Is There Any Hope? The Strangest Hangover Cures and What Actually Works
With all the technological and medical advancements that grace our great society, for some reason no scientist has tackled the gold mine of the hangover cure to end all hangovers.
One theory is that scientists got together evil Dr.Frankenstein-style and unanimously decided that if young students going back to class this month drink themselves into oblivion, it’s their obligation to feel like absolute crap the next day as punishment for their indulgent and irresponsible behaviour. The shame of what you said about your mate’s new girlfriend doesn’t cut it. Students must experience extreme, crippling pain – otherwise how will they ever learn?
Either way, the hangover doesn’t distinguish based on age, sex, class, social status or haircolour. Hangovers, with all the headache, nausea, sweating, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and all encompassing feeling of dying is caused by… well we’re not quite sure. Scientists are unable to link all of the hangover symptoms to concrete medical conditions, be they low blood sugar, dehydration, inflammation, release of harmful chemicals in course of processing the alcohol or withdrawal. In the absence of scientific consensus, alcohol-consuming cultures around the world claim to have found THE hangover cure.
Prairie Oyster will haunt your hungover dreams
Some cultures opt for strong liquids to cure their hangovers. In China you’ll be advised to sip strong herbal tea to calm the stomach. Koreans drink warm water mixed with honey to regulate the raging blood sugar levels. In southern Europe, Italians and Spaniards are known to consume massive pots of coffee (which it’s argued to actually have the reverse, dehydrating diuretic effect).
Americans also sip away on the Prairie Oyster; a potent medley of one raw egg yolk mixed with a hefty portion of tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce seasoned with salt and pepper…..Yeah I’d probably forget I had a hangover for a minute too. And it probably helps induce vomiting if you’re at that sad stage in your hangover.
Tripe Soup? Yes Please
Moving into foods, it doesn’t get much better. The Polish recommending holding down some pickled cabbage soup while the Germans and many Scandinavians also opt for the sour route with herrings soaked in vinegar, washed down with raw onion. The Japanese on the other hand consume pickled plums to nurse their wounds.
As tripe is full of beneficial protein, there’s lots of cow stomach-eating to be had in the painful quest to cure the pesky hangover. Romanians, Mexicans, Greeks and Hungarians (just to name a few) all opt for a variation on tripe soup, often with extra pickled-something.
The Hair of the dog
And if all else fails, there’s always a strong following across the world for the hair of the dog. If you wake up hungover as hell, take two shots of vodka, a cigarette and one more shot of vodka – rejoice, it’s science! It may sound like an attempt to get yourself drunk to forget the pain (the hangover mostly, but your other problems too). However:
‘…the liver, in processing alcohol, first addresses itself to ethanol, which is the alcohol proper, and then moves on to methanol, a secondary ingredient of many wines and spirits. Because methanol breaks down into formic acid, which is highly toxic, it is during this second stage that the hangover is most crushing. If at that point you pour in more alcohol, the body will switch back to ethanol processing.’ – Joan Acocella, The New Yorker
So basically this delays the the worst part of hangover and lessens the hangover when it comes back around the second time, but don’t you go thinking the hangover won’t come back to haunt you. Once the alcohol blood level gets back to zero, Mr. Hangover knocks on the door. Hair of the dog is only recommended for the hardest of the hard.
The Verdict on Hangovers
So what’s the consensus on all these so-called hangover cures? Well the verdict is: that none work and water is your only true friend : (
But don’t lose hope! There is a not-so-cure cure involved in each of these recipes for quelling the light-headed dizzy feeling, something each of them have in common: an element of distraction. Eating super sour pickled herring and drinking a tomato-yolk milkshake has such extreme (and let’s be honest, gross) flavours, they distract the sad hungover soul for some time. Hopefully enough time for the body to finish processing what’s left of the remains of the alcohol, or at least offer a few moments of respite. Above all, re-hydrate. Re-hydrating, whether by sports drinks, coconut water or simple H20 is the single most important and helpful thing you can do for your hangover.
The hungryhouse hangover tip?
So Brits have it pretty good when it comes to a delicious and comforting hangover ‘cure’. Comfort food like a juicy burger with extra chips or a steak pie is comforting, tastes pretty delicious and has the effect of distracting you for a few minutes while you bask in the glory of delicious takeaway food.
Eating tasty food is linked to the hypothalamus – the part of the brain that recognises pain and pleasure, and we all know you should have something in your belly after a night of heavy boozing soooooo there’s no reason why you need to feel an ounce of guilt tucking into a juicy burger with extra cheese or a massive pizza after a long night on the sauce. I kid not: guilt is actually linked to making a hangover worse.
In fact, eating a burger or a meatasaurus pizza is actually a better hangover prevention measure, but if you thought hard enough about how to prevent a hangover, you’d probably stop after that fourth whiskey. But no one’s perfect after all.
What About Your Own Hangover Cure? Win £25 for Your Pain!
So now we’re interested, what’s the weirdest thing you’ve tried to cure a hangover? Did it work? The best answer gets a £25 hungryhouse voucher because it’s the least we can do for a bad hangover : )
Update: And the winner is: Anthony! His response “russel up some pancakes with grilled bacon and honey then BOOM! My day is sorted ;)” was randomly selected and he’s the proud winner of a £25 voucher. Thanks for sharing the wisdom everyone, and special congrats to Anthony.
Feature image via
by Jennifer Wood | hungryhouse.co.uk