This section is from the “A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics” book, by Roberts Bartholow. Also available from Amazon: A Practical Treatise On Materia Medica And Therapeutics
Flatulence may be quickly relieved by a few drops (three to five) of turpentine, on a lump of sugar. This remedy is especially indicated in flatulence persisting from a paretic state of the muscular layer of the bowel. There is abundant evidence to prove the curative power of oil of turpentine in chronic intestinal catarrh. It is especially indicated when the tongue is dry and glazed, when there is tympanitic distention of the bowels, and when the alvine discharges consist either of fluid faeces or scybala, mixed with mucus and pale, watery blood. It is best administered in an emulsion, with almond- oil and opium, Rx O1. terebinthini, 3 j; ol. amygdal. express., oz ss; tinct. opii, 3 ij ; mucil. acaeiae, 3 v; aquae laur.-cerasi, oz ss. M. Sig.: A teaspoonful every three, four, or six hours. The same remedy, in a similar combination, is very effective in acute dysentery after the subsidence of the more acute symptoms. The following is probably the true explanation of its action in these cases: it gives tonicity to the vessels, and to the muscular fiber of the intestines; arrests the putrefactive and fermentative processes which take place in the vitiated mucus and articles of food, and increases the cutaneous capillary circulation, thus relieving congestion of internal organs.
Stimulating enemata are made of turpentine, mucilage, oils, etc. These are especially indicated in constipation, and in impaction of the rectum. Rx O1. terebinthini, 3 ij— oz j; ol. ricini, oz ij; vitell. ovi unius; decoct, hordei, oz viij—Oj. M. Sig.: As an enema. Such injections are frequently used in tympanitic distention of the large intestine, in flatulent colic, in impaction of the caecum, etc.
A combination of equal parts of turpentine and ether constitutes the well-known remedy of Durand for the solution and cure of biliary calculi. Notwithstanding the unquestionable utility of this remedy, we can not admit with Durand that its efficacy depends on its solvent power (Trousseau). During the attack of biliary colic this remedy may be administered with a view to its anodyne and antispasmodic effect; but, as Köhler states, it is by no means equal to morphine and chloral hydrate. In the after-treatment, clinical experience is in favor of the occasional administration of Durand’s remedy during a course of Vichy or Carlsbad water.
Turpentine is one of the most effective remedies which we possess in the treatment of taeniae. Full doses ( 3 ss— 3 ij) are required, and the rules for preliminary treatment already laid down (see Anthelmintics) should be adhered to. Turpentine should be combined with a purgative, in order to insure prompt cathartic effect. If absorption of any considerable part of the turpentine takes place, violent intoxication will follow, and irritation of the kidneys, haematuria, and strangury, will be produced in the efforts at elimination. The oleo-resin of filix mas may be combined with turpentine. Rx O1. terebinthinae, 3 j; oleo-resinse filicis, 3 j; vitell. ovi no. ij; ol. ricini, oz j. M. Sig.: A draught. This is an effective, but by no means an agreeable, mixture. An ounce each of turpentine and castor-oil may be administered, as the cathartic, after the use of the decoction of pomegranate.
Turpentine being a cardiac stimulant, and an excitant of the capillary circulation, is contraindicated in hypertrophy of the heart, and when advanced atheroma of the cerebral arteries may be presumed to exist. It is a serviceable cardiac stimulant when the action of the heart is weak, and the arterial tension low. In the passive haemorrhages we possess few agents more generally useful. The indications for its use are a condition of debility, relaxation of the vessels, and an impoverished condition of the blood. Transudations on the free mucous surfaces—epistaxis, bronchial haemorrhage, haematemesis, intestinal haemorrhages, hematuria—when associated with the state of constitutional depression defined above, are forms of haemorrhage in which turpentine should be used. Rx O1. terebinthinae, 3 iij; ext. digitalis fl., 3 j; mucil. acaciae, oz ss; aquae menthae pip., oz j. M. Sig.: A tea-spoonful every three hours. The hemorrhagic transudations which take place in purpura, in scorbutus, and allied states, are also arrested by turpentine. It need hardly be stated that active haemorrhage and a condition of plethora contraindicate the use of turpentine.
As a stimulant to the vaso-motor nervous system, turpentine is indicated in fevers when the action of the heart is feeble, the arterial tension low, and the peripheral circulation languid. Ten drops in an emulsion is a suitable form, and every two hours is a proper interval for its administration in this condition of things. According to G. B. Wood, a dry tongue, peeling off in flakes, leaving a glazed surface beneath, is a special indication for the use of turpentine in fevers. The intestinal haemorrhage of typhoid may be restrained by turpentine.
Clinical experience is in favor of the use of turpentine in puerperal fever and in yellow fever. The indications for its employment in these maladies are just the same as those mentioned above in typhoid. Cardiac weakness, depression of the vaso-motor nervous system, a dissolved state of the blood, are the conditions requiring turpentine. Tympanitic distention of the abdomen is an additional indication in puerperal fever. Similarly, turpentine is used in epidemic dysentery, traumatic erysipelas, hospital gangrene, etc. In these various states, employed with a well-defined conception of its real powers, this remedy is more generally serviceable as a stimulant than alcohol. As respects the dosage, in febrile diseases, a rule may be formulated as follows: for the intestinal complications, small doses frequently repeated (ten drops) ; as a stimulant to the vaso-motor nervous system, larger doses (τη x— 3 ss) at somewhat longer intervals.
In the article on “Phosphorus” attention has been called to the utility of turpentine in poisoning by this substance.
The physiological effects of turpentine indicate its utility in certain disorders of the nervous system. As an enema, turpentine has been used for its derivative effect in insolation or sunstroke (Levick, Wood), and in cerebrospinal meningitis (Hirsch). So accurate an authority as Topinard maintains the utility of this remedy in the cystic complications of posterior spinal sclerosis. Turpentine has long been used successfully in epilepsy, but in those cases only in which the seizures were due to the reflex impression of intestinal parasites (taeniae). Tic-doidoureux and sciatica, when rheumatic in origin, or when produced by fecal accumulations, have been cured by the vigorous use of turpentine, but we have now other means of treatment more generally useful and less disagreeable.
As turpentine is largely eliminated by the bronchial and renal mucous membrane, decided effects are produced at these points. In diffusing outward, a change in the tonicity of the vessels, and in the character of the secretions, must necessarily be produced. Clinical experience confirms the deductions of theory. In chronic bronchitis, with profuse expectoration (bronchorrhcea), especially when the expectorated matters have a fetid odor, turpentine is an excellent remedy (Oppolzer). In gangrene of the lung, although it is not curative, it acts beneficially in diminishing the fetor. In pneumonia and capillary bronchitis, when the vital powers are depressed and the peripheral circulation is feeble, turpentine is one of the best stimulants which we can employ. The depression which occurs during the period of crisis in pneumonia, and the condition of purulent infiltration, especially indicate the use of this remedy. In the so-called humid asthma, and in emphysema with profuse bronchial catarrh, good results are obtained by the use of turpentine. In these various pulmonary maladies, the action of turpentine is largely local, as already explained, but it should not be forgotten that the powerful stimulation of the cutaneous circulation which it causes must contribute no small share of the curative action.
In hydro-nephrosis and pyo-nephrosis turpentine is used as in bronchial catarrh, viz., to alter by actual contact the relaxed condition of the vessels, and the pathological secretions of the mucous membrane. It is, of course, contraindicated during the existence of acute symptoms. Chronic catarrh of the bladder is not infrequently much improved by the use of this agent. It is most serviceable in those cases resulting from a transference of urethral inflammation, or due to prostatic disease. Incontinence of urine, the result of atony of the muscular layer of the bladder, is sometimes removed by small doses of turpentine. Chronic gonorrhoea, gleet, spermatorrhoea, and prostorrhoea, when the discharges peculiar to these maladies are due to a relaxed condition of the affected parts, are not infrequently remarkably benefited by moderate doses of turpentine.
External Uses of Turpentine
The author long ago pointed out the fact that turpentine is one of the most efficient applications in hospital gangrene. The mortified parts are first removed with the scissors, and the remedy is then applied directly to the affected surface, by means of a piece of cotton cloth saturated with it. Fetor is removed and sloughing is arrested, and but little pain attends the application.
Turpentine-stupes are much employed as a local and external means of treating internal inflammations. A piece of spongio-piline, or of flannel, large enough to cover the affected part, is first moistened with hot water, and then a few drops of turpentine (five to ten drops only) are sprinkled on it. As very severe smarting, inflammation, and vesication of the skin may occur from the application, and be experienced, indeed, some time subsequently to the removal of the stupe, care must be used not to continue it too long.
Liniment of turpentine is a convenient counter-irritant in cases of myalgia, superficial neuralgia, lumbago, etc. An excellent counter-irritant application is made by mixing equal parts of oil of turpentine, acetic acid, and liniment of camphor (Stillé). The most successful treatment of severe burns is by the plan of Kentish, which consists in first washing the injured surface with turpentine, and then applying an ointment made by mixing basilicon-ointment with turpentine. Erysipelas has been treated by the same measures by Meigs, and the same applications are generally in use in chilblains.
Inhalations of turpentine-vapor, or atomized turpentine, is an efficient means of local treatment in chronic laryngeal and bronchial affections. As a matter of curious therapeutics, it may be mentioned that gonorrhoea has been successfully treated by having the patient inhale the vapor of turpentine in an apartment filled with it.
Rectified Oil of Turpentine, Rectified Turpentine Oil.
OLEUM TEREBINTHINAE.—-Related entries: Pix liquida – Resina—Oil of Turpentine, Spirit of Turpentine, Turpentine Oil. A volatile oil distilled with water from the concrete oleoresin derived from Pinus palustris, Miller, and other species of Pinus. (Nat. Ord. Pinaceae.) United States and Europe.—Description.—A thin colorless liquid having a characteristic taste and odor, becoming more intense with age and by exposure. Soluble in alcohol and glacial acetic acid. It readily dissolves resins, wax, sulphur, iodine, and phosphorus.—Principal Constituents.—A mixture of several terpenes each having the formula C10H16. Among them are pinene, phellandrene, camphene, dipentene, and limonene; some sesquiterpenes. and the fragrant ester bornyl acetate (borneol). American oil of turpentine contains principally dextro-pinene (australene), while French oil of turpentine is chiefly laevo-pinene (terebentene). Oil of turpentine emulsifies with mucilage 2 parts and water 16 parts, by thorough trituration.–Preparation.—Linimentum Terebinthinae, Turpentine Liniment. Prepared by melting and mixing together 350 parts of oil of turpentine and 650 parts of rosin cerate.—-Internal. This preparation should not be used internally; only when rectified is it fit for internal medication. (See Oleum Terebinthinae Rectificatum.)—But can be with out any concern if diluted and used intelligently ( personal note-based on other research there is little concern unless you have a weakened kidney condition –even then when diluted can be used)
OLEUM TEREBINTHINAE RECTIFICATUM.
Rectified Oil of Turpentine, Rectified Turpentine Oil.
Description.—A thin colorless liquid corresponding to the properties described under Oleum Terebinthinae, which see. Dose, 1 to 20 drops. ( Usual dose, 5 drops.)–Preparation.—Emulsum Olei Terebinthinae, Emulsion of Oil of Turpentine. Dose, 1/2 to 2 fluid drachms.–Specific Indications.—Internal. Dry, deep red, glazed and cracked tongue, with sordes, muttering delirium, rapid feeble pulse, repressed secretions, tympanites and hemorrhage; relaxed and enfeebled mucosa with excessive catarrhal discharges.
External. Pain and meteorism.
Action and Toxicology.—Oil of turpentine is rapidly absorbed by the skin, which it irritates and reddens, and if long in contact, may produce vesication or ulceration[F1]. These untoward effects are more apt to occur if the oil be applied hot or with friction. Applied to the skin it imparts warmth and dilates the peripheral vessels. Upon the mucous tissues its warmth is more intense and may amount to smarting pain and produce congestion. Swallowed it imparts the same glowing warmth from mouth to stomach, excites secretion, checks flatulence, induces peristalsis, and if the amount be large, provokes diarrhea[F2]. Its ingestion causes the skin to feel hot, the circulation is slightly accelerated and arterial tension increased. Being quickly absorbed it appears in the urine almost immediately after being swallowed or inhaled, imparting to that excretion the characteristic odor of violets. The vapor is irritating to the breathing passages, and, as also when taken, induces a sense of intoxication and dizziness. The secretion of the kidneys is increased, and prolonged use or overdoses may cause irritation, and inflammation of those organs, and hematuria. Poisonous amounts cause bloody urine, severe strangury, priapism, intolerable aching in the loins, acute nephritis, cyanosis, dilated pupils, gastro-enteritis, and collapse. Some individuals are very susceptible to the effects of turpentine, and, in a few, vesicular or papular rashes of an eczematous type have occurred.
Therapy.—External. Turpentine is rubefacient and counter-irritant and to some degree antiseptic and hemostatic. Locally applied it is valuable to assist in relieving deep-seated and other inflammations, as in pleurisy, pneumonia, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, peritonitis, arthritis, and other congestive and inflammatory disorders; and to alleviate pain in sciatica, myalgia, pleurodynia, and various neuralgias. For these purposes equal parts or one-fourth part of turpentine may be mixed with hot lard or olive or peanut oil or lanolin, and applied by hand, with or without friction, as desired. It must be borne in mind that friction intensifies the local effect of the oil. A more effectual method is to apply a flannel cloth wrung from hot water and upon which has been sprinkled a few drops of turpentine. Another but more complicated procedure of preparing a “turpentine stupe” is to wring a flannel out of very hot water by twisting it in a towel until it ceases to drip. Then dip the cloth in turpentine which has been heated in a tin container immersed in another vessel of very hot water and wring out all excess of the oil. (Caution: Turpentine must not be heated on a stove or over a flame; it is highly inflammable.) Turpentine stupes are to be applied as hot as can be borne, and as soon as any discomfort or pain is felt are to be immediately removed, lest blistering occur. Turpentine, applied full strength, or diluted with a bland oil, may be used to relieve chilblains and bunions and to stimulate repair in sluggish ulcers and bed sores. Combined with linseed oil it has been advised for small burns and scalds, but as this method is painful and absorption great it is not to be commended. Liniments containing turpentine may give relief to inflamed joints in acute articular rheumatism, swollen and inflamed glands, and are popular in domestic practice for the relief of temporary lameness and muscular soreness. It is of great service locally, together with its internal use, to prevent and control meteorism in typhoid fever and puerperal peritonitis. In all inflammations with tense skin great care must be taken not to cause blistering by it. The vapor of turpentine is said to be fatal to the itch mite; and the oil vaporized from hot water gives relief in croup and chronic bronchitis. It may be used as an adjunct to treatment in diphtheria for its antiseptic and stimulant properties, and particularly in the membranous form of laryngeal diphtheria, in which it contributes in some measure to the loosening and expulsion of the membrane.
Internal. For internal use only the rectified oil of turpentine should be used. Turpentine is employed as a diffusible stimulant, antiseptic, and antihemorrhagic. It is also an anthelmintic and taeniafuge. Very small doses are stomachic, and as a warming carminative it is useful to relieve intestinal flatulence. Turpentine has a twofold action, which is important. It stimulates to normal secretory activity when there is a lack of intestinal secretion due to a semi-paretic state of the alimentary canal; and it restrains excessive secretion when due to lack of tone. It is always a remedy for atony and debility; never for active and plethoric conditions. In typhoid or enteric fever it is the best remedy known to prevent tympany and ulceration. It is indicated when the tongue is dark red, glazed, or brown-coated, hard, dry, and cracked, and there are sordes upon it, as well as upon the teeth. In this stage ulceration is active,hemorrhage impending or present, temperature high, pulse small, wiry and rapid, the mind wanders, and the urine is scanty, concentrated, and very dark. In this state there is marked depression of innervation, putrefactive gases are formed, hemorrhage imminent, prostration is great, mentality disordered, and the patient is at a very low ebb. When this condition prevails no other medicine offers such hope of relief as turpentine. From five to ten minims may be given in emulsion every two or three hours. In tardy convalescence from enteric fever, when ulcers of Peyer’s glands stubbornly refuse to heal and diarrhoea continues or frequently recurs, and hemorrhage still threatens, turpentine may be given to stimulate repair and will do as much as any medicine can to hasten recovery. When hemorrhage does occur during the progress of the fever, turpentine by its hemostatic action assists in controlling manageable cases. The external use of the drug (see above) should accompany its internal administration.
Turpentine is of value in other hemorrhages of the gastro-intestinal tract—notably that accompanying ulceration of any part of the small intestines, with flatulent distention. It frequently renders good service in the hemorrhage of gastric and duodenal ulcer; and it may succeed in some cases of hematuria and menorrhagia. As these cases are seldom or never hemorrhages of plethora, but are of the passive variety that occurs in the weak and anemic subject with a disposition to tissue dissolution and relaxed blood vessels, turpentine is clearly indicated and its record justifies its claim to efficiency. Turpentine is also one of the few drugs that have been effectual in hemorrhagic transudation into the skin and mucosa, as in purpura and scurvy, and it has a limited usefulness in hemophilia.
In renal disorders turpentine is generally contraindicated; certainly so in irritation and inflammation. It may, however, be used when a deficient secretion of urine depends wholly upon general debility; and in chronic disorders, when active inflammation has long passed, and in chronic nephritis, where active inflammation is seldom present, it may be necessary to employ a powerful stimulating diuretic. Turpentine may best serve the purpose. It must be remembered, however, that in all kidney disorders there is the ever-confronting danger of provoking suppression of the urine. Turpentine has been advised in pyelitis, pyo-nephritis, and hydro-nephritis, both for its stimulating and pus-limiting antiseptic effect. It is of more certain service in chronic cystitis and gleet, both with excessive mucous discharge.
As an anthelmintic and taenicide such large doses of turpentine are required as to render such use; and its local employment for ascarides is too painful and less desirable in every way than weak salt solutions or infusion of quassia.
Old oxidized oil of turpentine and French oil of turpentine are reputed antidotes in phosphorus poisoning.
Tar, Pine Tar.
A liquid obtained by the destructive distillation of the wood of Pinus palustris, Miller, and other species of Pinus (Nat. Ord. Pinaceae).
Description.—A blackish-brown, viscid, semi-liquid, amorphous substance, but gradually becoming granular and opaque; odor empyreumatic and terebinthinate, taste sharp and tarry. Slightly soluble in water, with a brownish color and acid reaction. Mixes with alcohol, ether, chloroform, and oils. Upon distillation it yields oil of tar and pyroligneous acid. Dose, 5 to 15 grains.
Principal Constituents.—Oil of turpentine, creosote, phenol, catechol, xylol, toluol, acetic acid, acetone, methyl alcohol, and at least ten resins.
Preparations.—1 Oleum Picis Liquidae Rectificatum, Rectified Oil of Tar. Dose, 3 to 5 minims.
2. Aqua Picis Liquidae, Tar Water. Dose, 1 to 3 fluidounces every four to six hours.
3. Syrupus Picis Liquidae, Syrup of Tar. Dose, 1 to 2 fluidrachms.
Action.—Tar is irritant and antiseptic. Upon prolonged application tar acne may ensue, and in some instances it has produced poisoning similar to that of phenol. Internally it excites the circulation and the secretions, especially of the kidneys and lungs, and acts as an antiseptic to those tracts, thus proving diuretic, disinfectant and expectorant. Overdoses produce headache, indigestion, black vomit and stools, and blackish urine with blood and albumen and a decided tar-like odor.
Therapy.—External. Tar is chiefly used as an antipruritic[F3] and antiparasitic. It is of use in scaly skin diseases, and in various preparations it has been applied in psoriasis, chronic eczema, prurigo, porrigo, lichen, sycosis, lupus vulgaris and erythematosus, pemphigus, tinea capitis and other forms of ringworm, scabies, and boils. Some persons are very susceptible to tar, an erythema following the application of even dilute preparations of it.
Internal. Tar water, or syrup of tar, may be used in bronchial cough, and to prevent the recurrence of boils, in chronic urinary catarrhs, and in eczema and psoriasis (together with its external use). Tar should not be given to those having a disposition to hemorrhages.Syrup of wild cherry added to tar water or the syrup of tar makes a useful cough remedy for chronic bronchitis.