Materia medica vegetabile toscana del dottor Gaetano Savi [...]


Materia medica vegetabile toscana del dottor Gaetano Savi [...] This work by Gaetano Savi on Tuscan medicinal flora is quite remarkable both for the beauty of its engravings and the detail of its descriptions. A distinguished botanist and professor at the University of Pisa, Savi knew well the entire physiology of plants, which we find diligently described in his compendium "Istitutizioni botaniche". In this flora, however, the author limits himself to a presentation and physical description of the various parts of the plant, a description of its virtues and a recommended list of important bibliographical references. The Ricettario Fiorentino and the Ricettario Senese are often cited, in which the same endemic plants had been discussed three centuries prior. It should be noted that Savi’s presentation of the medicinal benefits of these plants often remains at the level of hypothesis and he does not convey his personal opinions on the popular use of medicinals. For radicchio, he states, "it has been attributed to be an antihysteric and an antihypochondriac." Violet "produced vomitings one time and five or six bowel movements." Soapwort "has been praised as a diuretic." Ornamental plants are also presented such as the splendid "Iris fiorentina" or Florentine Iris.

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