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HomeTurpentine SalveTurpentine Salves Throughout History

Turpentine Salves Throughout History



The rich history of turpentine salves traces back centuries, from ancient civilizations to modern traditional medicine. Derived from the resin of pine trees, turpentine has been a steadfast companion in the world of remedies, its use woven into the tapestry of cultures and healing practices.

Ancient Roots:

The origins of turpentine salves can be traced to the heart of ancient cultures. In civilizations such as Egypt, Greece, and Rome, the healing properties of pine resin were recognized and incorporated into medicinal and aromatic formulations. The resin, extracted from pine trees, became a symbol of healing in these ancient societies.

Traditional Medicine Treasures:

The timeless wisdom of traditional medicine, including Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine, embraced the virtues of pine resin. This natural substance found its way into formulations designed to address a spectrum of health concerns. From topical applications for skin issues to internal use for respiratory well-being, the versatility of turpentine began to unfold.

European Folk Medicine:

In European folk medicine, pine resin took center stage as a remedy with potential wound-healing and antiseptic properties. Turpentine-based salves and ointments became commonplace, offering a natural solution for minor wounds, skin irritations, and other dermatological issues. The soothing balm of these salves found its place in households, passed down through generations.

Turpentine in America:

The historical significance of turpentine salves is notably embedded in the fabric of American history, particularly during the Civil War era. Soldiers turned to turpentine-based remedies for wound care, and these salves became a staple in the medical practices of the time. The portability and purported healing qualities of turpentine made it a valuable asset on the battlefield.

19th and Early 20th Centuries:

As the 19th century unfolded, turpentine continued to be a go-to remedy in Western medicine. Its applications were diverse, ranging from addressing respiratory ailments to soothing joint pain. Salves and ointments containing turpentine were crafted to offer relief, and their popularity persisted into the early 20th century.

We have recreated the beneficial properties of a handcrafted turpentine salve by using all natural products and we believe you’ll find it helpful for a wide variety of applications. Crafted using our own Turpentine and Castor Oil, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do!


The history of turpentine salves is a captivating journey through time, where ancient wisdom met the challenges of diverse health concerns. From the resins of ancient pine trees to the battlegrounds of the Civil War, turpentine has etched its mark on the pages of medicinal history.


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