Turpentine Stupes

The application of turpentine and oil to the abdomen or joint, combined with moist heat.


  1. Relieves abdominal distention or gas pain.
  2. Relaxes bowel or intestinal spasms.
  3. Stimulates the peristaltic movements of the intestines.
  4. Relieves pain and congestion in the adjoining parts of the sprained ankle.
  5. Relieves pain due to intestinal colic.
  6. Promotes the absorption of serious effusions and exudates.

Things Needed:

  1. Set of hot fomentations (see procedure for fomentation).
  2. Sheet or blanket to cover patient.
  3. One bath towel.
  4. Bottle containing turpentine and oil in the following mixture:

* 1 tablespoon turpentine to 8 tablespoons mineral oil for children
* 1 tablespoon turpentine to 6 tablespoons mineral oil for adults

Turpentine Mixture
– Put one tablespoon of turpentine in a bottle with cover and add 8 tablespoons of mineral oil, if used for children. For adults add only 6 tablespoons of mineral oil to one tablespoon of turpentine.
– Cover the bottle and shake the mixture thoroughly. Label the bottle with its proportion of turpentine and mineral oil. This mixture can be kept for future use. Keep bottle away from children.
5. Cream or lotion.


  1. Bring all things needed to the bedside including the mixture of oil and turpentine.
  2. Prepare the patient as for fomentation on the abdomen or ankle.
  3. Apply the oil and turpentine mixture with your finger tips to the area to be treated.
  4. Observe the skin very carefully to see if the patient is allergic to turpentine. If redness is noticed, discontinue the treatment. Wipe and remove the oil and turpentine mixture and apply cream on the skin.
  5. Cover the area with the dry towel and apply the hot fomentation over the area with the turpentine mixture. Fomentation pad should not be very hot.
  6. Give the three sets of fomentations. For abdominal distention teach patient to do addominal breathing. While the hot fomantation is still on the abdominal area, tell patient to do abdominal breathing. Breathe in slowly bringing the abdomen up on inspiration and down on expiration. Do this exercise a few times, with rest periods in between.
  7. After the last fomentation pad, remove hot towel and with the dry towel remove the oil from the skin.
  8. Apply cream or hand lotion over the skin area treated and bandage ( for sprained joint )
  9. If abdominal distention persists, repeat the treatment after two hours, unless contraindicated ( not advised).
  10. If patient is not relieved in spite of treatments, consult your physician immediately.

Precautions and Contraindications:

1. Do not use turpentine on patients who have kidney disease.

2. Do not give to patient allergic to turpentine.

3. If intestinal obstruction is suspected, never give any hot treatment but bring patient immediately to the nearest hospital.

* Symptoms of instestinal obstruction:
1. Severe abdominal pain
2. No intestinal activities.Listen with your ear against the abdominal wall if there are movements of the intestines.
3. Cannot pass out gas or stool.
4. Elderly patient and fair-complexioned individuals are more sensitive. Use mixture of oil and turpentine for children.
5. For a diabetic patient, use the children’s mixture.
6. Fomentation towels should not be very hot.

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