Why gum turpentine?
Every plant has evolved compounds that protect it from fungi, parasites, and from being eaten by insects and animals. Gums exude from the stems of plants or from wounds on the plant. Gums are rich in a variety of sugars, and are most common in trees and bushes in dry regions. They are soluble in water.
Resins are very complex and varied, depending on the plant from which they come. They are formed from the oxidation of various essential oils and tend to harden on exposure to air. Resins are not soluble in water. Resins ooze out through the bark of a tree, particularly if there is an injury to the bark so it can seal the injury. They act as natural fungicides and pesticides. Resins are harvested by tapping (cutting) the bark and collecting the liquid that drips out. This liquid usually contains a mixture of resins, gums and essential oils.
Terpenes are a major component of resins, and of the turpentine produced from resins. As well as protecting plants, terpenes are major biosynthetic building blocks within nearly every living creature. For example, steroids are derivatives of the triterpene squalene.
Commercially, terpenes are extracted by the steam distillation of wood resins, particularly pine, eucalypt and citrus trees, using logs or tree stumps. Gum turpentine is made from eucalyptus trees in Australia, from cedar trees in Russia, and from pine and fir trees in the USA, Europe and many other parts of the world.
Gum turpentine is a water insoluble, fat-soluble, thin, volatile, colourless liquid oil with a pleasant smell. In addition to terpenes, gum turpentine also contains significant amounts acetic acid, butyric acid and d-limonene. Gum turpentine has a pleasant pine – eucalyptus – citrus fragrance, and is even used in the perfume industry. Some of its properties allow it to be used as a substitute for essential oils such as eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, rosemary oil and oregano oil.
Pure gum turpentine and kerosene have many similar health and medicinal properties although they are different products. Here in Australia they are both affordable and widely available. I prefer to use gum turpentine because I like its taste, smell and feel. If you are unable to buy pure gum turpentine, kerosene is largely a substitute. Of course, carefully read how to use it and adjust the dosage.
Which pure gum turpentine?
Different brands of gum turpentine have boiling points between 100C and 200C. According to Walter Last (3), those with lower boiling points (100C to 150C) are easily absorbed through the stomach and so their main area of action is in the blood. Those with higher boiling points closer to 200C tend to pass through the stomach and act more in the intestines. However, you can get a high boiling point gum turpentine to pass through the stomach and into the intestines by mixing it with a thick oil before taking it. Equal parts of castor oil or oil of paraffin ensures that the gum turpentine is carried directly into the intestines from the stomach.
There are numerous brands of pure gum turpentine available around the world. They include Diamond Forest, Diggers, and Balsam Terpentinoel from the Baumarkt in Germany. Some of the finest medicinal brands are French. Different brands of pure gum turpentine vary in their components and purity. See Precautions below.
Medicinal properties of pure gum turpentine
Pure gum turpentine is an exceptional broadband anti-pathogen, anti-microbial, anti-parasite, fungicide. (1) When used properly, its other properties are benefits rather than negative side effects. How can any pharmaceutical compete with that?
- Acetylcholinesterase inhibitor. Beneficial neuromuscular, nerve and brain effects.
- Anti-sclerotic (reduces the hardening of tissues, especially arteries).
- Antiseptic. Can be sprayed onto open wounds.
- Bactericidal. Especially effective against mycoplasma and cell wall deficient microbes. Able to remove biofilms and prevent their recurrence. Particularly effective on gram-positive bacteria. Tends to leave good (probiotic) bacteria intact.
- Bone strengthener. Acts against osteoclasts which break down bones.
- Cancer. Anti-carcinogenic (cytotoxic on cancer cells).
- Cellular renewal aid (particularly liver and pancreas). Repairs cell membranes.
- Diuretic. Reduces fluid retention and promotes the flow of urine.
- Fungicidal. A powerful, effective fungicide.
- Hypoglycaemia – reduces.
- Insecticidal. May be used as a natural insecticide and pesticide.
- Oxygen saturation of the organs and tissues promoted.
- Pain killer.
- Parasitic. Kills a wide variety of parasites.
- Stress treatment.
- Viricide. Powerful anti-virus properties.
- Xenobiotic removal. Xenobiotics are foreign chemical substances found in an organism that are not normally naturally produced by or expected to be present.
Gum turpentine as a traditional home remedy
Your comments about any of your experiences – positive or negative – with your use of pure gum turpentine are welcome at Grow Youthful. I am always curious about your use of and experience with natural remedies, and your feedback is very welcome.
- Blood poisoning (sepsis, septicaemia).
- Burns. Post-burn treatment.
- Candida. Pure Gum Turpentine rapidly kills candida in the intestines, in the blood, and in other organs. Because it is so effective, beware of the Herxheimer-reaction.
- Cardiovascular diseases.
- Catarrh. All types of catarrhal diseases. Dissolves mucus.
- Chronic fatigue, low energy, tiredness.
- Ear, nose and throat. Treats many diseases where the underlying cause is an infection.
- Gallstones – dissolves.
- Gastrointestinal diseases. Dysentery.
- Gum disease (gingivitis), receding gums, other infections in the mouth, loose tooth. Put two drops of turpentine on the finger and spread it around the tongue and mouth. Do not drink any water for at least half an hour. A good time to do this is last thing before going to bed at night.
- Halitosis (bad breath). Spread two drops around the mouth with a finger, last thing before going to bed. It may also be necessary to take the gum turpentine internally. You may also notice that your saliva is thinner, not thick with mucus.
- Lung diseases.
- Nervous system. Many diseases.
- Parasites. Ringworm, roundworms, cysts, tapeworm. One tablespoon of gum turpentine thoroughly mixed with an equal amount of castor oil and taken floating on milk. Repeat every second or third day until fragments of the worm cease to appear in the stool. For children one teaspoonful of sugar, three to four drops of turpentine and one teaspoonful of castor oil, thoroughly mixed.
Nits (lice). Comb the hair with a fine comb dipped in gum turpentine.
- Prostate. BPH, swollen prostate or cancerous.
- Skin. Treats a wide variety of skin diseases, especially those caused by fungi or other microorganisms. Treats itching, bites, redness and swelling. Protects the skin from aging and makes it more youthful, supple and elastic. It does an excellent job of softening the skin, and helps retain moisture.
- Throat or oesophagus. GERD. Use slightly less sugar when taking the dose, so that the sugar looks “wet”. Some of the turpentine will then coat the throat / oesophagus rather than being carried down to the stomach by the sugar.
How to use gum turpentine
The maximum dose for an adult is one teaspoon per day, after starting with a small dose and gradually building up to it. Do not take it consecutively for more than 5 days without having a few days rest from the protocol. Taking it every day without a break might be too taxing with the Herxheimer-reaction and the workload on your liver removing all the by-products. Another approach is to take it every other day. After recovery from your ailment, you can take a maintenance dose between once a fortnight and once a month, depending on your circumstances.
Do not start internal turpentine therapy while suffering from constipation. Dr Jennifer Daniels says that before starting it is essential to prepare by drinking lots of water, adopting a suitable anti-Candida diet and cleaning the bowel. She maintains that it is necessary to have three daily bowel movements, otherwise the pathogens may get into the blood. She also believes that the use of sugar in this case is beneficial in stopping the sugar craving so common with Candida and in attracting the Candida to the “poison”. (2) I feel that one easy bowel movement per day is sufficient – the main thing is that you are NOT constipated.
Start with 1 ml (one fifth of a teaspoon, or 25 drops) dropped onto a teaspoon of sugar or a sugar cube. The sugar should not be “wet” with turpentine, rather, the sugar should absorb all of it. Use more sugar if you increase the dose of turpentine.
You can also take it by mixing it thoroughly with a teaspoon of molasses, raw honey, or a healthy oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Again, use more if you increase the dose of turpentine.
To get it into the small intestine, take it immediately before a meal. If it is followed by food, then less turpentine gets absorbed directly into the blood from the oesophagus and stomach and more is carried by the food into the intestines where it is needed to get rid of the candida. For gut parasites, start at a low dose and gradually work up to one teaspoon per day.
To get it into the blood, take it thoroughly mixed with a few tablespoons of water or milk on an empty stomach. This is the way that most people in Eastern Europe take this remedy as a blood cleanser. This approach seems to be effective against diseases outside the intestines.
Laxative. Strong adult (not children) laxative: one teaspoon of gum turpentine mixed with three tablespoons of castor oil. Take this once a week.
In the lungs, nose, sinuses
Lungs (as well as nose and sinuses). Place two teaspoons of gum turpentine in a bowl of steaming hot water, hold the head over the bowl and cover with a towel. Take deep breaths through the nose for 10 minutes. Repeat morning and evening.
Sinus congestion and infection. Mix a drop of turpentine by stirring it into a teaspoon of water. While lying on your side, sniff a single drop of this diluted turpentine into the upper nostril. It may be easiest to apply from the end of a dropper, though you may also use the finger or a q-tip. Sniff it into the nose. If you get a full drop right in, it will be painful and may cause sneezing, redness or swelling, though it should pass quickly. Gradually and cautiously work up to sniffing a single drop of gum turpentine into the nostril. You may have to move the angle of you head to sideways, leaning forward or upside down to get the gum turpentine into the sinuses. Drink and flush with copious amounts of clean water. As well as spreading the gum turpentine, it will help remove the congestion and infection.
On the skin
If used on undiluted the skin, gum turpentine may burn or cause redness, depending on the sensitivity of the skin, the length of time the skin is wet, and the particular brand / product used. When undiluted it is also volatile, and much of it is quickly lost as it evaporates. It is therefore best to dilute gum turpentine with coconut, olive, macadamia, ghee, tallow, lard or another natural oil. Dilute one part gum turpentine by stirring it into two or three parts of the carrier oil. Start cautiously, and experiment with the dilution that you require.
Bath. Stir 30 ml (2 tablespoons) into a warm bath and enjoy a 20-minute soak. Start with less for your first bath, eventually work up to 100ml. Too much too soon will cause a Herxheimer-reaction, aggravate arthritis, and may cause itching, tingling or other reactions.
Toxicity, precautions, contraindications, warnings
Pure gum turpentine is NOT the same thing as mineral turpentine. Mineral turpentine, also known as white spirit or mineral spirits, is a petroleum-derived clear liquid commonly used as a brush cleaner and paint thinner for enamel, oil based or solvent-based paints. Do not use mineral turpentine.
Herxheimer reaction. If you have serious systemic candida or other pathogenic infections in your body when you start taking gum turpentine internally you may get a Herxheimer reaction. The die-off of yeasts such as candida; the remains of other fungi, bacteria, biofilms or tumours; and their toxins being released into the bloodstream can make you feel quite ill. For a short time you will feel worse. Symptoms vary a lot, but can include nausea, fatigue, feeling drunk or dizzy, headaches, moody depression, joint and muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, raised blood pressure, sweating or chills. Children may exhibit more extreme, repetitive, wild or aggressive behaviour, or lack of cooperation or not speaking. Should you suffer any of these symptoms, stop or reduce the dose of gum turpentine and take action to assist the body remove the toxins that are causing the Herxheimer reaction – drink plenty of water, avoid constipation, exercise and have a minimum of one bowel movement every day.
Do not use gum turpentine while taking any pharmaceutical drugs. Gum turpentine acts to expel xenobiotics, removing any synthetic drug or poison that the body does not recognise. This will also put a severe toxic load on the liver.
Different brands of pure gum turpentine vary in their components and purity. You need to be cautious when using a brand for the first time, as some brands have a variety of terpenes that may cause an allergic or inflammatory reaction. (1)
Your urine may have a distinct smell.
Gum turpentine is highly inflammable. (4, 5)
Toxicity. Every supplement and nutrient has a minimum and maximum requirement and dose. For gum turpentine, the LD50 (rat) oral is 5,760 mg/kg. (5) To put it in perspective, table salt is more toxic with an LD50 of 3,750 mg/kg according to the Merck Index. The LC50 (rat) inhalation is 6 hours at 12,000 mg/cubic metre. (5)
Inhalation. The greatest danger of taking gum turpentine internally is if there is a risk of vomiting (not necessarily from the gum turpentine, but from other causes). If vomit gets into the lungs after a large amount has been swallowed this can cause death.
1. Beatrice Mercier, Josiane Prost, Michel Prost. The essential oil of turpentine and its major volatile fraction (a- and b-pinenes): a review. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 2009;22(4):331-342. DOI 10.2478/v10001-009-0032-5.
2. Jennifer Daniels. The Candida Cleaner. Sofia Smallstorm interviews Dr Jennifer Daniels on turpentine for healing. Youtube video. youtube.com/watch?v=zR_sgAOmSyQ
3. Walter Last. Kerosene – a Universal Healer. health-science-spirit.com
4. Diggers Pure Gum Turpentine Safety Data Sheet V4, retrieved 20 March 2017.
5. Gum Turpentine Safety Data Sheet issued 17 June 2014 by Auson AB, Sweden. Retrieved from pinetarworld.com on 20 March 2017.