Abies. Abies canadensis.

Botanical name: 

Synonym—Hemlock spruce.

Tannic acid, resin, volatile oil.

Canada pitch, or gum hemlock, is the prepared concrete juice of the Pinus canadensis. The juice exudes from the tree, and is collected by boiling the bark in water, or boiling the hemlock knots, which are rich in resin. It is composed of one or more resins, and a minute quantity of volatile oil. Canada pitch of commerce is in reddish-brown, brittle masses, of a faint odor, and slight taste.

Oil of hemlock is obtained by distilling the branches with water. It is a volatile liquid, having a terebinthinate odor and taste.


Canada Pitch Plaster
Tincture of the fresh hemlock boughs
Tincture of the fresh inner bark.
Specific Medicine Pinus. Dose, from five to sixty minims.

The hemlock spruce produces three medicines; the gum, used in the form of a plaster as a rubifacient in rheumatism and kindred complaints; the volatile oil—oil of hemlock—or a tincture of the fresh boughs, used as a diuretic in diseases of the urinary organs, and wherever a terebinthinate remedy is indicated; and a tincture of the fresh inner bark, an astringent with specific properties, used locally, and internally in catarrh.

Therapy—Gastric irritation and vomiting in cholera morbus, leucorrhea, prolapsus uteri, chronic diarrhea and dysentery, irritation of the urinary organs, croup, rheumatism, eczema asthenic catarrhal conditions, with feeble digestion, and pallid mucous membranes, profuse bronchial secretion.

A tincture from the fresh boughs, or the oil, is a diaphoretic and diuretic, and may be employed internally, and as a medicated vapor bath in rheumatism, pleurisy orchitis from mumps, peritonitis, and all inflammations caused by cold. Internally it may be given in the gastric irritation of cholera mor. bus, and -in irritation of the urinary organs. The oil, full strength, may be applied with advantage to all sprains and bruises and to lumbago, rheumatism. and sciatica, also in herpes, moist eczema, fevers and psoriasis. It is also a good stimulating expectorant in chronic bronchitis and chronic coughs.

A tincture of the fresh inner bark of the hemlock may be employed in obstinate leucorrhea, diluted with two parts of water, being applied to the vagina on cotton, at intervals of several hours to secure a continuous effect.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.