Larch turpentine was known to the Romans. It is mentioned in the writings of Vitruvius,1) a contemporary of Caesar, also in those of Dioscorides,2) Pliny,8) and Galen. During the middle ages, larch turpentine was one of the most highly prized balsams. The name Venetian turpentine was applied to it during the fifteenth century,4) because it was brought into the market from Venice, at that time the center of the drug commerce.

The first mention of larch oil (Oleum laricis) in medical treatises is found in the works of Matthiolus5) and Conrad Gesner.8)