Turpentine Biological Sources, Chemical Property, Pharmacological Uses and MCQ
1. Biological sources :
• Turpentine oil is obtained mainly from two species of pine trees, namely, Pinus pinaster and Pinus palustris.
• It is produced by oleoresin, obtained from Pinus palustris and other species of pinus.
• It belongs to order of pinaceae.  • Oleoresin is the substance which is secreted in sapwood, in the ducts that are situated beneath the cambium.
2. Morphological features of pine trees:
• It is having needle shaped leaves.
• Needles will be present in the fascicles of 2-8. (P. monophylla will have single needle, not present in fascicles.)
• Maturation of seed corns takes place in 2 years.
• Woody cone scales with subtending bracts.
• Apophysis is the exposed part of the closed cone.
• Seeds will be present in pairs of 2, usually present at the base of the cone.
• Seeds can be winged or wingless  .
3. Chemical properties turpentine:
• Turpentine is a colorless liquid, found in the form of oil or spirit and gum.
• It is a flammable, water immiscible and odorous liquid.
• Turpentine is soluble in ether, alcohol, glacial acetic acid and chloroform.
4. Chemical constituents:
• The chemical properties of terpentines are determine by reactive pinenes,thus they are the major constituent of it.
• It is mainly made up of terpenes with alpha pinene and beta pinene because pienes are optically active and alpha piene and beta piene are isomers.
• Also with addition they consist of dipentene, carene, camphene and terpinolene.
• Pine trees also contain cellulose , hemicellulose and lignin as chemical constituents.
• Also they have other polysaccharides such as starch and pectins .
• They are consist of nitrogen compounds and proteins in variable quantities.
• The bark of this tree consist of large amount of suberin and polyphenols .
• Turpentine used as solvent in industry, for thinning oil-based paints and for producing varnishes.
• They play a major role as a source of materials for organic synthesis.
• In industry, now it is replaced by its substitutes like crude oil.
• In the production of fragrant chemical compounds, it is used as a source of raw materials.
• Camphor, alpha- terpineol, geramiol and linalool, commercially used products are synthesize by alpha-pinene and beta-pinene which are constituents of turpentine.
• Medicinal elixir. Used for abrasions, wounds, as a treatment for lice, as a chest rub and as a throat and nasal ailment.
• In the production of antiseptics.
Multiple choice question:
1. The botanical name of turpentine _____________________.
a) Acasia hybryda
b) Fraxinus nigra
c) Pinus palustris
d) Batula papyrifera
2. Shape of leaves of pine tree?
a) Elliptic shape
b) Needle shape
c) Linear shape
d) Deltoid shape
3. Exposed part of closed cone of pine is known as
4. Time required for maturation of seed cones in pine trees?
a) 1 years
b) 4 years
c) 2 months
d) 2 years
5. Important constituent of turpentine
b) Indole acetic acid
d) Both a and b
6. The species of pine tree in which needle shaped leaves are not present in fascicles?
a) Pinus monophylla
b) Pinus palustris
7. Turpentine consists as a chemical constituent?
8. Turpentine mainly used as ?
d) All of the above
9. Turpentine used in the production of ___________.
d) All of above
10. Turpentine solubilized in _________________________.
d) All of the above
1. Acasia palustris
2. Needle shape
4. 2 years
6. Pinus monophylla
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 Mirov NT. The terpenes (in relation to the biology of genus Pinus). Annual review of biochemistry. 1948 Jul;17(1): pp521-40.
 Evans W. C, Editors. Trease and Evans Pharmacognosy. New York, Saunders Elsevier; 2009. p.277
 Kaplowitz GJ. Clinical uses of rectified turpentine oil. International endodontic journal. 1996 Mar;29(2): pp.93-4.