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Asociación Cordobesa de Farmacéuticos Homeopáticos
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In Search of the True Terebinthina

Top  Pharmacopoeias

In the homoeopathic literature, and homoeopathic pharmacopoeias we find 8 different types of turpentine.

In 1795, Hahnemann, in his pharmacists dictionary (Apotekerlexikon), says that the common turpentine (Terebinthina communis) is a viscous resin, from which, by distillation with water we obtain a strong smelling light oil (called pine essence, or turpentine oil, Oleo pino. turpentine), after a second distillation is called ethereal turpentine oil or Oleum terebinthinae aetheroleum and (incorrectly) turpentine spirit (Spir. terebinthinae).

Also, in 1798 he describes the Larch turpentine, which he uses distilled (and not crude as described in later pharmacopoeias), as a soft resin which flows through the bark of the drilled or chopped trunks (Terebinthina laringa). It reaches the markets not only by the Venicians, and therefore is wrongfully called Venice turpentine (Terebinthine venata).
By distillation with water-vapor we obtain a fine , light volatile oil (Oleum Terebinthinae), which after a second distillation is called Oleum terebenthinae aetheroleum.

In 1852 Hartmann, who was a disciple of Hahnemann, in his Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia for Doctors and Pharmacists makes the differentiation between Common turpentine (P. silvestris L., P. nigra Link, P. cembra L., P. pinaster Acton) and Strasbourg T, Venice T., Canadian T., Carpathian T., Hungarian T. and Cypric turpentine. He says that the Venice turpentine, obtained from the Pinus Larix L. (larch) is the best. It is purified and rectified with 8 parts of water in a glass-retort until one third of the oil remains. He calls it (Oleum Terebinthinae aetheroleum).

In his Homoeopathic Manual (also in 1852), J. Buchner mentiones the chemical analysis data of the Strasbourg turpentine, without stating which turpentine oil should be used in Homeopathy

Gruner, in 1878 in the Homoeopahtic Pharmacopeoia states: all species of Pinus produce turpentine of different purity and quality, from which the volatile oil is obtained by distillation with water-vapor. For the medical use the best french oil again is slowly distilled over water in a glass-retort (Oleum terebinthina aetheroleum)


(c) ACFaH 1998- Sabine Klein