Turpentine, Pitch, Tar, etc.

A Turpentine is an oleo-resinous exudation, liquid or concrete,—consisting of a Resin combined with a particular Oil, named Oil of Turpentine, (C10H16),—and generally procured from various species of the nat. ord. Coniferae, (cone-bearers). Two Turpentines are official, viz.—

Terebinthina, Turpentine,—a concrete oleo-resin obtained from Pinus australis, the "yellow pine," and from other species of Pinus (nat. ord. Coniferae). Tough, yellow masses, of terebinthinate odor and taste. Dose, as a stimulant, antispasmodic or diuretic, gr. v-xxx;—as an anthelmintic, ʒij-iv.

Terebinthina Canadensis, Canada Turpentine, Balsam of Fir,—is a liquid oleoresin, obtained from Abies balsamea, the "silver fir" or "balm of Gilead," (nat. ord. Coniferae). A viscid, yellowish liquid, on exposure drying into a transparent mass, completely soluble in ether, chloroform or benzol. Dose, gr. x-xxx.

Unofficial Turpentines.
*Chian Turpentine,—from the Pistaceae Terebinthus, a small larch, growing in Chio and Cyprus. Dose, gr. iij-v.
*Venice Turpentine,—from the Larix Europaea, or European larch, procured as a viscid liquid in Switzerland. Is not the "Venice Turpentine" of commerce, which usually consists of resin dissolved in oil of turpentine.
*Thus Americanum, Common Frankincense, (B. P.),—the concrete turpentine which is scraped off the trunks of Pinus Australis and Pinus Taeda, Southern States of N. America. An ingredient of the Emplastrum Picis of the B. P.

Preparations of Turpentine.

Oleum Terebinthinae, Oil of Turpentine,—commonly called "Spirits of Turpentine." Is soluble in 3 volumes of alcohol, and takes fire when in contact with a mixture of nitric and sulphuric acids. It is a mixture of several hydrocarbons, each having the same formula as itself, viz.—C10H16.
Oleum Terebinthinae Rectificatum, Rectified Oil of Turpentine,—is the preparation which should be dispensed for internal use. Dose, as a stimulant or diuretic, ♏︎v-xv, in emulsion, 3 to 6 times daily; as a cathartic or anthelmintic, ℥ss or more, combined with other cathartics. A little glycerin and Oil of Gaultheria will disguise the taste.
Linimentum Terebinthinae, Turpentine Liniment,—has 35 of the oil with 65 of Resin Cerate.
Oleum Pini Sylvestris, Oil of Scotch Fir, (B. P.),—a colorless liquid obtained by distilling the fresh leaves of Pinus sylvestris (nat. ord. Coniferae). Used externally, and by inhalation.

Derivatives of Turpentine.

Resina, Resin, Colophony,—is the residue left after distilling off the volatile oil from turpentine; the portion of turpentine which is fixed by oxidation consisting in greater part of Abietic anhydride, (C44H62O4)

Ceratum Resinae, Resin Cerate, Basilicon Ointment.
Emplastrum Resinae, Resin Plaster, Adhesive Plaster.

Terebenum, Terebene, C10H16,—is a hydrocarbon obtained by the oxidation of oil of turpentine by means of sulphuric acid. A colorless liquid, of hot taste, soluble in alcohol. Dose, ♏︎v-xx on sugar, or suspended in ℥ss of water by the aid of gr. xx of light carbonate of magnesium.

Terpini Hydras, Terpin Hydrate,—is the hydrate of the diatomic alcohol Terpin (Terebinthene), obtained by distilling oil of turpentine with an alkali. Dose, gr. v-x.

Analogues of Turpentine.

Juniperus, Juniper,—the fruit of Juniperus communis, a shrub of the nat. ord. Coniferae. (See ante, page 213).

Sabina, Savine,—the tops of Juniperus Sabina, a shrub of the nat. ord. Coniferae, resembling Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana), but of smaller size and having larger fruit. Dose, gr. v-x.

Extractum Sabinae Fluidum,—Dose, ♏︎v-xv.
Oleum Sabinae, Oil of Savine,—C10H16,—isomeric with oil of turpentine, Dose, ♏︎j-v.

Thuja, Arbor Vitae,—the fresh tops of Thuja occidentalis, or Arbor Vitae, a tree of the nat. ord. Coniferae. Contains a volatile oil, which is given in doses of ♏︎j-v. A saturated tincture may be used in drachm-doses.

*Oleum Succini, Oil of Amber,—a volatile oil obtained by the destructive distillation of Amber (Succinum), which is a fossil resin, occurring in alluvial deposits in Bohemia, etc., and thought to be the exudation of Pinites succinifer, an extinct coniferous tree. Dose, gtt. v-x.

Pix, Pitch,—is a resinous exudation from the stem of certain trees of the genera Pinus (Pine) and Abies (Fir and Spruce);—and may also be obtained by the evaporation of wood-tar. [See Pix Liquida below]. The two following varieties are official, viz.:—

Pix Burgundica, Burgundy Pitch,—the prepared, resinous exudation of Abies excelsa, Norway spruce, nat. ord. Coniferae. Hard, brittle, opaque masses, very fusible, readily soluble in glacial acetic acid. Used for plasters. Is composed of an amorphous Resin, mixed with Oil of Turpentine, and other isomeric oils, and Abietic Acid.

Pix Liquida, Tar,—is an empyreumatic oleoresin, (a "bituminous liquid," B. P.), obtained by the destructive distillation of the wood of Pinus palustris, and of other species of Pinus, (nat. ord. Coniferae). A thick, viscid, semi-fluid, of brownish-black color, acid reaction, slightly soluble in water, soluble in oils, alcohol, and in solution of potassa or soda. It consists of Pyroligneous Acid, methyl alcohol, acetic acid, Creosote, toluene, xylene, and other hydro-carbons; also oily bodies, especially the Oil of Tar;—and Pyrocatechin, a crystalline principle, which gives it its granular appearance. Dose, gr. x, several times daily, up to ʒij in the 24 hours.

*Pix Canadensis, Canada or Hemlock Pitch,—the prepared, resinous exudation of Abies Canadensis, the hemlock spruce of the U. S. and Canada, nat. ord. Coniferae. It is somewhat softer than the preceding. [For Extract of Pinus Canadensis, see page 89.]

Preparations of Tar and Pitch.

Oleum Picis Liquidae, Oil of Tar,—a volatile oil distilled from tar, and containing a great variety of compounds, including hydrocarbons, phenols, paraffin, etc., among the phenols being Creosote and Carbolic Acid. Is used locally and as an atomized inhalation.
Syrupus Picis Liquidae, Syrup of Tar,—strength 7 ½ per cent. of Tar. Dose, ʒj-iv. Is merely a sweetened tar-water.
Unguentum Picis Liquidae, Tar Ointment,—has 50 per cent. of Tar.
Emplastrum Picis Burgundicae,—has 80 p. c. of Burgundy Pitch.
Emplastrum Picis Cantharidatum, Cantharidal Pitch Plaster, Warming Plaster,—has of Cerate of Cantharides 8, Burgundy Pitch to 100.

Physiological Action. The agents enumerated in the foregoing list belong to the nat. ord. Coniferae, (cone-bearing), and resemble each other very closely in their general actions. The Turpentines are all diuretic, stimulant, antispasmodic, rubefacient, hemostatic and anthelmintic; in large doses irritant, producing gastro-enteritis and ulceration of the intestinal mucous membrane; and in toxic dose they are paralyzant to the nerve-centres in the cerebrum, cord and medulla. Externally applied they are rubefacient, and highly antiseptic. Their virtues are wholly due to their volatile oil, the Oil of Turpentine, which is extremely active. Its vapor inhaled causes nasal and bronchial irritation, headache, and perhaps bloody urine and strangury, sneezing, a tight sensation about the eyes and dyspnoea. In small doses internally, it stimulates the vaso-motor centres, causing a rise of arterial tension;—but larger doses paralyze the same and lower the blood-pressure accordingly; affecting the nerve-centres in the cerebrum, spinal cord and medulla, in the order stated, causing diminution of voluntary movement, then lowered reflex action,—and lastly slowed respiration. It is excreted by the various channels of elimination, especially by the kidneys and the lungs, which are stimulated to increased action by small doses; but after large ones the kidneys suffer particularly, the urine being suppressed, pain in the lumbar region, burning in the urethra, hematuria and strangury.

Tar resembles the turpentines in its action, and as it contains both Creosote and Carbolic Acid, it has some qualities which are referable thereto. Pitch is a cutaneous stimulant. Thuja and Savine are irritant and may produce abortion, their oils being frequently used for that purpose. Savine is supposed to congest the pelvic viscera in women. Juniper is a stimulant diuretic of considerable activity in disease, but does not seem to increase the flow of urine in health. Its oil acts similarly to turpentine, but is more efficient upon the kidneys.

Therapeutics. The external uses of these agents will be considered under the title Rubefacients further on. Internally, they have many applications; but, on account of their great activity as internal remedies, they are not very manageable, and hence are not popular medicines. In—

Hemorrhages from the mucous Membranes, as that of the intestines in typhoid fever,—Oil of Turpentine is a very efficient hemostatic, in doses of ♏︎x-ʒj every hour or two, and the action carefully watched.
Phosphorus Poisoning,—the oldest Oil of Turpentine, (containing ozone), is an efficient antidote, preventing the formation of phosphoric acid, and converting the phosphorus into an insoluble substance resembling spermaceti. The new oil is useless.
Hysterical Affections,—Turpentine is an efficient antispasmodic, especially when used in combination with Ether (1 part to 3).
Tape-worm,—Oil of Turpentine is an efficient taeniafuge, if given in large doses (℥j-ij), with Castor Oil to insure its rapid passage through the intestinal canal, in order that it may not be absorbed.
Septic Fevers, as puerperal, erysipelas, etc., also in yellow fever, and pneumonia,—Oil of Turpentine is a valuable stimulant to the cardiac and vasomotor centres.
Pulmonary Affections, such as bronchitis, acute and chronic; laryngitis, emphysema, phthisis with tendency to hemorrhage, etc.,—Turpentine, Terpin, Terebene, and Tar, are very useful agents, being employed by inhalation as well as internally, as stimulating expectorants and antiseptics.
Dropsy,—Juniper as a diuretic, cautiously when kidneys are diseased, and generally combined with other diuretics.
Papillomata in general are specifically controlled by Thuja, especially warts having a narrow base and a pendulous body; a strong tincture being applied locally, and used internally, in five-drop doses twice daily, at the same time.

A Compend of Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and Prescription Writing, 1902, by Sam'l O. L. Potter, M.D., M.R.C.P.L.