Page:The medicinal plants of the Philippines (1901).djvu/14

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
viii
PREFACE

desired. If in the future I have the good fortune to procure any, I shall make a study of those at hand and publish the results.

I herewith publish the results of my investigations and experiments in Manila, where, especially in the neighboring towns of San Mateo and San Miguel, I often had opportunities for using, with good results, the plants of which this volume treats. I may add that in spite of the limited means at my disposal in Manila and the short time left me by my regular occupations I was able to conduct a few laboratory experiments owing to which this work contains some personal observations reinforcing those quoted from medical literature.

The flora of the Archipelago is known to-day through the works of Fathers Blanco, Llanos, Fernandez del Villar and Naves, and of the engineers Jordano, the brothers Vidal and Soler and others who have brought such honor to Spanish science, preparing the way for the study of the therapeutic and industrial applications of that wonderfully rich plant life with which our islands have been endowed. Their works help us to recognize the plants whose medicinal virtues are herein described and it is to them I owe the botanical descriptions in this treatise.

Father Blanco, in describing certain plants, mentions their medicinal uses in the Philippines, but his descriptions are few and very deficient as one would expect in a work of the scope of his Flora. A Jesuit of some reputation, Father Clain, published in Manila in 1712 a book entitled "Remedios fáciles para diferentes enfermedades?" in which he speaks of the medicinal virtues of some of the indigenous plants, almost the same ones that appear in another work, a frank and pleasing little treatise written by Father Santa Maria. Father Mercado is the only one who has written a special treatise on the subject and his manuscript remained unedited until the Augustinian Fathers of Manila published it in the last edition of