We all like to drink, even when knowing full well that the dreaded hangover waits for us in the morning.
What are hangovers and why do we get them? Well very simply, alcohol is a diuretic so the more you drink the more you pee. So the biggest cause for waking up and feeling like death is basically dehydration.
There is also the matter of your body trying to break down alcohol after ingestion. Enzymes then come into play, which then depletes valuable coenzymes which you need to feel normal. But let’s not bother getting into the fine print. You get drunk, you get a hangover.
This has been happening for ages though all around the world. It’s what we do about it that has set us apart. To prove this I have researched a few weird and wonderful hangover cures that people have sworn by from across the globe at some stage or another.
Some of these cures sound like they were thought up by drunk people, but in the interest of culture and a bit of science, let’s consider all options.
The Full English Breakfast
The English are often drunk. With pub culture being what it is, and the weather always being so awful it’s totally understandable.
So when they wake up after a bender, it’s a big fatty breakfast for the painful hangover.
Italians keep it classy with espressos
In stark contrast to the lumpy English, Italians get stuck into some good old fashioned caffeine.
The belief is that a good home made espresso helps dilate the blood vessels, something that will naturally take the hangover away.
The ancient crunchy canary
Before the Italians became sophisticated across the classes, the ancient Romans used to eat deep fried canaries. After a night of wine and prostitutes, they would wake up, straighten the togo then put a few of these small birds in the ‘chip fryer’.
Apparently the crunchy little bones did the trick.
An umeboshi a day keep the hangover away
Trust the Japanese to be a no-mess no-fuss type of people even when it comes to combating the hangover.
The umeboshi is a Japanese salted preserved plum. It’s sour as all hell, and is sometimes taken in green tea to dilute the overpowering taste, but it seems to the do the trick.
Some like it hot
The Russians may even beat the Brits when it comes to being drunk. Much like the severity of their booze that gets them in the hangover zone, their ‘cure’ is also a little hardcore. The traditional Russians believe in a good old hot sauna, a light whipping with the leaves from a birch tree, then swallowing a raw egg.
They believe the toxins will simply sweat out, but this sounds dangerous when dehydrated, oh and for those with heart conditions…
This has to be absolute bull
Those living in Sicily have thankfully moved on from this hangover cure, but back in the day a dried bull’s penis used to be the hangover cure of choice on the island.
Thought to restore your ‘virility’, it just goes to show that some people will do whatever they can to feel better.
Eyes on the prize
People who live off the land are quite practical, but they can also be completely bizarre as their social skills and cultures are often sort of ‘niche’. The Mongolians and their hangover cure are a fine example of this.
They combine tomato juice which is proven to be good for the liver, but then they throw in two pickled sheeps eyes. Nobody really knows why, but good luck arguing with a hangover Mongolian on this.
Going in for Reparationbajers
Some countries simply say screw it, let’s get back on the horse. Hair of the dog as it’s known, although the Danes have a much better phrase. The Reparationsbajer, which quite simply means the ‘repair beer’.
Personally, a bit glass of water before bed, and a little bit of vitamin C with no vigorous movement will do you just fine the morning after. Or just visit your local pharmacy and stock up on stuff that cures hangovers.