What Is Turpentine Oil Used For?

Turpentine oil is obtained by distilling oleoresin (gum turpentine) of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) and other Pinus species. Turpentine oil is used to adulterate juniper berry oil.

Turpentine oil is used topically to treat rheumatoid and neuralgic disorders, toothaches, muscle pain, and disseminated sclerosis. Inhaling the vapors of turpentine oil can reduce thick secretions due to bronchial diseases.

Distilled turpentine oil is used as a flavoring ingredient in foods. In manufacturing, turpentine oil is used as a paint solvent, as well as an ingredient in cosmetics and soap.

Also known as:  Aceite de Trementina, Essence de Térébenthine, Huile de Pin, Huile de Térébenthine, Huile de Térébenthine Purifiée, Purified Turpentine Oil, Spirits of Turpentine, Térébenthine, Terebinthinae Aetheroleum, Turpentine

Diseases and Conditions

There is insufficient information on the effectiveness of turpentine oil on the following:

  • Rheumatoid and neuralgic disorders
  • Toothaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Disseminated sclerosis
  • Reduce thick secretions due to bronchial diseases


Turpentine oil is possibly safe when inhaled, and used topically and appropriately. It may not be safe to apply turpentine oil topically to large areas of skin.

It is likely unsafe to use turpentine oil orally for medicinal purposes; 2 mL/kg is considered poisonous while 120-180 mL may be lethal for adults.

It is likely unsafe for children, pregnant, and breastfeeding women to use turpentine oil orally, so it is best to avoid.

The side effects associated with oral use of turpentine oil include the following:

  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Hematuria
  • Urinary tract inflammation
  • Albuminaria
  • Coma
  • Death

When inhaled, turpentine oil may cause mild inflammation of the respiratory tract. Turpentine oil may worsen the symptoms of bronchial spasms in individuals who have whooping cough and asthma. Topically, turpentine oil may cause contact allergies, skin irritation, and hypersensitivity. Poisoning may occur if turpentine oil is used extensively on the skin; this may cause damage to the central nervous system and kidneys.

Medication Interactions

There are no known medication interactions for turpentine oil.

Supplement and Food Interactions

There are no known supplement, herb, or food interactions for turpentine oil.


The correct dosage of any supplement requires a comprehensive analysis of many factors including your age, sex, health conditions, DNA, andlifestyle.

Several drops of the oil are typically rubbed onto the affected area. The liquid and semi-solid preparations are commonly made in concentrations of 10-50%. The vapors of turpentine are often inhaled as several drops of the oil in hot water.


Distilled turpentine oil is used as a flavoring ingredient in foods.


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