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The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines   By: (1857-1925)

Book cover

First Page:

Medicinal Plants

of the

Philippine Archipelago

The Medicinal Plants of the Philippines


T. H. Pardo De Tavera

Doctor en Medicina de la Facultad de Paris, Comisionado Cientifico de S. M. en las Islas Filipinas y Delegado General en las Mismas de la Société Académique Indo Chinoise de Francia, Miembro Fundador Correspondiente de la Sociedad Española de Higiene, Etc.

Translated and Revised by

Jerome B. Thomas, Jr., A.B., M.D.

Captain and Assistant Surgeon, U. S. V.


P. Blakiston's Son & Co.

1012 Walnut Street.


Copyright, 1901, by

P. Blakiston's Son & Co.


This translation was undertaken with the especial object of facilitating the study of the native medicinal plants by the numerous medical officers stationed at small posts throughout the Philippines. In order to aid in the recognition of these plants, the botanical descriptions have been revised to the extent of adding, where possible, the size and shape of the plant, English name, length of leaves, color of flowers, etc., in many instances supplying the entire botanical description where it had been omitted on account of general familiarity with the plant. Comparing the few analyses that I have had an opportunity to make with corresponding ones in the native works from which Dr. Tavera has taken his botanical descriptions, I am impressed with the necessity for a revision of the Botany of the Philippines. However, as the therapeutic properties of the flora are of foremost interest to the medical profession I have not hesitated to publish the book in its present form as an entering wedge, leaving to those better fitted the great work of classifying the flora of these islands in accordance with modern botanical science.

Dr. Tavera has faithfully described the Malay and Hindu therapeutics of the present day, enriching his description by observations founded on a long practice in Paris and in his own native Luzon. From this potpourri of scientific therapeutics and ignorant, superstitious drugging the interested physician will elicit not a few useful data concerning the treatment of disease in the tropics, and at the same time gain a more intimate knowledge of both the people and plants of our new Asiatic possessions.

I take this occasion to gratefully acknowledge my obligations to Mr. A. P. Tonielli, stenographer and translator of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, for typewriting the manuscript of this translation.

Jerome B. Thomas, Jr.

Manila, P. I.


Commissioned by His Majesty's Government to study the medicinal plants of my native country, I returned there and spent two years in collecting data regarding the use that the Filipinos make of their plants in the treatment of disease. At the same time I collected and carefully preserved some with the purpose of taking them to Europe, to study their chemical composition in the laboratories of Paris under the direction of the eminent men who had been my instructors in medicine.

The work I did in the Philippines was preliminary, a preparation for the more extended study of the subject which I wished to make in Paris, where I went with my notes and collection. Unfortunately, upon leaving Manila, I confided the mounting and pressing of my plants to an inexperienced person who stupidly placed in the midst of them several succulent tubers which decomposed during the voyage and spoiled the other plants. At the same time I received in Paris an important collection of the vegetable drugs of the Philippines, sent by my friend the pharmacist, M. Rosedo Garcia, and destined for the World's Fair of 1889... Continue reading book >>

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