Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Terebinthina chios

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Pliny the Elder, the famous 1st century A.D. Roman encyclopedist, devoted a good part of one of his books to the problem of preventing wine from turning to vinegar. Tree resins--pine, cedar, and often terebinth (which Pliny described as the "best and most elegant" resin)--were added to Roman wines for just this purpose. Roman also used resins for medicinal purposes; indeed, modern chemical investigations have proven that resins can kill certain bacteria, thereby protecting organic compounds from degradation.

The use of Chian turpentine by Paracelsus as a cancer remedy was revived in 1880 by Mr. Clay, of England, who strongly recommended it for uterine cancer, others, however, declare it wholly inefficient.

In recent times, terebinth tree resin has been used to make chewing gum in Greece and prepare perfume in Egypt. The only modern carryover of the ancient tradition of resinated wine is Greek retsina.