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  • Turpentine, a sort of clear, resinous gum, distilling out of the fir tree and others. It is of two sorts, vulgar or common, or Venetian; the latter is esteemed the best, being clear, pellucid and white, and of a glass colour used as a balsam to cuts and other green wounds, and taken inwardly as diuretick, occasioning the urine to smell like violets. Boiled in water, it becomes solid, and being so prepared, is made into pills and given in venereal cases.
    The oil is used to consolidate wounds, to discuss tumours, and to strengthen nerves.
    Thomas Dyche, New General English Dictionary, 1740

    February 4, 2009