Turpentine and cancer
Posted by Jonathan Chamberlain on February 8, 2010
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Turpentine and Cancer
Is turpentine useful in the fight against cancer? Or is it itself a cancer-causing agent?
Chian Turpentine enjoyed a brief vogue as a treatment for uterine cancer – see these links from 1880 to 1890 British Medical Journal.
Also an article in “Recent Materia Medica: Notes On Their Origin And Therapeutics” , by F. Harwood Lescher
However, any internet search for “turpentine cancer” will bring up websites that carry warnings.
Chian turpentine is a turpentine – or resin – obtained from the Pistachio Terebinthus tree (named after the Greek Island of Chios) – and has a long history of use in medicine.
Other turpentines are made from various coniferous trees and is used as a solvent for paint. In medicine, turpentines are used externally as counter irritants – one of their effects being to cause blood vessels to dilate. This is the same effect as very hot cayenne pepper – and in the case of cancer this can be a useful effect. Interestingly turpentines can also be drunk and are used to purge worms. This too is an effect that has some interesting parallels with wormwood, also used against cancer. The fact that turpentines are generally made from pine trees may mean that they share some of the healing bio- chemicals as pycnogenol which is also also derived from a pine (as is Taxol which is the basis for a chemotherapy drug). At the present time all we can say that turps comes with some interesting credentials.
Here is an account recently (2012) sent to me by Thad Curtis of Tucson Arizona:
“In 1957 I was driving my father’s new Chevrolet when I spotted a old fellow walking. I offered him a ride, which he declined. While talking through the open window I remember him telling me he wasn’t afraid of cancer, and told me it can be cured by taking turpentine and (??????????). I don’t recall the second ingredient, but it was something simple. It could have been lemon juice or whatever.
In about 1960, a Mr. Regional “Bob” Davis, a former boxer, came into our small grocery store and advised the manager and I that he had been diagnosed with cancer in his abdominal area. He looked swollen in this area. He returned to our little store shortly thereafter advising he had been sent home to die after surgery revealed inoperative cancer.
He bought a 1 oz. bottle of turpentine, and one bottle each day thereafter for months on end. He smelled of turpentine when he walked into the neighborhood store from about 1/2 block away. One day, Edna, the manager, asked him what he was doing with the turpentine. He told her he takes an ounce a day with orange juice.
She told him the bottle states, “NOT FOR INTERNAL USE”, and that she wondered if she should continue to sell it to him. He begged her to continue selling it to him because he would have to walk over a mile to the next store to buy it, and he liked walking the short distance daily.
She continued selling the turpentine to him for about a year, but my father sold the store and I have no idea if he continued the self-treatment. I do know that it was about 15 years later when we received the bad news that Bob had been killed by a speeding car when he tried to cross a major highway. His eyesight was very bad and his hearing almost gone, when he stepped in front of the vehicle.
Over the years I have watched several friends die without mentioning the turpentine, since I had no idea if it had cured him or if he was just one of the cancer went away on it’s own. I do know that he was not given treatment of any sort for the cancer, but was told to make peace with God since he didn’t have long to live. No doubt, the lack of treatment helped some. “
Turpentine contains a a class of plant compounds called turpenes and a related one terpenoids – both of which are extensively found in essential oils, and many of these in turn have healing attributes
Plant terpenoids are extensively used for their aromatic qualities. They play a role in traditional herbal remedies and are under investigation for antibacterial, antineoplastic and other pharmaceutical effects. Terpenoids contribute to the scent of eucalyptus, the flavors of cinnamon, cloves and ginger and the color of yellow flowers. Well-known terpenoids include citral, menthol, camphor and the cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant.
Here is a link to a site listing medical uses of chian turpentine: http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/medical/chian_turpentine.htm
Here is an interesting link to turpentine production: http://www.fao.org/docrep/V5350E/V5350e10.htm
So the idea that turpentine might have cancer curing potential is not far fetched.
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