Turpentine, a transparent, resinous substance, which exudes naturally, but is chiefly obtained by incision, from various species of the pine-tree; and is divided into four kinds, namely :
2. The Venice turpentine, which exudes from the Larch tree, has a strong smell, and a hot, disagreeable taste : it is less viscid than any of the other turpentines, and generally of a clear whitish or yellowish cast. - This, and the preceding species pay, on importation, a duty of 4 1/2d. per lb.
3. The Strasburgh turpentine possesses an agreeable aromatic odour, but an uncommonly bitter taste ; is neither so thick as the first species, nor so thin as the second ; but.clearer, and less fa cious than either ; being commonly of a yellowish-brown colour : - it is imported from Germany, and charged with a duly of 14s. 1/2d. per cut.
A. The common turpentine is extracted from the spruce fir; it is of a dark-brown colour; of the consistence of honey ; and has the most disagreeable odour and taste, of all the different species. - Considerable quantities of this drug are prepared from the resin, in Britain; but, as they are insufficient to supply the market, it is imported from America, and other countries; paying about 2s. 6d. per cwt.
All the turpentines yield, on distillation, an essential oil, which is extremely pungent. On account of their diuretic and tonic properties, they are often successfully prescribed in calculous complaints. The Venice turpentine is preferably recommended as a diuretic, and detergent ; while those of Chios and Strasburgh are used as corroborants. The common sort is mostly employed as an ingredient in the plasters used by farriers; and its essential oil, obtained by distillation, is consumed partly in the preparation of Gin, and partly by house-painters; as likewise for the different varnishes in the floorcloth, umbrella, and many other manufactures. Lastly, when combined with honey, this oil is supposed to afford a powerful remedy in rheumatic affections.