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In Search of the True Terebinthina

Top  Pharmacopoeias
Top Pharmacopoeia of Willmar Schwabe

In the first editions of his pharmacopoeia, Willmar Schwabe apparently uses the non-purified (non-rectified) turpentine oil.

In 1872, 1880 and 1889 he describes Terebinthinae oleum as obtained from Pinus pinaster and he uses the oil to prepare an alcoholic solution by method 6b.

In 1901 he states that Terebinthinae oleum is the ethereal oil obtained by distillation with water-vapor from the resin of various species of Coniferae and that this oil must meet the standards of the German Pharmacopoeia.
The alcoholic solution is prepared by method 6b.

In 1924, 1934 and 1958 the pharmacopoeia describes the purified turpentine, again referring to the German pharmacopoeia.
He says: Oleum Terebinthinae - Terpenthinöl is the turpentine oil, ethereal oil obtained from the resin of various species of Pinus. It is prepared by the chemical industry and must meet the standards of the DAB for Oleum Terebinthinae rectificatum. Filtered solution prepared according to rule 6b. in 90% alcohol.

Furthermore, in the last three editions he also describes the Terebinthina Chios as the resin of the Pistacia Terebinthus, prepared by rule 6b

 

Top German Pharmacopoeias

The German Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia, (HAB1) in its edition of 1978 (and supplements) prescribes the Terebinthinae laricina (Resina laricis): this is the crude, non-distilled Larch turpentine oil.
It is the resin obtained by drilling trunks of Larix decidua Mill, containing not less 10 and not more than 20 per cent of constituents, volatile in steam. The mother tincture is prepared

The German BGA (previous Deutsches Bundesgesundheidsamt / German Federal Health Office, now called Bundesinstitut Für Arzneimittel und Medizinprodukte / Federal institute for drugs and medicinal products) has settled the "Commission D" to collect basical data of homoeopathic drugs (definition of the starting material and manufacturing procedure, official fields of application, contra indications, side effects, interactions, dosage), which have been published officially in 1992 as a certain form of preparation "monographs" (not the same as pharmacopoeia monographs).
This monograph-collection describes for "Terebinthina" to use Terebinthinae aetheroleum rectificatum (Oleum Terebinthina Rectificatum) corresponding to the DAB (German Pharmacopoeia).

 

Top Mexican Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeias

The Mexican Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of Uribe-Jimenez, in 1939, uses the resin of the Pinus teocote, a tree growing only in Mexico, and which provides us with the Terebinthina Chio.
The oleoresin which is obtained making cuts in the trunk of the tree is colourless, turning yellow with time, inflammable, with acre and spicy taste and strong odour. It is soluble in alcohol and ether. The solution is prepared by method 6b.
It was proved by Dr. Legarreta. No mention is made of distillation and/or purification.

The name can lead to confusion with the turpentine of the Pistacia terebinthus (Terebinthina Chios).

Sandoval (also Mexican) in his Pharmacopoeia of 1961 says the following: Terebinthina or Turpentine oil is the volatil, resinuous juice flowing from the trunks of Pines and other specimens of Coniferae. There exist various clases of turpentine in the commerce, but the one used in homoeopathy is the purified Venice Turpentine, prepared by method 6b.

 

Top Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the USA (HPUS)

HPUS 1978
The homoeopathic pharmacopoeia of the United Stated in its 1978 edition contained a monograph of Terebinthina Chio, described as the resin obtained from the trunk of the Pinus Teocote. The mother tincture is prepared by disolving 100 g of the coarse-powdered resin in 1000 ml of ethanol 94.9% v/v.

HPUS 1992
In the latest edition of 1992 we find Resina laricis (sin. Venice turpentine, Larch turpentine), an oleoresin from the European Larch (Larix Decidua, Mill), a yellow, sometimes greenish thick liquid heavier than water; slowly but freely soluble in alcohol, and soluble in glacial acetic acid and caustic alkalies. The tincture is made by class C, in alcohol of 95% v/v.

HPUS 1993
In 1993 a monography is added aboutTerebinthinaas the oil of turpentine, a volatile oil distilled from the oleoresin obtained form various species of Pinus and rectified. Solution 1/10 in strong alcohol (94.9% v/v), class A, freshly made.

 

Top Indian Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeias

In India, the Indian Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia in its 2nd edition of 1974, as well as the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of Bhattacharyya, in its 14th edition of 1980 describe Terebinthinae oleum aetheroleum, as the distilled and rectified turpentine oil, obtained from various species of Pinus.

Both pharmacopoeias prepare the mother tincture with 100 g of crude drug for 1000 ml of mother tincture, using alcohol of 95% v/v.

 

Top British Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia
Top French Pharmacopoeia (PF X)

Neither the British Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (BHomP 1993), nor the French Pharmacopoeia (PF X) contain monographs of Terebinthina.

 

Considering that so much pharmacopoeias describe so much different Terebinthinas, our only option to find the real one is to check out which turpentine was used for the provings.

 


(c) ACFaH 1998- Sabine Klein