John Griffith

   1850 ~ 1921

These are some of the cures or “recipts” in John Griffiths book, He also has cures for ailments in animals such as cattle, sheep and horses. He was a qualified pharmacist as was his father Griffith and cousin Owen who kept the shop at Penygraig Llangwnadl. We have already mentioned that the family were famous for their cure for the wild wart, John’s son Owen had this knowledge passed on to him and people from all over the world would come to Penycaerau to seek a cure. We haven’t given exact measurements just listed the ingredients as they were written down, some of the words had been abbreviated, and of course the passage of time has taken it’s toll on this book so apologies for any errors. In due course we will be adding the cures for animals and of course the list of all the ingredients he had at the shop to make up all his medicines. In the days when medical  attention was so expensive and therefore out of the reach of most of the folk in Rhiw, John Griffith’s advice and medicines were invaluable to the community. If serious illness occurred a surgeon would be called and operations would take place on the kitchen table in homes. Sadly though they were not always successful. But for the most part John Griffith played the role of community physician and veterinary.


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John Griffiths Book

John Griffiths cure for ailments May 1870.


Cure for the scurvy

Bay salt

Salt prunella

Sulph Sublim   

Sweet oil q.s to make it an ointment to rub on the plate of the hands night and morning by the fire.


To Powerfully The Bowels

Acid Sulph dil

Spirit Lavand

Aqua distilled 


A tablespoonful three times a day.


For Sweating

Potassium nitrate 



The patient must drink a glassful of posset half an hour after.


For the looseness of the bowel in infants.

Creta prepar

Spirit ather nitrate

Tinct opii

Tinct Kino I

Aqua menthol pip


A half spoonful three times a day.


Margaret’s Mixture.

 Magnesium lait

Pulverised. Rhei

Tincture opium      

Oil menthol

Aqua qs for 1 pint mixture.


For Womens Problems

Holland Gin

Aqua     .

Pulverised aloes c : cavella

Pot Betart  

Spirit of saffron


A tablespoonful one times a day.


For the Veneral disease

Bals. Capira

Gum Acacaia 

Liquid potassium 

Linct Hyoscami 


A tablespoonful in any convient  Vehicle ( any drink…. The mix would need to be diluted.)


Cure for ringworm.



Rub together in a mortar with a few drops tincture opii

First scratch the place with a lancet and rub the ointment on it as a plaister take a wet band to keep it cold.

Lance it several times if necessary.


Good mixture for cough

Mist of camphor

Tincture of camphor


Spirit of ather hit.

One tablespoonful to be taken three times a day.



Rect. Spirit

Melt the camphora in the spirit then take tti aqua pura.

Mix and filter through a bottle of hemp or flour (??)


For the soreness of the nostrils


Pot. Lubcarb.

And divide into 12 powders one to be taken every morning fasting in a cupful of decoct. Dulcamara.

Ol Morrhua

Mg hydrarg nit

Adeps prep

To be applied to the nostril twice a day by means of a camel hair pencil.


Mixture for the gravel

Spirit Nitre

Bals Copaiba

Oil juniper

A teaspoonful in a table spoonful of gin every night


Milk sulphur

Cream tartar.

A full teaspoonful every morning in warm milk or water.


For the piles

Fast loaf 1oz

Veuce turpent. Half ounce

Oil of juniper 10 drops

Beat them well in a mortar for a mass.


I spoonful three times a day of common molasses.


A good recipe for cramps of the stomach.

Tincture opium


Spriit chlorof.

Tinct Rhei co

Oil menth. Juniper.


Dose a tablespoonful every hour until the pain ceases.


Afterwards to settle the stomach

Tincture mix vom

Liquid bismuth B P

Spirit chlorof

Tincture card co


Dose: one tablespoonful three times a day before meals


To cure Baldness

Bay rum 3oz

Lavona de Composee 1oz

Menthol crystal quarter dram

If you wish to perfume it add half to one teaspoonful of French fleur perfume.

Do not apply to face or where hair is not desired.


Advice for pain in the arms or legs.

Boil broom (plant) in an old rusty iron pot,

Bathe  (affected part) for three days.


Another for ringworm

Strong mixture of carbolic oil in a poultice of white bread or lint.


For asthma

Half an ounce of friars balsam

One ounce of glycerine

Spoonful of ordinary syrup


Advice from Capt Griffith of Edern, he came across in Mauritius


For the cure of excema.

 Nitrate of selum and slid oil, paint with nitrate of silver mix together.

Apply the mixture and thereafter apply only the oil, every other evening.


We would like to thank Mrs J Hughes, for lending us her families historical documents, photographs, and other priceless artifacts, and we will be forever indebted. We feel honored and privileged to have seen such amazing material, the likes of which most probably we will ever see again. Diolch o Galon. Tony & Gwenllian.


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