The Turpentine Tree.

Botanical name: 


Also see: Fir Tree - Red Fir Tree, or Pitch Tree - Larch Tree - Pitch Tree - The Wild Pine Tree - The Turpentine Tree.

A tall tree in the East, where it is native; we have it in gardens, but it never arises to any great height here. The bark is brown and rough: the branches are numerous and stand irregularly; the leaves are each composed of a double row of smaller set on a common rib, with an odd one at the end. These are oval, and of a deep shining green. The flowers are small and purple; they appear in form of clusters of threads before the leaves; the fruit is long, but with a kernel of a resinous taste. The whole shrub has also a resinous smell.

We use no part of the tree but the fine Chio turpentine, the most esteemed of all those balsams, is obtained from it; in the island whence it has its name. It is a pleasant and an excellent medicine; it works by urine, and is an universal balsam. It is good in coughs and all other disorders of the lungs; and it stops the whites, and the weaknesses after venereal complaints.

There are several oilier kinds of turpentine in use in the shops produced from the different trees; the Venice turpentine is from the larch tree; the Strasburg turpentine from the yew-leaved fir; and the common turpentine from the wild pine. They all have been mentioned already, under the names of the several trees which produce them; but this is the finest kind. What is called Cyprus turpentine is obtained from the same tree with the Chio turpentine, the right turpentine tree, but it is coarser and browner, otherwise the same with the Chio.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.