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Pinus Bark. Hemlock Spruce

Botanical: Tsuga Canadensis (CARR.)
Family: N.O. Pinaceae

---Synonyms---Hemlock Pitch. Canada Pitch. Pix Canadensis. Hemlock Bark. Pinus Canadensis. Abies Canadensis. Hemlock Gum. Hemlock Spruce.
---Part Used---The bark encrusted with hardened juice.
---Habitat---North America.


---Description---The flow of juice from incisions in the bark is much less than in most of the species, but at the time of late maturity a spontaneous exudation partly evaporates, hardening on the bark, which is stripped, broken in pieces, and boiled in water. The melted pitch is skimmed off and boiled for a second time. The product is of a dark reddish-brown colour, brittle, hard, opaque, almost tasteless, and with a very slight odour. It melts and softens at a low temperature.

An extract of the bark is used in tanning.

---Constituents---Besides resin, there is found a volatile oil, oil of spruce or oil of hemlock, and tannin.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Canada Pitch is softer than Burgundy Pitch, so that even the temperature of the body makes it inconvenient to handle. It is a mild rubefacient. The liquid extract has been used as an astringent. It resembles rhatany in its action.

The volatile oil is used in veterinary liniments, and to procure abortion, but it is very dangerous for this purpose.

Hemlock or Canada Pitch Plaster can be made by melting together go parts of Canada Pitch to 10 parts of Yellow Wax, straining and stirring until it cools and thickens.

Fluid extract, 1/4 to 1 drachm.

---Other Species---
Pseudotsuga tascifolia, the branches ofwhich give out an emanation which, after being inhaled for some hours, is reported to have caused stupor, involuntary evacuation of urine, and collapse followed by psychic disturbance.

See:
Pine
Pine (Larch)
Pine, White
Pine (Ground)
Pine, American Ground

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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