Taking into account the different origins and manufacturing
procedures, it is obvious that we shall obtain turpentines with
distinct chemical compositions.
The oleoresin from the Pinus family consists mostly of
the volatil oil and the resin. The distillation separates those
two components. The resin remains in the residue and the
turpentine oil which passes into the distillate consists almost
exclusively of the ethereal oil.
It is a transparent, colourless liquid, very fluid, with a very
strong and penetrating odour and an acre taste.
The resin (called Colophonium) contains up to 90% of gum acids.
The Larch turpentine used nowadays, on the other hand,
contains the whole oleoresin (without distillation) and consists
of only 15 to 20% of ethereal oil and approx. 50 to 65% of gum acids
and 15% of laricoresen (larch resenes).
It is a viscous (sticky), yellow or brown, transparent or lightly
The volatil oil is composed by aprox. 70% of alfa-Pinen, 6,5% of
beta-Pinen, 3% of alfa-Pyronen, 10% of Car-3-en, Borneol,
Bornylacetate, Dipente, Guaiacol, Linolen and Terpinolen.
The Chios turpentine is the entire crude oleoresin of the
Pistacia Terebinthus, without distillation and with only 9 to 14%
of ethereal oil, composed of Borneol, Bornylacetate, Dipenten and
It is brown, with greenish reflection and with a rather solid
The Alsatic turpentine is also the entire crude oleoresin of
the Abies alba and contains 28 to 32% of turpentine oil.
It has the aspect of a clear syrup, transparent, and with a sediment
of small cristals.
The composition of the oil is 39% alfa-Pinen, 3% beta-Pinen, 4,5%
delta-Caren and 35% of Limonen.
Not only does the preparation (with or without distillation)
determine the concentration of the volatil oil and its composition
in our different turpentines, within the different species of
Pinus we also find different compositions of the volatil oil.
This differences reside principally in the concentration of the
alfa- and beta-Pinen, Limonen and Caren, but also in their
rotating power: the turpentine oil from Pinus palustris is
dextrorotary, while the turpentine oil from the Pinus pinaster is
Despite of all those differences, all the turpentines cause
similar pharmacological effects like stated by the common medical
or pharmaceutical literature
which is connected with clinical indications according the rules of
clinical pharmacology. But there is no evidence, whether the
stated clinical similarity ensures the identity of the homoeopathic
symptoms of the drug pictures of the differents terebinthinas or not.
Considering, that the homoeopathic approach to investigate the "pure
language of nature" (Hahnemann) to evaluate the symptoms is much
more sensitive than the common clinical approach, we have to assume
that the different terebinthinas cause more or less different
So as pharmacists, our next step is to go to the pharmacopoeias,
where we will find the information about the preparation of our