31 October 2013
The history of alcohol is a bit sketchy. While no one knows exactly when the first alcoholic drink was developed, archeologists have found proof of a fermented drink made from rice, honey and fruit being consumed 9,000 years ago.
The date alcohol was invented may not now be known but one thing is – the following day the hangover was discovered.
Since then, people have been searching for the perfect fix.
Top 5 Hangover Cures
Here we’ve collected the Top 5 Hangover cures history has to offer as well as a look back to some that have (thankfully) stayed buried in the past.
H2-Oh My Aching Head
Whatever hangover cure you try, be sure water plays a role. Alcohol dehydrates your entire body and what it really needs is to replace that lost fluid. So begin your day by sipping – not chugging – a tall glass of water.
Pro tip: drink water in between alcohol drinks.
Toast & Tea
The healing powers of a simple breakfast have long been heralded as a hangover cure. In 1896, writer Guy Beringer wrote an article extolling the virtues of a mid morning meal as a hangover cure. He insisted “it would make life brighter for Saturday-night carousers” and could sweep away the “cobwebs of the week.”
While the thought of food may not be especially appealing first thing The Morning After, having some carbs in your stomach can help ease the roller coaster of nausea. Including a beverage like plain tea or even ginger ale can also help to settle the stomach.
Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz
Effervescent tablets like Alka Seltzer have been a hangover standby for years. The fizzing bubbles and sodium bicarbonate (aka Baking Soda) will help to settle your stomach but make sure you don’t bolt the glass down like a shot. The aspirin and citric acid could irritate your stomach if you drink it too fast.
Get in Touch With Your Feminine Side
Taking pain relievers developed for PMS can help with hangovers as well. Pain killers include a mix of pain relievers, diuretics and caffeine to help with cramping, pain and bloating. Each of them also helps to alleviate the symptoms of a hangover more effectively than pain relievers on their own.
While this isn’t the time to start training for your Iron Man marathon, some slow and gentle exercise can help the Morning After. Do something simple like stretching or a short walk to get your blood moving. This should only be done once you’ve had some water and a small amount of food. If you begin to feel dizzy or nauseous, rest and have some more water before trying it again.
Weird Hangover Cures From History
Every culture has their own rich history of how to cure a hangover. Throughout history, every corner of the globe has offered up their own version of a magical cure. While these five cures have stood the test of time to achieve mainstream acceptance, other cultural cures haven’t quite caught on.
An ancient Scottish cure is called the ‘Highland Fling.’ Heat a pint of buttermilk and add in a tablespoon of cornstarch. Season with salt and pepper and drink while still warm.
Romanians swear by eating tripe – a cow’s stomach boiled in a salty vegetable broth and seasoned with vinegar and cream. Some swear it cures a hangover by expelling the poisons while others insist the thought of having to have it the next morning keeps your drinking under control the night before.
One home remedy from Puerto Rico calls for the patient to run a slice of lemon or lime under their drinking arm before they head out for the night.
The Ancient Romans – notorious for the drinking and excess – prescribed a breakfast of sheep lungs and owl eggs to cure the morning after headache.
American cowboys back in the day used to shake off the excess from the night before by starting their day off with a special tea brewed with rabbit droppings.
Although these cures are more likely to result in laughter from friends than actual help, the fact is that only one thing can actually cure a hangover – time and water. A hangover is your body’s way of trying to rid itself of the poison – er, lovely alcohol – you were nice enough to share with it the previous evening.
While trying the hangover cures from this article may help shorten your hangover, the best bet in the future is to simply not drink to excess or schedule the following day off from work so you can rest and get plenty of fluids.
Have a surefire hangover cure that’s worked for you in the past? Share it in comments.
Image credit: Warner Bros Pictures.
Useful samples and examples: