Miscellaneous Medicinal and Cosmetic Recipes from the Irish Country House


Based on the De Vesci Papers, National Library Ms 34537



Against Pimples

Dissolve common salt in the juices of lemons and with a piece of linen pat the pimples.



Cold Cream

1 oz of clean, pure virgin wax

½ oz of best spermaceti

¼ of a pint of oil of sweet almonds


Put all this into a small white bowl over a pan of quite hot water and when it is all quite melted, add by degrees a ¼ pint of best rose water (or rather less) and beat the whole up in one direction with a wooden or a silver spoon until it is perfectly firm and smooth. Then strain off all the liquid and again add a fresh ¼ pint of rose water. Beat it all up well and squeeze out every drop of liquid. Then put it into pots for use, cover closely and keep in a cool place. 



To Cure Boils

Place 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of brandy in 10 oz of water. This is to be drunk in the course of a day and continued for ten days.



To Cure Epilepsy

In a pig’s ear there are some little bones…take them and break them in large pieces, roast them light brown on the stove, then pound them again…One bone makes powder for one dose and must be taken dry and washed down with water.


To be taken when the patient feels a fit coming on (or others perceive it coming). Three powders have generally proved sufficient for a patient who has not been many years ill and who is young. This has been given in Germany with great success.



For Burns

Pounded chalk mixed with salad oil to the thickness of honey, then thinned with vinegar. When it rises like yeast, then paint it thickly over the hurt part even if it is raw.



For Gout

Take a clove of garlic night and morning until the gout subsides.



Old medicine bottle from Dr. Rice’s medical establishment, Portarlington