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.