Alcoholic tinctures are made of Oleum Terebinthinae, which is the purified distilled oil from the oleoresin, turpentine, obtained from several species of Pinus. One drop of oleum terebinthinae to 99 of alcohol makes the 2x tincture.
TURPENTINE acts mainly on the kidneys and urinary tract, but also on the alimentary and respiratory mucous membranes and the skin. Applied externally it reddens the skin and causes itching and burning, extending beyond the part to which the application is made; the burning becomes prickling, the skin is slightly swollen, there is some numbness and great sensitiveness to touch. Taken internally in small doses a sensation of weight and heat is felt in the stomach, followed by one of warmth in the skin, which may go on to perspiration. The urine has a peculiar odour, like violets. If the dose is larger the breath has the odour of turpentine, heat and burning are felt in the oesophagus and stomach. Appetite is lost, there is a sensation as of a weight in the stomach, nausea, rarely vomiting; twisting colic and meteorism occur in the bowel followed by diarrhoea.
There is general excitement, sometimes resembling intoxication, great irritability of temper, headache, redness of the face, febrile heat, a feeling of pricking in the eyes, lachrymation, weakness of vision, especially in artificial light, and a sensation of warmth all over the body, with perspiration that smells of turpentine. The pulse is hard and frequent and there are dryness of mucous membranes and thirst. Dysuria supervenes, the urine is scanty and red, or copious and pale and smells of violets.
There are also cough, coryza, and irritation of the throat and larynx from a granular condition of the mucous membranes of those parts. If the quantity of turpentine taken is large (a) symptoms of gastro-intestinal irritation become much more marked, as noted by sharp colic and frequent loose stools, which are blood-stained and accompanied by burning pain in the rectum and anus, or (b) the turpentine is absorbed into the system with resultant effects on the nervous, respiratory and urinary organs. General excitement takes place, pain and heat occur in the lumbar region over the kidneys and in the hypogastrium, which is sensitive to pressure; there are vesical tenesmus, strangury and pain in the urethra; the urine is scanty, red and bloody; painful erections like chordee are produced. The mucous membranes are dry, as in the first stage of catarrh, and are injected, congested and hot; there may be herpes labialis, a heavy pain under the sternum and tickling in the trachea, as at the beginning of bronchitis, and sometimes phlegm streaked with blood is expectorated. Erythematous patches occur on the skin and there may be vesicles and papules or the rash may resemble scarlatina or be of an urticaria-like character. The effect on the nervous system is to cause an exquisite sensibility, felt chiefly along the course of the large nerves of the limbs, especially of the lower extremities. Women inhaling the vapour of the oil suffer from menorrhagia and dysmenorrhoea.
By the orthodox school oil of turpentine has been used in capsules containing 5 or 10 minims each, to check haemorrhage in typhoid fever and in larger doses with castor oil, as an anthelmintic. In the proportion of an ounce of the oil to a pint of mucilage it is often given as an enema to remove faecal masses from the intestine and to reduce flatulence; a drachm in soap and water is usually sufficient. It is also used added to hot water as an inhalation in cases of bronchitis, and it is the chief ingredient in many liniments used for sprains and rheumatism. In all these cases must be taken not to give turpentine unless the kidneys are perfectly healthy.
Urinary System.-In the homoeopathic school terebinthina has been employed principally as a remedy for acute nephritis resulting from exposure to cold. The glomeruli are chiefly affected and the cases suitable for terebinthina are those where the urine is suppressed or is scanty and contains blood and where there is much anasarca. Severe drawing and burning pains in the kidney region, extending down the ureters to the bladder and urethra (berb., cann. sat., canth.), accompany the nephritis. It is also a remedy for cystitis and urethritis, the indications being great tenderness on pressure over the pubes, very frequent desire to micturate, strangury and burning pain in the urethra during micturition and the passage of blood in the urine. Urethritis is often accompanied by painful erections.
The abdominal condition needing terebinthina is when there is great flatulent distention of the abdomen with cutting or grinding pain. This state may be present in cases of pelvic peritonitis arising from typhoid fever, or from metritis, the result of retained lochia or of extension from a gonorrhoeal salpingitis. The enormously distended abdomen which is very sensitive to pressure, cold sweat on the extremities, a rapid and feeble pulse, thin, offensive stools and lochia, and anxiety, are the indications for its use in these cases. A tongue which is red, smooth and glossy, as if deprived of its papillae (kali bich., lach., pyrog.), is a further indication.
Terebinthina is valuable in internal haemorrhages, including those occurring in enteric fever.
Respiration.-In diseases of the lungs, it has proved efficacious in bronchitis and chronic bronchial catarrh when the expectoration is streaked with blood; there is dyspnoea and a sensation of the lungs being distended; the air passages are very dry.
Terebinthina is a remedy for purpura haemorrhagica when many fresh haemorrhages occur from day to day (acid. sulph.). It has cured some cases of sciatica. The irritability produced by terebinthina is an indication for its employment in teething children who fly into passions.
Eyes.-It has been recommended for eye diseases such as ciliary neuralgia, episcleritis and rheumatic iritis when these are associated with or arise from kidney diseases.
(1) Haemorrhage from the urinary tract.
(2) Drawing and burning pains in kidneys, extending to bladder and urethra.
(3) Acute nephritis and cystitis, suppression of urine, haemorrhages.
(4) Pains in the bowels cause frequent micturition.
(5) Smooth, glossy, red tongue.
(6) Great flatulent distension, with extreme sensitiveness of abdomen to touch.
(7) Cold sweat on lower limbs and rapid pulse accompanying abdominal distention.
(8) Dryness of air passages, with dyspnoea and blood streaked expectoration.
(9) Purpura haemorrhagica.
From touch, pressure, at night, damp dwellings.
From stooping, cold water (burning in anus), belching and passing flatus.