Pix Abietina. Burgundy Pitch. A resinous exudation from the stem of Abies excelsa (Pinus
Abies), the Spruce Fir, melted and strained to free it from impurities. Imported from Switzerland.
* Edin. Med Surg. Journ., Jan. 1841. Ibid., Oct. 1, 1837.
Revue Med, 1825, t. iii. p. 313. § Traite de Pharm., t. ii. p. 46. || Beng. Dispensatory, p. 527.
Med. Prop. and Action. Burgundy Pitch is employed solely as a plaster; and as such, acts as a stimulant and rubefacient. It should be evenly spread on a piece of leather, and should always be employed fresh. By adopting the usual plan of keeping Burgundy Pitch in a ladle, and remelting the same portion repeatedly, it loses much of its irritant qualities, and consequently of its efficacy. It will remain adherent to the cuticle for several weeks. In some persons it produces an intolerable itching; and in others, a pustular eruption, which renders it necessary to remove it in a few hours after its application.
Offic. Prep. Emplastrum Picis (Burgundy Pitch oz. xxvj.; Common Frankincense oz. xiij.; Resin oz. ivss.; Yellow Wax oz. ivss.; Expressed Oil of Nutmeg oz. j.; Olive Oil fl. oz. ij.; Water fl. oz. ij. Add the Oils and Water to the Frankincense, Burgundy Pitch, Resin, and Wax, previously melted together; then constantly stirring, evaporate to a proper consistence).
In Chronic Coughs, Chronic Bronchitis, and other Pulmonary Affections, a Burgundy Pitch plaster often proves highly serviceable, not only by protecting the chest from feeling the atmospheric changes, but by acting as a rubefacient and counter-irritant.