Delle cose che vengono portate dall'Indie Occidentali pertinenti all'uso della medicina. Raccolte, & trattate dal dottor Nicolò Monardes, medico in Siviglia, parte prima. Nuovamente recata dalla spagnola nella nostra lingua italiana (...). Parte seconda.
The doctor and botanist Clusius translated this work into Latin, making it universal. The other forty-one editions in different languages, among which the unusual English, show how important it is. "Historia Medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales" is a treatise made up of three parts, published in different years: 1565, 1571 and 1574. The Italian edition, kept at the Bibliotheca Antiqua Aboca dates back to 1575, published by the printer Ziletti. There is a small book about snow and "del bever fresco con lei" (fresh drinks with it) attached, showing the author’s interest in natural sciences. The originality of this book by Monardes lies in the way he describes the plants, highlighting both their strictly botanical features and their geographical origins. Most plants come from New Spain (different places in the Americas). Find attached pages 95 to 102, containing in the text precious engravings with simple images of new plants. The flower of Mechioacan, typical of Ecuador and Nicaragua, is the flower of a plant used to purge and it is very good at it "fa meravigliosa operazione". A similar herb original of Cape Saint Helena is believed to be devastating for the human body and it is therefore described in very accurately to help identify it. He then describes the balsam tree, that could be identified as the "miloxilon pereirae", original of San Salvador (Central America) or the tree called Balsam (Southern America). The technique to collect the juice from the tree is described in two ways: the cut or the decoction. Using the cutting technique you have to cut the bark of the tree ("a white drop comes out, it is very clear in colour and it smells wonderfully"). But you can use both techniques, as the results are equally surprising, due to "its wonderful healing virtues". Monardes constantly refers to the usages of these herbs in their countries of origin, respecting the traditional methods and comparing the new plants to those already known. An example is the "long pepper", a species that "stings" its smell is more aromatic and pungent than that of the pepper of India.