Juan Tomás Roig Mesa, a passionate student of the national flora

Florida, Feb. 20 – Men and women who practice Phytotherapy and vegetation lovers in general reverence Juan Tomás Roig Mesa, one of the most eminent botanists in Cuba, whose main contribution to science is his studies on medicinal plants.

Graduated in 1910 as Doctor in Pharmacy and Agronomist from the University of Havana and as Dr. in Natural Sciences two years later, he distinguished himself for his research and teaching work, which allowed him to stand out as one of the most eminent botanists of wide national and international recognition.

Passionate about the study of the national and exotic flora, Roig Mesa appreciated the potential of nature as a basis of wealth and health, he entered this wonderful world barely explored at the beginning of the last century, and fought to prevent the destruction of the Cuban forests, he even wrote a project of forestry legislation and national parks.

In 1928 he published the First Edition of the Botanical Dictionary of Cuban Vulgar Names and in 1945 Medicinal, Aromatic and Poisonous Plants of Cuba, and for his work he received recognitions and decorations, among them Honorary Member of the Cuban Society of Botany and of the Society of Natural History «Felipe Poey», respectively, and was conferred the National Order of Merit «Carlos Manuel de Céspedes» and the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Agronomic Engineering at the University of Havana.

Linked in his early youth to the patriotic clubs of the emigration in Cayo Hueso, after 1959 he always identified himself with the transforming process that began in the country, and despite being over 80 years old, he had an active participation in tasks such as the Literacy Campaign, and joined the Communist Party of Cuba in 1967.

Juan Tomás Roig Mesa died on February 20, 1971 at the age of 93, and next to his grave a guaican tree was planted, a tree that he had studied carefully, to fulfill the desire of «living in the beauty of its trunk, its branches and its flowers».

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Acerca de Martha Martínez Duliet

Licenciada en Educación en la especialidad de Historia y Ciencias Sociales en la Universidad de Camagüey. Labora como periodista en Radio Florida desde el año 1993 desempeñándose actualmente como editora del sitio digital de esta emisora. Contactos: Twitter: @MDuliet Facebook: Martha Martínez Duliet Blog personal: soyfloridana@wordpress.com

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