Turpentine Health Benefits

Turpentine has been used as natural remedy for a variety of health problems for generations! Great-grandmothers used turpentine for a yearly “cleansing” for every member of the family or for her rheumatism and nagging cough. While the thought of using paint brush cleaner sounds harsh and foolish, turpentine could be classified as an herbal remedy.

Herbal remedies are medicines made from plants, and that is just what true turpentine is! Turpentine is made by distilling pine resin from pine trees. Many essential oils are made by distilling plant material into a concentrated natural medicine.

What Heath Conditions Can Be Treated with Turpentine?


Turpentine is a tried and true folk remedy for parasites. Long ago farmers and even school nurses gave turpentine as a matter of course to children twice a year to eliminate parasites like pinworms. The easiest way to do this is to put a few drops of turpentine on a sugar cube. This tastes like pine candy and is simple for children and adults alike to take.

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Fungus and Candida

Turpentine is sometimes used in anti-candida protocols.

Turpentine is an inexpensive remedy for nail fungus. One drop can be massaged into affected nails twice a day. This treatment will take some time, especially with toenails, but all remedies tend to take a while to  completely remedy nail fungus.


Turpentine has been part of protocols used for autistic children. Heavy metals and candida are common problems among autistic children, making turpentine a popular remedy. However, it is wise to seek guidance of a qualified health practitioner for a child with autism or other significant health issues before considering turpentine. Turpentine overdose in children may be rare but has occurred.1

Head Lice

Lice has been a problem among school children since the advent of schools! Over the counter remedies and prescriptions for lice can be dangerous, especially if they need to be used repeatedly. Resistance to these over teh counter treatments has increased in recent years as well.. Turpentine can be mixed with coconut oil as a safer and effective alternative. Use no more than 1 part turpentine to 10 parts of coconut oil (or olive oil or mayonnaise.) Carefully massage into the scalp and spread the oil down over the hair. Cover with plastic wrap and then a towel for an hour. Remove towel and wrap. Wash oils out of hair. Repeat this process in one week, using a nit comb to remove any leftover nits in the meanwhile.

Arthritis and Gout

A massage oil can be made with turpentine to massage into pained joints. Because castor oil is also good for arthritis, it is a good medium to be mixed with turpentine. Use 1 part turpentine and 3 parts castor oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. Do not use this oil on sensitive skin, broken skin or mucous membranes.

Cold and Flu Viruses

There are a variety of ways to use turpentine to treat cold and flu viruses.

  • Sore Throat – Swab the back of the throat with turpentine. Follow with some honey to mask the taste if desired.
  • Sinuses – Mix together 5 drops turpentine to 1 tablespoon olive oil. Drop several drops into each nostril to deliver turpentine to the nasal passages to relieve congestion and infection.
  • Cough – Use the same mixture as for sinuses and massage into the back and/or chest to relieve a cough. 1-3 drops of turpentine can be used on a sugar cube and taken internally instead.
  • Inhalation – Another old-time remedy for cold viruses is simply to inhale the vapors of turpentine. This delivers the turpentine vapors into the lungs, throat and nasal passages.

Urinary Tract Infection

Turpentine is sometimes used to treat bladder infections. 1/4 teaspoon turpentine is added to a spoonful of sugar (or honey) and taken once.

Turpentine Dosages

Dosages of turpentine range from a drop to a teaspoon. Always start with less, increase slowly, and monitor individual response to turpentine.

A common way to take turpentine is on sugar cubes. This is a simple way to get turpentine into the system.

Bill Thompson recommends, “If you want to take consecutive turpentine doses for a particular problem then I would take turpentine for five days and then have two days off turpentine and do it like this for about 6 weeks only. This protocol will help to get rid of most pathogens and parasites from your body.”

Bill also says, “Start with small dosages of turpentine — best to start with drop dosages of your choice or start with 1/4 teaspoon and slowly work up to the full 1 teaspoon dose. Take turpentine just before meals. Start taking turpentine just twice a week then work towards taking turpentine on a one day on, one day off protocol. Take plenty of breaks from this protocol because this regimen kills a large range of pathogens including parasites, candida, bacteria, viruses, mycoplasma etc…Adjust the dosage accordingly to reduce the stress.”

Dosage Information for Candida and Fungal Infections

According to Bill, “The preventative dose is on a one day on and one day off basis and is meant to help those who have massive initial Herx die-off reactions by having a day off after you take the turpentine– this makes for a gentler ride for the user when you initially kill all that candida.”

Bill recommends taking turpentine with castor oil when treating pathogens and candida in the intestinal tract. The castor oil coats the digestive tract and helps to spread out the turpentine. The castor oil also has a laxative effect, important to help the body eliminate the pathogens that the turpentine is killing off.

What is the Best Turpentine to Use for Medicinal Purposes?

Be sure to read the reader feedback in this section with suggestions for where to buy the best turpentine.

Many Earth Clinic contributors prefer the Diamond G Forest Products Brand because it is organic and very pure.

Do pay attention to labels and make sure that the turpentine you use is truly made from pine resin and has no other added ingredients. Some products sold as turpentine are not actually made from pine resin but from a petroleum product. These are not recommended to be used medically.

Turpentine Side Effects

As with most natural and even not-so-natural remedies, turpentine can have side effects. You will find more information about turpentine side effects and how to avoid them here.

What About Kerosene as a Natural Remedy?

Kerosene, like turpentine, is a distilled product. While it can be distilled from wood, most kerosene these days is distilled from petroleum. While kerosene has been used medicinally in the past, like turpentine, because most kerosene is derived from petroleum, it is not recommended that kerosene be used medicinally, unless it is for an emergency and no other remedy is available.

Read on to see how Earth Clinic readers have used turpentine for their own health conditions. If you have used turpentine for health issues, please be sure to share you story with us!

You can also learn more by reading: Turpentine as Medicine?: The Medicinal Healing Benefits of Terpenic Oil


1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1561928/

2. originally posted: https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/turpentine-kerosene.html

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