Garcia da Orta was (1501–1568) was a Portuguese physician. This book in its original Portuguese was one of the first books to be printed in India, only seven years after the printing press landed in Goa. This facsimile edition of da Orta’s book contains all of the 57 imagined conversations through which he explores Indian medicine and on occasion digresses to include Indian politics, the significance of China, the rivalries between Portugal and Spain in the Spice Islands. There are also anecdotes about elephants, cobras, and mongoose.
This translation by Sir Clements Markham is reproduced from the 221st copy of the 250-book edition which now resides at the Brandeis University Library, USA.