TEREBINTHINA

Tyler M L

(Oil of Turpentine).

 

DRUG PICTURES : 77.

ON reading through the provings and poisoning by Terebinth. in the Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesy, one is struck by several points. One has always read in Materia Medica that with Terebinth. the “urine smells of violets” : this curious fact occurs again and again – even in the poisoning of animals by turpentine. The urine may be clear, bloody, sooty, black, but it apparently smells of violets: or, as it is once or twice expressed, it smells sweet.

Again, one notes the sleepiness and stupor so frequently produced.

Again, the character of the pains, – BURNING; burnings in gums; in mouth; in tongue, like fire, in throat; stomach; hypochondria; in rectum and anus; in kidneys; in bladder; in umbilicus; in urethra; in small of back; in testicle; in uterus; in air passages; chest; along sternum. Burning pressure in hypochondrium.

But the opposites so often obtain, in drug action :- perhaps action and reaction: but while Terebinth. has “burning in umbilicus”, it has also the curious symptoms, “umbilical region seems retracted, cold, just as though a cold round plate were pressed against it. .

Then one realizes its extremely haemorrhagic nature, causing ecchymoses – “fresh ecchymoses in great numbers from day to day”, ecchymoses in mouth and at angles of lips, which bleed; bleeding from stomach – “burning in stomach with nausea and vomiting of mucus, bile or blood – copious haemorrhages”; “sooty stools like coffee grounds”; entero-colitis, with haemorrhages and ulceration of bowels; haemorrhage from anus, and bleeding piles, “albuminuria, when blood and albumen abound”, urine, violet odour, fetid, albuminous, scanty, dark, cloudy and smoky, bloody; bloody, offensive leucorrhoea; expectoration of blood-stained sputum; bloody expectoration. Here it vies with the snake poisons, Crot. hor., etc.

It has the credit of inducing stupefaction and deep sleep; inability to think or work; weariness of life. Two cases of “suicide by hanging are recorded, from persons washing lace in oil or turpentine and alcohol”: and the fumes of turpentine have been very poisonous to many people. “Comatose, can be only roused by shaking out of apparent stupor, but falls immediately into it again.”

Or again it has an intoxicating effect: “slightly drunk for several hours”; staggering gait, as if drunk: stands with feet far apart; cannot balance body; to insensibility of extremities, especially the lower: to, no control over hand and arm when attempting to write: weakness and prostration: tired and unable to walk, staggered and fell: “muscles feel stiff, he walks slowly and bent over like an old man”: the limbs being raised fell heavily back by their own weight. Or, on the other hand, occasionally subsultus; tetanic spasms; lockjaw; chorea and epilepsy, as, when at intervals of ten or fifteen minutes, there were violent convulsive paroxysms, producing the most frightful ophisthotonos. Uraemic spasms.

We published last month a most interesting Terebinth. case: but it is wanted here, so we will venture to repeat it. It shows how the potentized drug antidotes the same crude drug: provided, of course, there has been no irremediable destruction of tissue.

A child of four years, falling in short spells of unconsciousness; unable to control the flow of urine day or night, was absolutely cured by one dose of Terebinthina 1m. The history of the case was that the child had drunk a lot of turpentine when 18 months old and had gone from bad to worse ever since. She never had another fit after that dose, and gradually but quickly got over the enuresis. She got nothing but a Placebo from then on. – Dr. Chas. C. Bowes, U.S.A. Recorder, March 1931. . Terebinth. is quite an interesting remedy, but its chief use, and its chief malignity (as seen from the black letter symptoms) is centered on the urinary organs:- kidneys, bladder, and urethra.

BLACK LETTER SYMPTOMS.

Tongue remains dry, with abdominal tension; after cleansing becomes dry again with increase of tympanitis.

Tongue does not clean gradually but rapidly and in large flakes, first from middle, leaving tongue smooth and glossy.

Distension of abdomen: feeling of, as from flatus.

Meteorism; excessive tympanitis, abdomen sensitive.

Haemorrhage from bowels, with ulceration; epithelial degeneration passive.

Violent drawing pains in the region of kidneys.

Albuminuria; early stages when blood and albumen abound more than casts and epithelium.

Sensitiveness of hypogastrium, tenesmus of bladder.

Violent burning and cutting in bladder, alternating with a similar pain in umbilicus; < at rest; > when walking in open air.

Bloody urine.

Urine scanty and bloody.

Burning in urethra.

Strangury; spasmodic retention of urine.

Frequent urination at night, with intense burning and pain in small of back.

Urine cloudy and smoky, bloody; clear, watery, profuse.

Haematuria.

Urine black, with coffee-ground sediment.

After scarlatina; passes small quantities of dark, sweet- smelling urine, turbid and having a sediment like coffee-grounds; sometimes mind dull, or patient drowsy, even like a stupor; dropsy; urine though rich in albumen and blood, contains few if any casts.

Metritis and peritonitis puerperalis, with tendency to mortification; lochia checked, terrible burning in uterus, abdomen fuller than usual; headache with thirst; brown dry tongue, nausea and vomiting; distended abdomen, sore to touch; pulse small frequent.

Bronchial catarrh and pneumonia in typhus.

Haemorrhage from lungs.

Malarial and African fevers.

Prostration.

Purpura haemorrhagica.

Congestion and inflammation of viscera; kidneys, bladder, lungs, intestines and uterus.

Ascites with anasarca.

Scarlatina, especially when kidneys are involved, with stupor; bloody, smoky urine.

OTHER MARKED, ITALICISED, OR CURIOUS SYMPTOMS.

“Supposed to be dying, but found to be intoxicated by turpentine.”.

Pupils “violently contracted.”.

Coryza without usual accompanying symptoms, and without premonition, of watery liquid form one or both nostrils.

As if he had swallowed a small ball, which remained in the pit of stomach.

As if intestines were being drawn towards spine (Pb., Plat.).

Terebinth. is said to prevent and dissolve renal calculi.

Constant colic of whole abdomen, extending into legs.

Movement in inguinal region, as if a hernia would protrude.

Feeling as if the pubes were suddenly forced asunder.

Burning and crawling in anus, as if worms were creeping out: (has caused the discharge of round worms and tape-worm).

A transient movement in region of bladder, during stool, as if bladder were suddenly distended and bent forward.

“Most distressing Strangury, the most violent I had ever before witnessed, and attended with a greater loss of blood”.

Urine very scanty and red, or else very copious and light- coloured, but in both cases smelling of violets.

“Has the so-called odour of violets in a high degree.”.

Whole body feels sick, with vertigo and dullness of head.

Very drowsy: difficult to keep awake. Cold and clammy perspiration all over body.

Profuse sweat on legs, evenings in bed.

Staggering gait as if drunk.

Boger gives “Pains excite urination”.

NASH gives, as his chief indications for the use of this drug, burning and smarting on passing urine; urine red, brown, black or smoky in appearance.

Tongue smooth, glossy, red, with excessive tympanitis (Typhoid).

Haemorrhages from all outlets, especially with urinary or kidney troubles.

He says, that, like Berberis, it has much pain in the back with kidney and bladder trouble. Painters working in the smell of turpentine are often seriously affected by it: even unable to work in it.

For burning and smarting on passing urine, Turpentine stands nearer to Canth. or Cannabis sat. than it does to Berb. is one of our best anti-haemorrhagic remedies. In haematuria, haemoptysis, and haemorrhage from bowels, especially in typhoid, and even in purpura haemorrhagica it may do splendid work.

One of the chief characteristics for its use is the smooth glossy red tongue (Crot., Pyrog.) another is excessive tympanites. These two symptoms are often found in typhoids, and then Terebinth. is the remedy.

FARRINGTON says, Terebinthina, or turpentine, is a drug that has been much abused by old-school physicians: therefore it has been greatly neglected by homoeopaths. In the revulsion from the misconception of the old-school physicians, we often avoid the drug altogether. Its main action is on the kidneys and bladder. When you find metritis, peritonitis, typhoid fever of scarlatina, or in fact, any serious disease of low type, with the following renal symptoms Terebinthina comes in as your remedy.

Dull pains in the region of the kidneys, burning in the kidneys, pains extending from the kidneys down through the ureters, burning during micturition, strangury, albuminous urine and very characteristically the urine is dark, cloudy and smoky-looking, as though it contained decomposed blood, which it really does.

The real pathological condition of the kidneys in this case is not one of acute Brights disease, nor one of croupous formation in the kidneys, but one of renal congestion, with oozing of blood into the pelvis of the kidney. When the above urinary symptoms are present, you may give Terebinthina with confidence, no matter what the patients disease may be.

Terebinthina often acts powerfully on mucous membranes. It produces burning in the air passages, with thin expectoration very difficult of detachment.

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