With the Christmas party season approaching, the eternal question of how to cure a hangover will be at the forefront of many wearied minds.
Those who choose to burn the candle at both ends may turn in their droves to a new “cure” this year - even if it is just the latest in a long line of suggested aids.
A new patch which claims to replenish the vitamins and acids lost when consuming alcohol has gone on sale in the UK following its launch in New York late last year.
Invented by US plastic asurgeon Dr Leonard Grossman, the Bytox Hangover Prevention Patch claims to be second only to an “intravenous stuck in your arm”.
However, the treatment has not received any official medical backing either here or in the US.
Users are instructed to attach the patch - which is similar in appearance and design to a nicotine patch - 45 minutes before drinking and leave it on until the next day or about eight hours after they finish boozing.
While the effectiveness of the patch remains to be seen, it’s not the first attempt to offset the ill effects of a previous night’s excesses.
The traditional ‘cures’...
• Water and juice: While rehydrating your body will help slightly, there are a range of factors involved in a hangover and this is just one of them. Sugary drinks are especially good.
• Coffee: The combination of liquid to rehydrate and caffeine to perk you up in the morning is a popular option, although it may not be enough on its own.
• Bananas: Most hangover sufferers are less likely to turn to healthy options, but bananas are an excellent source of sugar and potassium, which is one of the things you lose when you drink. Furthermore, they can also help with nausea because they are a natural antacid and their magnesium can soothe a headache.
• Food binging: While food does not absorb alcohol as some believe, it does increase the speed with which the body processes alcohol. It is not a bad idea to eat before, during and after a drinking session (as long as you’re not watching your weight of course).
• Breakfast fry-up: This solution is one which many drinkers swear by, but again, it is likely to be a placebo effect. Greasy food is more difficult to digest, and it is advisable to get calories into your system more quickly.
• Alka-Seltzer: While not formulated specifically for hangovers, the fizzy medicine can help an upset tummy by neutralizing stomach acid. Again, this is just a partial remedy.
• Hair of the dog: While drinking more the next day can provide an initial kick, it could harm you in the long term, as your body needs time to recover from the alcohol.
• Sleep: Alcohol can put you to sleep quickly but can also cause you to wake up early through restlessness. As a general rule, if you can sleep, do so.
• Sauna: Conventional wisdom states that you can “sweat out” a hangover. But doctors warn that, on the contrary, a sauna can disrupt the normal blood flow patterns and be extremely dangerous.
And some of the more unusual methods...
• In Puerto Rico, a favoured hangover prevention method involves rubbing lemon in the armpit of your drinking arm before a boozing session.
• Germans are known to opt for pickled herring, or KaterFrühstück as they call it, meaning “hangover breakfast”.
• Some Americans are partial to a concoction known as Prairie Oyster. Designed to be swallowed quickly, it’s ingredients are tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and raw egg.
• It may not sound appetising, but Romanians traditionally cook up Tripe Soup, where the offal is boiled in a salty, greasy broth, as a remedy.
• Despite its name, the Namibian hangover cure called Buffalo Milk is actually a cocktail of clotted cream, dark rum, cream liqueur, spiced rum and whole cream.
• After a night of indulgence, Ancient Romans were said to be fond of deep-fried canary birds.
Do you have a favourite hangover cure? Let us know in the comments...
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