short recurved spine.

This pine is a very large indigenous tree, growing in dry, sandy soils, from the southern part of Virginia to the Gulf of Mexico. Its mean elevation is sixty or seventy feet, and the diameter of its trunk about fifteen or eighteen inches for two-thirds of its height. The leaves are about a foot in length, of a brilliant green color, and united in bunches at the ends of the branches. This tree furnishes by far the greater proportion of the turpentine, tar, etc., consumed in or exported from the United States. (See Pix Liquida.)

2.—Pinus Taeda L. This is the loblolly or old field pine of the Southern States. "Leaves in threes, elongated, with elongated sheaths; strobiles oblong-conical, deflexed, shorter than the leaf; spines inflexed."

It is abundant in Virginia, where it occupies the lands exhausted by cultivation. It exceeds eighty feet in height, has a trunk two or three feet in diameter, and expands into a wide spreading top. The leaves are about six inches long, and of a light green color. It yields turpentine in abundance, but the quantity is less than that which flows from the preceding species.

3.—Pinus sylvestris L. Scotch Pine, Norway Pine, Scotch Fir.—Leaves in pairs, rigid; strobiles ovate-conical, of the length of the leaves; scales linear-oblong, the ends much thickened, their exposed parts (apophysis) oblique, rhomboidal, with a transverse ridge and central tubercle.

This tree, when of full size, is eighty feet high, with a trunk four or five feet in diameter. It inhabits Scotland and the northern and mountainous parts of Europe. It yields a considerable proportion of the common European turpentine.

4.—Pinus Pumilio Haenke (P. montana Mill.).—This pine is known in gardens under several names which are given to the forms occurring in the different mountain ranges over which it is spread. Beissner, in his Handbuch der Nadelholzkunde, considers P. Pumilio Haenke, a synonym of P. montana, Mill., whereas in the Index Kewensis the latter is brought under the former. Most authors agree with De Candolle and Beissner in bringing P. Pumilio Haenke, under P. montana Mill. The latter is a small tree, with decumbent or knee-like more or less erect branches, which are covered with a dark colored persistent bark. The leave's occur two in a sheath, each of which is from one to two inches long, straight, or scythe-shaped, with obtuse apex; both sides are dull green and slightly glaucous. The cones are ovoid, about one and a half inches long, with a pyramidal protuberance on each scale on the outer or exposed side. It is found in the sub-alpine regions of Central Europe at elevations between 4000 and 8000 feet; also on the Carpathian Mountains at from 4000 to 5500 feet. From its branches by spontaneous exudation or by cutting off their ends, Hungarian balsam is obtained. A volatile oil is obtained from its leaves (see Oleum Pini Pumilionis).

Pinus Pinaster Solander (P. maritima Poir.), which is found in the southern and maritime parts of Europe, yields much of the turpentine, pitch, and tar consumed in France, and is admitted among the official plants in the French Codex. Pinus Lambertiana of California, produces by exudation a saccharine matter which has been found to contain a peculiar sweet principle called pinite. (C. R. A. S., Sept., 1855.) Pinus Sabiniana Dougl., known as nut-pine or digger-pine (because the nut is largely consumed by the Digger Indians), yields, on being notched, a turpentine whose volatile oil is extensively used in California under the name of abietene. The Pinus rigida, or pitch pine of this country, and probably others besides those mentioned, are sometimes employed in the preparation of tar. Pinus Teocoty Cham. et Schlecht., yields a turpentine known as Mexican or Brea turpentine, which is used in Mexico.

ABIES.—The genus Abies is represented by about twenty-three species, which are distributed in the New World from Labrador and the valley of the Athabasca River to the mountains of North Carolina and from the mountains of Alaska to the highlands of Guatemala, and in the Old World from Siberia and the mountains of Central Europe to Southern Japan, the Himalayas, Asia Minor, and the mountains of Northern Africa. The species of this genus yield soft, perishable woods and balsamic exudations, which are employed in medicine and the arts.

Abies balsamea (L.) Mill. (A. balsamifera Michaux).—"Leaves solitary, flat, emarginate or entire, glaucous beneath, somewhat pectinate, sub-erect above, recurved spreading; cones cylindrical, erect; bracts abbreviate, obovate, conspicuously mucronate, sub-serrulate."

This is the American silver fir, or balm of Gilead tree, inhabiting Canada, Nova Scotia, Maine, and the mountainous regions farther south. It is an elegant tree, seldom rising more than forty feet, with a tapering trunk, and numerous branches, which diminish in length in proportion to their height and form an almost perfect cone. The leaves are six or eight lines long, inserted in rows on the sides and tops of the branches, narrow, flat, rigid, bright green on their upper surface, and of a silvery whiteness beneath. The cones are large, erect, nearly cylindrical, of a purplish color, and covered with a resinous exudation, which gives them a glossy, rich, and beautiful appearance. It is from this tree that the Canada balsam is obtained.

Several other species of Abies are important. The A. Picea Lindl. (Abies pectinata of De Candolle, Pinus picea of Linnaeus), or European silver fir, growing in the mountainous regions of Switzerland, Germany, and Siberia, yields the Strassburg turpentine (Terebenthine d'Alsace or des Vosges), which is much used in some parts of Europe. By the distillation of its cones with water it also affords a variety of oil of turpentine called in France essence de templine. By boiling the young branches of the allied Picea Mariana (Mill.), B. S. P. (Pinus nigra Link.), or blade or bog spruce of this country, and evaporating the decoction, the essence of spruce is prepared. It is a thick, molasses-like liquid, with a bitterish, acidulous, astringent taste, and is used for making spruce beer. (See U. S. D., 19th edition, page 1244.)

Abies Fraseri Lindley.—This species, commonly called double fir, occurs at high elevations in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. The tree is noted for its hardiness, and is used for ornamental purposes. It is also said to have been used to furnish a balsam of fir similar to that obtained from A. balsamea, but the data concerning this are obscure.

Russian White Pitch, "belji var, "Sosnowaja Smold," which probably derived from the Siberian Fir, Abies Pichta Forb. (Picea obovata Ledeb.), contains, according to A. Tschirch, two free resin acids, the amorphous, beljiabiennic acid, C13H20O2, and the crystalline, belpiabietinic acid besides belpiresene, C13H36O and an essential oil. (A. Pharm., Nov., 1902.)

LARIX.—The genus Larix has eight recognized species, which are now widely distributed over the sub-arctic and mountainous regions of the northern hemisphere, ranging from the Arctic Circle to the mountains of Pennsylvania in the New World and to latitude 30° in the Old World. The species produce hard, durable, valuable timber; turpentine, which is sometimes used in medicine; tar; bark rich in tannin; and a peculiar manna-like substance.

Larix decidua Mill. (Larix europaea De Cand.).—"Leaves fascicled, deciduous; cones ovate-oblong; margins of the scales reflexed, lacerated; bracts panduriform." The European larch is a large tree inhabiting the mountains of Siberia, Switzerland, Germany, and the east of France. It yields the Venice turpentine of commerce, and a peculiar sweetish substance called in France Briancon manna, which exudes spontaneously and concretes upon its bark. When the larch forests of Russia take fire, a juice exudes from the trunk during their combustion, which concretes and is called Orenburg gum. It is wholly soluble in water.

Coniferin is a term which has been given to a principle discovered by Hartig in the cambium of several of the Coniferae. The species in which it has been found are Pinus Strobus and P. Cembra, Picea Abies and A. pectinata, and Larix Europaea, and it probably exists in many others. It is obtained by removing the outer bark, scraping the cambium from the surface of the "wood, subjecting this to pressure, boiling the viscid juice to coagulate the albuminous substances, filtering, and evaporating the filtered liquid to one-fifth of its volume. The coniferin is deposited in crystals. The mother-water is very sweet, and contains a saccharine substance closely allied to cane sugar. The crystals are purified by dissolving them in water, decolorizing by animal charcoal, and finally crystallizing from weak alcohol. Coniferin was chemically examined by M. W. Kubel, and later by Tiemann and Haarmann, who proved that it is a glucoside and as crystallized from the juice has the composition C16H22O8 + 2H2O. When treated with dilute acids or ferments it is decomposed as follows: C16H22O8 + H2O = C6H12O6 + C10H12O3. When this latter compound is oxidized (or coniferin itself) by potassium dichromate and sulphuric acid, vanillin is obtained,

C6H3 (OH) /OCH3
\CHO

Vanillin has been thus made commercially, but is now made preferably from the eugenol of oil of cloves or from benzoin.

In Japan, the exudation from the Pinus densiflora Sieb. et Zucc., and that from the Pinus Thunbergii Parl. are used under the respective names of akamatsu and kuromatsu. They are said to contain about 18 per cent. of oil and 81 per cent. of resin. The distilled oil is bright and colorless, having an odor somewhat different from that of the European oil of turpentine. It boils at from 155° to 156° C. (311°-312.8° F.), and has a specific gravity of a little under 0.87. Its index of polarization is from 55° to 61° (dextrogyrate). The resin cannot be distinguished from the European. A turpentine closely resembling the French oil is produced in Burmah from the Pinus Khasya Royler, and Pinus Merkusii Jungh. et De Vries. (See P. J., lvi, 1896, 370.)

Pistacia Terebinthus L. is a small tree of the family Anacardiaceae, with numerous spreading branches, bearing alternate, pinnate leaves, which consist of three or four pairs of ovate-lanceolate, entire, acute, smooth, and shining leaflets, with an odd one at the end. The male and female flowers are dioecious, small, and in branching racemes. It is a native of Barbary and Greece, and flourishes in the islands of Cyprus and Chio, the latter of which has given its name to the Chian turpentine obtained from the tree. A gall produced upon tills plant by the puncture of an insect has been used in Eastern Europe in pectoral affections.

We shall treat of the several varieties of turpentine under distinct heads.

1. White Turpentine.

Terebinthina, N. F. IV; Thus Americanum, Br.; Common Frankincense; Terebenthine de Boston, Fr.; Terebinthina communis; Terebenthine de Bordeaux ou Terebenthine commune, Fr. Cod.; Terebinthina, P.G.; Terpentin, Gemeiner Terpentin, G.; Trementina comune. It,; Trementina de pina,Sp.

"A concrete oleoresin obtained from Pinus palustris Miller, and from other species of Pinus (Fam. Pinaceae)." N. F. IV.

Turpentine, or as it is more frequently called, white turpentine, was deleted from the U. S. VIII and the Br. Pharm., 1914. It was introduced in the N. F. IV as an ingredient in compound rosin cerate, or Deshler's salve, which was official in the U. S. VIII.

This variety of turpentine is derived chiefly from the Pinus Palustris and the P. Taeda. It occurs in the sap wood and is obtained by making incisions through the bark and wood and collecting the exudation in cavities or boxes made lower down on the trunk, from which it is dipped into barrels or other receptacles. It gradually thickens and ultimately acquires a soft solid consistence. White turpentine as found in commerce " occurs in yellowish, opaque masses, lighter internally, sticky and more or less glossy, brittle in the cold. Odor and taste characteristic. It is freely soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform, or glacial acetic acid. Its alcoholic solution is acid to litmus." N. F. The following test is of value in testing the purity of turpentine:

"Dissolve about 1 Gm. of Turpentine, accurately weighed, in 25 mils of alcohol and collect the insoluble residue, if any, on a filter which has been dried at 100° C. (212° F.) and weighed. Then wash the residue and filter with about 25 mils of alcohol and dry at 100° C. (212° F.). The weight of the residue does not exceed 2 per cent. (mechanical impurities)." N. F.

In former times, large quantities were collected in New England, but the turpentine trees of that section have long been entirely exhausted, and our commerce has been until recently almost exclusively supplied from North Carolina and the southeastern parts of Virginia. Latterly attention was turned to the collection of this valuable product of Georgia and Florida, and now an abundant supply is derived from the vast pine forests which occupy the southern portion of our country bordering on the Gulf of Mexico.

During the winter, deep notches or excavations of the capacity of about three pints are made in the trunk of the tree three or four inches from the ground, and for about three feet above these so-called " boxes" the tree is deprived of its bark and some of the wood scraped off. Into these the turpentine or " crude " begins to flow about the middle of March, and continues to flow throughout the warm season, slowly at first, rapidly in the middle of summer, and more slowly again in the autumn, the tree being scraped every eight or ten days to prevent clogging. The liquid is removed from the " boxes " as they fill, and transferred into casks, where, if left, it gradually thickens, and ultimately acquires a soft solid consistence, but most of it is separated at once by distillation into the rosin and the volatile oil of turpentine.

When a tree is boxed, it is weakened and falls easily before the wind. To obviate the former destructive method, Herty has devised "the cup and gutter system." (See Bulletin No. 40, Bureau of Forestry.) By this method a small incision is made through the bark and a strip of galvanized iron is inserted. The turpentine flows along this strip and is caught in an earthenware receptacle much resembling a medium-sized flower pot inserted upon the tree. While this method increases the yield of turpentine, it has not been generally adopted. Large quantities of turpentine are prepared directly from the wood of the trees which have been destroyed by the older or box method of collecting the oleoresin. "Wood" turpentine is not recognized as equivalent to "turpentine" by the Pure Food and Drugs Act, and must be labelled as "Wood Turpentine." The latter has a peculiar odor and is not used in medicine but is widely used in the arts.

White turpentine, as found in commerce, is yellowish white, of a peculiar somewhat aromatic odor, and a warm, pungent, bitterish taste. It is somewhat translucent, and of a consistence varying with the temperature. In the middle of summer it is almost semi-fluid and very adhesive; though brittle in the winter it is often so firm and hard as to be incapable of being made into pills without heat. "In yellowish, opaque masses, brittle in the cold; lighter internally, sticky and more or less glossy; odor and taste terebinthinate. The alcoholic solution of Turpentine has an acid reaction." U. S. VIII.

Exposed to the air it ultimately becomes perfectly hard and dry. In the recent state it affords about 17 per cent. of volatile oil. (See Oleum Terebinthinae.) It is likely to contain small pieces of bark, wood, or other impurity. Tschirch and Koritschoner found the following constituents in white turpentine: palabiennic acid, C13H20O2, 5 per cent.; palabietinic acid, C20H30O2, which is crystalline, 6 to 7 per cent.; α- and β-palabietinolic acids, together 53 to 57 per cent. Both the latter are amorphous and are separated by the differing solubility of their lead salts. All the acids are soluble in sodium hydroxide solution. The portion of the resin insoluble in NaOH solution consists of essential oil, 20 to 22 per cent., and paloresene, 10 per cent., with traces of a bitter principle. The essential oil has a characteristic turpentine-like odor. The sp. gr. is 0.864. (See Oleum Terebinthinae.) It is dextrogyrate, while the resin itself and palabietinic acid are laevogyrate. The authors have furthermore examined Russian white pitch, a product known as "belji var," and probably derived from the Siberian fir. (A. Pharm., Nov., 1902.)

2. Common European Turpentine.

Terebenthine de Bordeaux, Fr. Cod.; Terebenthine commune, Fr.; Gemeiner Terpentin, G.; Trementina comune, It.; Trementina comun, Sp.

This is the Terebinthina vulgaris of the old London Pharmacopoeia. It is furnished by several species of pine, but chiefly by P. sylvestris L. and P. Pinaster Soland. For details as to the varieties of European turpentine and the methods of procuring them, consult A. J. P., 1878, 69, 479; Proc. A. Ph. A., xxiv, 203; P. J., viii, 283; x, 447. From the latter tree it is obtained largely in the maritime districts of the Southwest of France, especially in the department of the Landes, and is exported from Bordeaux. Hence it is called in commerce Bordeaux turpentine. It is procured by making incisions into the trunk, or removing portions of the bark, and receiving the juice which flows out, in small troughs, or in holes dug at the foot of the tree. It is purified by heating, and filtering it through straw, or by exposing it to the sun in a barrel, through holes in the bottom of which the melted turpentine escapes. Thus prepared, it is whitish, turbid, thickish, and separates, upon standing, into two parts, one liquid and transparent, the other of a consistence and appearance like that of thickened honey. As found in European commerce, it often consists wholly of this latter portion. It speedily hardens on exposure in thin layers to the air. The most liquid specimens are completely solidified by the addition of one part of magnesia to thirty-two parts of the turpentine. (J. P. C., xxv, 499.) Tschirch and Bruening (A. Pharm., 1900, ccxxxvii, 630) find this oleoresin to have the following composition: 6 to 7 per cent. of pimarinic acid, C14H22O2; 8 to 10 per cent. of pimaric acid, C20H30O2; 48 to 50 per cent. of alpha- and beta-pimarobic acids, C18H26O2; 5 to 6 per cent. of bordoresin, together with traces of succinic acid. The acid resins are soluble in sodium hydroxide solution, the pimarinic acid being separable from the other two by its property of forming with ammonium carbonate a water-soluble double salt. The volatile oil consists of two fractions, the larger fraction, amounting to about 85 per cent. of the whole, distilling easily. It is scarcely ever given internally, but furnishes large quantities of oil of turpentine and rosin. We do not import it into this country. The substance which the French call galipot, or barras, is that portion of the turpentine which concretes upon the trunk of the tree when wounded, and is removed during the winter. (Thenard.) This, when purified by melting with water and straining, takes the name of yellow or white pitch, or Burgundy pitch. When turpentine, whether the European or the American, has been deprived of its oil by distillation, the resin which remains is called rosin, and sometimes colophony, from the Ionian city of Colophon, where it was formerly prepared. It is the official rosin (resina), and is sometimes called yellow rosin (resina flava). White rosin (resina alba) is prepared by incorporating this, while in fusion, with a certain proportion of water. (See Resina.) Tar (pix liquida) is the product extracted from the wood by slow combustion and chemically altered by heat. Common pitch (pix nigra, or resina nigra) is the solid residue left after the evaporation by boiling of the liquid parts of tar.

3. Canada Turpentine.

Baume du Canada, Fr. Cod.; Canadischer Balsam, Canadischer Terpentin, G.; Trementina del Canada, It.

Terebinthina Canadensis, U. S., Br., is collected in Canada and the State of Maine from the Abies balsamea, by breaking the vesicles which naturally form upon the trunk and branches, and receiving their liquid contents in a bottle. "Pale yellow or greenish-yellow, transparent, viscous. Agreeable terebinthinate odor; taste feebly bitter and acrid. Dries very slowly to a transparent varnish when exposed to the air. Solidifies when mixed with about one-sixth of its weight of heavy magnesia moistened with a little water." Br.

"It is completely soluble in ether, chloroform, or benzene." U. S. VIII.

For a paper on its miscibility in alcohol, by J. E. Morrison, see Proc. A. Ph. A., 1894, 309. By time and exposure it becomes thicker and more yellow, and finally solid. It is usually brought into market in bottles under the name of Canada balsam or balsam of fir. Under the microscope the hard balsam is found to be entirely free from any granular or crystalline structure. In Europe it is sometimes called balm of Gilead, from its supposed resemblance to that celebrated medicine. The term balsam, as at present understood, is improperly applied to it, as it contains no benzoic or cinnamic acid, and is in fact a true turpentine, consisting chiefly of resin and volatile oil. Bonastre obtained from 100 parts of Canada turpentine 18.6 parts of volatile oil, 40.0 of resin easily dissolved by alcohol, 33.4 of sub-resin of difficult solubility in that fluid, 4.0 of caoutchouc similar to sub-resin, and 4.9 of bitter extractive and salts, besides traces of acetic acid. Flückiger found in 100 parts 24 parts of an essential oil, C10H16, with a very small proportion of an oxygenated oil, 60 parts of a resin soluble in boiling alcohol, and 16 parts of a resin soluble only in ether. (Pharmacographia, 2d ed., 614.) Emmerich obtained by fractional distillation of the oil, bornyl or terpinyl acetate, pinene, and a fragrant liquid resembling oil of lemon. (A. J. P., 1895,135. See also a paper by Hunkel, A. J. P., 1895, 9.) The chief distinction between it and Strassburg turpentine, which is sometimes sold for it in commerce, is in the odor.

According to Tschirch, Wiegel and Bruening, Canada turpentine contains about 63 per cent. of acid resins, from 23 to 24 per cent. of volatile oil, and from 11 to 12 per cent. of indifferent resin. The acid portion consists of four acids, of which one—canadinic acid, C19H34O2— obtained by treating the oleoresin with ammonium carbonate, with which it combines; a small amount of crystalline canadolic acid, C19H28O2, and two amorphous isomeric acids—α- and β-canadinolic acids, C19H30O2—which constitute the main portion of the acid resins. The indifferent resin has the formula C21H40O. The greater part of the volatile oil boils between 160° and 167° C. (320° and 332.6° F.). (A. Pharm., 1900, Aug. and Sept., 401, 411 and 487.)

Abies Menziesii Lind. From this a Balsam of Fir of the Pacific Slope, has been obtained; it is a turpentine similar to Canada balsam and is extensively sold under the names Oregon Balsam or Oregon Balsam of Fir. Roberts and Becker (Proc. P. P. A., 1913, p. 328) state that Canada balsam is thicker than Oregon balsam, dries to a solid, transparent film, while Oregon balsam remains sticky, has a lower acid value than Oregon balsam, and solidifies when mixed with 20 per cent. of magnesium oxide, which Oregon balsam does not.

4. Venice Turpentine.

Terebinthina Laricis, N. P. IV; Larch Turpentine; Terebenthine de Venise, Fr. Cod., Terebenthine de Meleze, Fr.; Venetianischer Terpentin, G.; Trementina di Venezia, It.; Trementina de alerce, Trementina de Venecia, Sp.

"A viscid oleoresin obtained from Larix europaea De Candolle (Fam. Pinaceae)." N. F.

"Venice turpentine is a nearly transparent, yellowish or yellowish-green, thick liquid, heavier than water, and having a distinctive odor and a bitter characteristic taste. Completely soluble in alcohol, glacial acetic acid, acetone, or chloroform. Almost entirely soluble in petroleum benzin with the separation of a light flocculent deposit. One part of Venice turpentine dissolves completely and forms a clear solution in 3 parts of 80 per cent. alcohol. It may possess a slight, greenish fluorescence when viewed by reflected light but exhibits no violet or purple fluorescence (rosin oil). Dissolve 5 Gm. of Venice turpentine in 25 mils of alcohol, add a few drops of phenolphthalein T.S. and render the solution slightly alkaline by the addition of a 10 per cent. solution of potassium hydroxide. The resulting solution is clear and transparent and no separation of oily drops occurs (rosin oil). Its acid number is not more than 80 when determined as directed in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia IX." N. F.

This turpentine was named from the circumstance that it was formerly an extensive article of Venetian commerce. It is procured in Switzerland, and in the French province of Dauphiny, from the Larix decidua (L. europoea), which grows abundantly upon the Alps and the Jura Mountains. The peasants bore holes into the trunk about two feet from the ground, and conduct the juice by means of wooden gutters into small tubs placed at a convenient distance. It is afterwards purified by filtration through a leather sieve. Genuine Venice turpentine is a viscid liquid, the consistence of honey, flowing with difficulty, cloudy or imperfectly transparent, yellowish or slightly greenish, of a strong not disagreeable odor, and a warm bitterish, and acrid taste. It does not readily concrete on exposure, is not solidified by one-sixteenth of magnesia, and is entirely soluble in alcohol. (Guibourt, J. P. C., xxv, 500.) H. Beckurts and W. Brueche found the specific gravity at 15° C. (59° F.) from 1.060 to 1.190; acid number from 76 to 101 (Kremel found from 68 to 70.3); ester number from nothing to 6; saponification number from 81 to 101, and the iodine number from 137 to 149. (A. Pharm., 1892, ccxxx, 83.) It yields on an average 15 per cent. of essential oil, of the composition C10H16, which has been found to be nearly pure pinene. The residual resin is soluble in two parts of warm alcohol of 57 per cent., and more copiously in absolute alcohol.

Tschirch and Wiegel investigated the constituents of Larch Turpentine. According to these investigators, this oleoresin contains from 60 to 64 per cent. of acid resins soluble in soda, from 20 to 22 per cent. of volatile oil, and from 14 to 15 per cent. of indifferent resin. The acid resins consist mainly of two isomeric amorphous bodies, α- and β-larinolic acid, C17H26O2, and a smaller quantity of the crystalline laricinolic acid, C20H30O2. The greater portion of the volatile oil boils between 155° and 170° C. (311° and 338° F.); a smaller quantity of higher boiling sesquiterpene commencing to boil at 190° C. (374° F.). The recently distilled oil has the sp. gr. 0.872, and possesses a characteristic turpentine odor. It is soluble in all proportions in alcohol and other solvents. (A. Pharm., 1900, Aug. and Sept., 401, and 411, 487.) What is sold under the name of Venice turpentine, in commerce, is usually quite brown, and is a factitious substance, prepared by dissolving rosin in oil of turpentine. According to G. Fabris the nature of these spurious Venice turpentines can readily be detected by dissolving 5 Gm. of the sample in 20 mils of 95 per cent. alcohol, adding a few drops of phenolphthalein and sufficient of a 10 per cent. solution of potassium hydroxide to render it alkaline. With genuine Venetian turpentine a clear solution is obtained, while the spurious drug yields a turbid solution, from which, on standing, drops of oily resin separate.

5. Chian Turpentine.

Terebenthine de Chio, Fr. Cod.; Cyprischer Terpentin, G.; Trementina Cipria, It.

This variety of turpentine is collected chiefly in the island of Chio, or Scio, from the Pistacia Terebinthus, and it is said that the whole annual product of the island is only about two hundred and twenty-four pounds. During the summer the juice flowing spontaneously, or from incisions in the bark, falls upon smooth stones, or bundles of twigs, placed at the foot of the tree, from which it is procured by boiling and straining. After straining it is again boiled with a little water until all the water is evaporated, when it is finally poured into a vessel of cold water and kneaded. At first it is of a dirty yellow color, but after kneading it becomes quite white. ( P. J., xvi, 385.) The annual product of each tree is very small, and the turpentine, therefore, commands a high price even in the place where it is procured. Very little of it reaches this country. It is said to be frequently adulterated with the other turpentines. It is a thick, tenacious liquid, of a greenish-yellow color, or it occurs as a viscid opaque mass. The odor is peculiar, penetrating, and more agreeable than that of the other substances of the same class. The taste is mild, without bitterness or acrimony. Flückiger found nearly 14 1/2 per cent. of essential oil, which contained a small quantity of an oxygenated oil. It leaves a glutinous residue when treated with strong alcohol. (Guibourt.) Its alcoholic solution does not redden litmus paper. (Martindale.) On exposure, liquid Chian turpentine speedily thickens, and ultimately concretes into a translucent solid, yellowish or yellowish-brown when in small pieces, greenish-brown in mass.

The odor of Chian turpentine is variously described. As the only tests we now have of the purity of the drug are its physical characteristics, and of these the odor is the most important, we give the following description by Wm. Martindale. (P. J., April, 1880.) Chian turpentine " has when fresh a distinctive odor, slightly like the pinaceous turpentines, but much more agreeable and aromatic, according to some* resembling citron and jasmine; but there is always a background smell like that of mastic, which becomes more developed and distinct with age, when it has lost the more volatile portion, the essential oil. According to Pereira, the turpentine-like odor is combined with the odor of fennel, and Guibourt says, when kept in a covered glass vessel the odor is strong and agreeable, analogous to that of fennel or the resin of elemi. It probably loses this rapidly. A specimen, bearing Guibourt's name, in the Ph. Society's Museum, has now no trace of it, but the mastic odor is very persistent. If the fennel odor be very evident in it I should fear the sample was not genuine, as in a statement made in the Lancet the writer says what is sold as Chian turpentine (is either greatly adulterated or a wholly factitious article, manufactured from black resin, Canada balsam, and the essential. oils of fennel and juniper. The taste of genuine Chian turpentine resembles that of mastic; it is agreeable and free from the characteristic bitterness and acridity of the pinaceous turpentines."

Besides the turpentines mentioned, various others are noticed in books on Materia Medica, though not found in commerce in this country. There are the Strassburg turpentine, much used in France, and obtained from the Abies Picea (Abies pectinata of De Candolle), or European silver fir, which grows on the mountains of Switzerland and Germany and bears a close resemblance, as well in its appearance as in its product, to Abies balsamea of Canada; the Russian turpentine, from Pinus sylvestris; the Damara turpentine, which speedily concretes into a very hard rosin, and is derived from Pinus Damaris Lam., the Agathis damara of Richard, growing in the East India islands; the cowrie or cowdie resin, procured by incision from another species of Agathis, A. australis, in New Zealand; and the Dombeya turpentine, a glutinous, milky-looking fluid, of a strong odor and taste, derived from the Araucaria Dombeyi of Richard, also called Dombeya excelsa, which inhabits Chili.

Finnan Turpentine, the oleoresin of Pinus sylvestris, is found by Tschirch and Niederstadt to consist of: 1.5 per cent. silveolic acid, C14H20O2; 58 to 60 per cent. of α-silvinolic acid, C15H26O2, and β-silvinolic acid (C14H24O2); 20 to 21 per cent. of resene; 15 per cent. of volatile oil; and traces of bitter principle and succinic acid. Silveolic acid is crystalline; α- and β-silvinolic acids are both amorphous. The volatile oil has the sp. gr. 0.840 at 15° C. (59° F.), is soluble in all proportions in alcohol, ether, and chloroform, and is neutral when recently distilled, but becomes acid when exposed to the air. (A. Pharm., 1901, ccxxxix, 167.)

Jura Turpentine.—A. Tschirch and E. Bruening have determined the following constituents of the oleoresin of Picea vulgaris. From 2 to 3 per cent. of picea-pimarinic acid, C18H20O2; from 1.5 to 2 per cent. of picea-pimaric acid, C20H30O2; from 48 to 50 per cent. of α- and β-picea-pimarolic acid, C25H44O2; from 32 to 33 per cent. of volatile oil; from 10 to 12 per cent. of resene, C21H36O; and traces of succinic acid, coloring matter and bitter principle. (A. Pharm., 238, Nov. 10, 1900, 616.)

Tschirch and Weigel (A. Pharm., 1900, Aug. and Sept., 401, 411, 487) investigated Strassburg turpentine—the oleoresin of Abies Picea; it contains from 8 to 10 per cent. of an acid resin, abieninic acid, C13H20O2; from 1.5 to 2 per cent. of a crystalline acid resin, abietolic acid, C20H28O2; from 46 to 50 per cent. of two amorphous isomeric acid resins, α- and β-abietinolic acid, C16H24O2; from 12 to 16 per cent. of a neutral resin, abieto-resin; and from 28 to 30 per cent. of volatile oil, together with traces of succinic acid, bitter principle, coloring matter, moisture and impurities. The oil when recently distilled has the sp. gr. 0.860, boiling between 148° and 165° C. (298.4° and 329° F.); the major fraction distils between 162° and 163° C. (323.6° and 325.4° F.). It has a greenish fluorescence and a lemon-like odor. When the oleoresin is distilled with potassium hydroxide a pleasant rose or orange-flower odor is developed, possibly due to the liberation of a fragrant alcohol.

Properties.—The turpentines resemble one another in odor and taste, though distinguished by shades of difference. Liquid at first, they become thick and gradually solid by exposure, in consequence partly of the volatilization, partly of the oxidation of their essential oil. They are rendered more liquid or softened by heat, and at a high temperature take fire, burning with a white flame and much smoke. Water extracts only a minute proportion of their volatile oil. They are almost wholly soluble in alcohol and ether, and readily unite with the fixed oils. They yield by distillation a volatile oil, called oil of turpentine, the composition of which is essentially uniform, it being composed of several terpenes (pinene, dipentene, and sylvestrene) of the formula C10H16, the residue consisting exclusively of rosin. (See Oleum Terebinthinae and Resina.) Both the cones and leaves of Abies Picea yield oils known respectively as pine cone oil and pine needle oil. According to Schimmel's Report for April, 1897, they both contain pinene, limonene, and bornyl acetate. The oil from Pinus sylvestris, known as fir oil, also contains bornyl acetate to the amount of 12 per cent., according to Schimmel's Report for October, 1897, 47. On the other hand, the oil from Larix Europoea, known as larch needle oil, contains 8.1 per cent. of bornyl acetate and 6.14 per cent. of free borneol. (Ibid., 61.)

Schiff affirms that the odor of turpentine is due to the presence of a product of oxidation, probably a camphoric aldehyde, C10H16O2, which, with the odor, may be removed by shaking the turpentine with sodium bisulphite. A non-odorless turpentine may also be obtained by washing with solution of sodium hydroxide and distilling in an atmosphere of carbon dioxide. From the experiments of Faure, of Bordeaux, it appears that some of the liquid turpentines, like copaiba, may be solidified by the addition of magnesia. (Journ. de Chim. Med., 1830, 94.) According to Thierry, the same result is obtained by the addition of one part of calcium hydroxide to thirty-two parts of common European turpentine. (J. P. C., 3e ser., i, 315.) Crouzel (P. J., 1892, 11) found tannin in the bark of P. Pinaster, associated with a peculiar reddish-yellow coloring matter, representing tannin in the process of formation.

Ed. Hirschsohn made experiments with the object of determining a reliable method for distinguishing artificial turpentine from the common, natural turpentine and larch turpentine, this becomes possible by the difference in the solvent effect of official ammonia water and alcohol, sp. gr. 0.863 at 15.6° C. (60° F.), upon them, under the conditions indicated in the following table:

Kind of Turpentine Ammonia Solution (sp. gr. 0.960), 1 p. turpentine and 5 p. ammonia solution. Alcohol (sp. gr. 0.863), 1 p. turpentine and 3 p. alcohol.
Venice turpentine Is not disintegrated; produces a milky fluid in the water-bath. Yields a nearly clear solution.
Common turpentine Easily disintegrated, forming a milky mixture, then gelatinous; becomes clear in the water-bath. Large quantities are deposited, but the mixture becomes clear in the water-bath.
Artificial turpentine Is disintegrated, becomes clear in the water-bath for a moment, then turbid. Turbid solution and precipitation; turbid in the water-bath with precipitation.

A mixture of common turpentine with larch (Venice) turpentine is recognized by the turbidity of, and precipitate from, the solution of 1 Gm. of the sample in 3 Gm. of alcohol sp. gr. 0.863. The same occurs if the common is replaced by artificial turpentine, but the latter is differentiated by ammonia, from the fact that in the presence of 20 to 30 per cent. of common turpentine the sample is easily disintegrated, and the solution becomes clear in the water bath, while in the presence of artificial turpentine the behavior is the same as with the pure Venice turpentine. (Ph. Centralh., Nov. 26, 1903, 825 to 828.)

Uses.—The physiological activities of turpentines depend upon their volatile oils. They are so inconvenient of administration, and so variable in their activity that at present they are very rarely, if ever, used internally by regular practitioners of medicine. For an account of their physiological and therapeutic properties, see Oleum Terebinthinae. If given at all they should be administered in emulsion. Chian turpentine has been recommended as a specific in cancer, given in emulsion in doses of five grains (0.32 Gm.), increased pro re nata, and also applied locally. It is probably without value. Turpentine vapor baths have been found useful in the treatment of chronic rheumatism; they may be given by simply evaporating oil of turpentine in the ordinary cabinet or other vapor bath, or by driving the vapor through the fine branches and leaves of a terebinthinate plant. They probably differ in their action from the simple hot vapor bath by the stimulation of the skin due to the local action of the turpentine, and by the copious sweating which they produce. The bath should always be so arranged that the terebinthinate vapor is not inhaled by the patient.

Dose, twenty to thirty grains (1.3-2.0 Gm.).


The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.



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