Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The search for hangover cures - the hair of the dog and a variety of others...

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By Peter Petterson

First published at Qondio:

I recently posted about when, where and who was responsible for introducing wine and beer to humankind many thousands of years ago.

But as I wrote, no definate cures for hangovers were available. However I promised my friends who had commented about the unavailability of such cures that I would try and rectify the situation. It was even suggested, tongue in cheek no doubt, that it gave me an opportunity to post an intel dedicated to cures. Do you seriously believe that?

With a bit of 'googling' I have discovered an article which deals with that subject. "Hangover cures from around the world: From the scientific to the outlandish, every culture has its own perspective on curing a hangover." Just what do you do?

There is certainly a few to choose from: Food is a recurring theme in many of the cures.

The scientific:

In the north of England you are encouraged to eat as much carbohydrates as possible - as a consequence there are always long queues at Greggs bakery there.

At the Waldorf in 1894, New York socialite, Samuel Benedict, introduced his contribution which has become known as 'Eggs Benedict' - half an English muffin, topped with bacon or ham, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Just a hungry man? However research by Newcastle University concluded it was the bread - those carbohydrates again - and bacon is full of proteins. Together they break down into amino acid which helps our system to counter the effects of alcohol.

The outlandish:

During the 19th century chimney sweeps were known to dose themselves with a lump of soot and warm milk - something also used by hospitals at the time to mop up toxins in the stomach and intestines.

In China today they drink strong green tea; the Italians prefer a pot of strong black coffee (a well known cure to us in the West). Romanians, Mexicans and Turks all recommend tripe boiled in greasy, salty soup with garlic and cream.

Koreans have a stomach soup - pork spine or cow bones with coagulated blood, cabbage and vegetables.

Rabbit dropping tea was favorites with cowboys in the old west to counter the whiskey drunk the night before, something considered in the script of Brokeback Mountain, but finally rejected.

Sicilians eat dried bulls penis; while the old Celts were buried up to their necks in moist river sand. Ancient Romans had deep fried canaries, while we today have a bucket of KFC. Some New Zealanders have a cheese and mince pie with chocolate milk.

Cannabis has been suggested because it stops nausea and creates hunger. But the Dutch have decided over many years that a bit of the hair of the dog is good for you - have a few more drinks in the morning.

As I stated earlier, food is a recurring theme in the 'cures'. I suggest you drink as much water as possible, have a strong black coffee and eat when able.

There are many more available, but we will settle with what I have revealed here. Will you be trying any of these in the future?

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