This section is from the "A Handbook of Useful Drugs" book, by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards.
A product obtained by the destructive distillation of the wood of Pinus palustris.
Properties : Tar occurs as a semiliquid, viscid, blackish-brown product having an empyreumatic odor and a sharp and empyreu-matic taste. Tar is miscible with alcohol and fixed or volatile oils but is only partially soluble in water.
Action and Uses: Tar is a mild irritant to the skin, and when taken internally stimulates the bronchial mucous membrane. It is employed in the form of syrup as a remedy for subacute bronchitis.
Externally it is employed as a mild stimulant application to the skin. It should be used as the first remedy in changing the treatment from sedative to stimulating applications. It is very useful as an antipruritic for the relief of itching in pruritis, eczema, etc.
Dosage: In beginning treatment with tar a dilute preparation should be used. The strength should be from 2 to 4 per cent., which may be tentatively increased. As an antipruritic in acute inflammatory conditions a strength of from 2 to 4 per cent, may be all that can well be used. In chronic cases it is used in the strength of from 6 to 20 per cent., and sometimes the pure tar is applied. For use as an antiseptic in skin affections the following formula may be used:
Rx Picis liquidae ..................... 2 3 lj
Potassii hydroxidi ................. 1 5 j
Aquae ............................ 8 f oz j
This must be diluted for use.