25 wacky hangover cures and why you probably won’t try them…
For thousands of years men and women across the globe have been putting strange concoctions in their mouths in the hope of curing a hangover. Quidblog explores 25 of the weirdest post-booze pick-me-ups…
Cure: Wake up, find yourself the lung of a sheep and a couple of owl eggs, cook yourself a rather unappetising fried breakfast. Scoff the lot.
Origin: Ancient Greece
Why you won’t bother: Where to start? On a practical level the chances of your local Sainsbury’s having a sheep's lung in stock is limited. But if that isn’t enough to deter you, how about the fact that you could end up with a £5,000 fine and custodial sentence if you attempt to steal eggs from a barn owl?
Cure: Pluck the feathers from two fried canaries, stick them in a deep fat fryer and serve.
Origin: Ancient Rome
Why you won’t bother: Let’s be honest, not even Hesthon Blumenthal would suggest targeting the next-door neighbour’s pets just to satisfy a lust to emulate Augustus Caesar. A favourite of Roman author and philosopher, Pliny the Elder, it may be best to give the decapitation and skinning process a miss…unless of course, you’ve a couple of man servants called Tullus and Titus to do the dirty work for you.
Cure: Catch a couple of eels (presumably before you’ve been out drinking), add a few bitter almonds and ground the combination into a paste. Eat.
Origin: Medieval England
Why you won’t bother: It may sound more Essex than Medieval, but the likelihood of finding eels appealing while nursing a hangover seems beyond the pale.
Cure: Find yourself a can of sour herring (Surströmming), open, wretch, consume.
Why you won’t bother: A Japanese study recently revealed that opening a can of surströmming is the most putrid smell of food in the world. It’s basically rotten fish and as such is so malodourous that diners usually consume it outdoors to prevent the smell contaminating their homes. Not bad on toast apparently, assuming you’ve not puked after the first bite.
Cure: Stick 13 black pins into the cork of the offending liquor bottle
Why you won’t bother: From the home of voodoo comes a hangover cure so bizarre that you sense if you get it wrong there’s a chance some poor bloke in Slough might end up with a pricking sensation in the back of his neck. For many Brits the problem will likely be the fact they were boozing on beer – and beer doesn’t have a cork.
Cure: Bury the ailing person in moist river sand
Why you won’t bother: If you’re not put off by the prospect of the CSI Dublin team tiptoeing around your frozen corpse trying to figure a time of death, perhaps the fact it requires a river, spade, wet sand, time and a helping hand will do the trick.
Cure: Consume pickled plums (Umeboshi)
Why you won’t bother: Pickled for six months, umeboshis’ salty and sour qualities are thought to be the perfect alkaline pick me up for blood poisoned by the evils of alcohol. Not only do they supposedly taste horrific, they also look like shrivelled testicles. Hardly appetising!
Cure: Eat pickled sheep eyes in tomato juice
Why you won’t bother: If like Genghis Khan, you’re a warlord responsible for tyrannical campaigns which are thought to have cost nearly 40 million lives, then why not tuck into eyeball soup when you wake up feeling rough. If you’re not, best stick to water.
Cure: Down a pint of pickle juice
Why you won’t bother: Granted, it’s not the most unpalatable solution on this list, but while the salty qualities of pickle juice make it a staple in the diets of heavy-drinking Poles, the chances are you’ll opt for Powerade and Gatorade which both purport to work in a similar way.
Cure: Rub lemon slices under the armpit before drinking.
Origin: Puerto Rico
Why you won’t bother: The theory behind rubbing lemon under the armpits stems from the notion that its juice helps retain liquid which can help prevent dehydration and subsequently stave off headaches. The truth is, while you may end up smelling like a bottle of Mr Muscle, you’re unlikely to feel any better. You’re also wasting a fine accoutrement to your gin and tonic & tequila shot chaser.
Cure: Eat tripe (Cow’s intestines) soup
Origin: Middle East
Why you won’t bother: It’s fair to say that persuading yourself to indulge in tripe is predominantly a mental thing. After all, cow intestine isn’t exactly the most appetising of dishes. High in protein, salts and liquids it’s supposed to work by helping the body rehydrate. But soup…in the morning - really?
Cure: Scavenge for dried rabbit droppings, mix with water, boil and serve as a soup.
Why you won’t bother: After a lonesome night with only a horse for company, it’s little wonder cowboys turned to the bottle to keep themselves entertained. Of course, waking up in the desert poses all manner of problems when it comes to solving the resulting hangover. For a start there’s not a greasy spoon for miles. It only seems natural then, that they’d turn to rabbit droppings to spice up their morning brew…wait a second, no it doesn’t!
Cure: Drink the juice of a cucumber
Why you won’t bother: Given the Russians’ status as legendary drinkers it almost seems churlish to write this off. I mean they must know what they talk about right? Surely though, if a cucumber is 90% water, you might as well save yourself the bother and have a glass of water. There’s less chance of picking up e-coli poisoning too!
Cure: Eat boiled cabbage
Origin: Ancient Egypt
Why you won’t bother: Hands up if you enjoyed cabbage as a child? Keep your hands raised if you liked it boiled? Last one…keep them up if you’d choose to eat boiled cabbage after a night sloshing back tequila shots? Thought not. Point proved.
Cure: Indulge in a bite or two of dried bull’s penis
Why you won’t bother: It wouldn’t be a list of weird foodstuffs without the inclusion of genitalia. The Italians can be thanked for many things; the hilarity of Silvio Berlusconi, the deliciousness of pasta and pizza, but not apparently decent for a tasty hangover cure. Hailing from Sicily comes the traditional cure of munching on the dried penis of a bull. Enough said. You won’t be trying it.
Cure: Go for a run, get sweaty, lick the sweat, spit it out
Origin: Native American
Why you won’t bother: Quidblog can just about advocate doing a little exercise after a night out, but my word, the idea of licking ourselves afterwards is really quite repulsive. Obviously our Native American friends have never seen us in the gym…
Cure: Drink warm milk with soot (as favoured by Victorian era chimney sweeps)
Origin: Victorian England
Why you won’t bother: Almost perpetually covered in soot anyway, you can’t help but wonder whether chimney sweeps of the 18th centrury were really just drinking warm milk. The fact that soot is a carcinogen and likely to cause cancer makes this an absolute no-go.
Cure: Treat yourself to a Prairie Oyster
Origin: Great Britain
Why you won’t bother? Carefully place one raw egg in a glass, add Worcester Sauce, hot sauce, salt, pepper and swallow in one gulp. The texture, like an oyster, is what will put most people off. That and the idea of eating raw egg and the age-old salmonella connotations.
Cure: Drink more alcohol (“Hair of the Dog”)
Origin: The world over
Why you won’t bother: As tempting as it may be to wake up and immediately tuck into another tasty tipple, it’s not exactly healthy to start boozing at your desk on a regular basis. While the notion of treating like with like certainly stands firm in the tradition of countries across the world, Quidblog doesn’t advocate any reliance on booze whatsoever!
Cure: Drink sparrow droppings in brandy
Why you won’t bother: Do we have to go through this again? Faecal matter in the mouth = no!
Cure: Suck on a lemon slice topped with sugar and ground coffee then wash it down with Vodka / Brandy (Nikolaschka)
Why you won’t bother: Advocated by Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, you’d be ill advised to follow the guidance of a man who pretty much single-handedly found himself responsible for the downfall of the Romanov dynasty. Working within the ‘hair of the dog’ framework, the Nikolaschka certainly tries to tick the correct boxes offering an acidic-sugar-caffeine rush, but somehow it has taken off in Starbucks.
Cure: Eat a full English breakfast
Why you won’t bother: With Britain’s men and women amongst Europe’s most obese and with an overriding sense of guilt a pre-requisite for any true hangover, it just seems wrong to allow yourself such an extravagantly greasy morning treat. Of course, maintaining your willpower and opting for muesli when you’re faced with the prospect of a morning feed is a completely different matter.
Cure: Create yourself a ‘Buffalo Milk’ cocktail
Why you won’t bother: Featuring a combination of ice cream, dark rum, cream liqueur, spiced rum and whole cream, this concoction is probably best avoided if you’re lactose intolerant. While it sounds delicious, there’s absolutely no suggestion it actually works.
Cure: Have yourself a Bloody Mary
Origin: Harry’s Bar, Paris
Why you won’t bother: With a million and one variations accommodating either a variation on the use of vodka, or an alternative mixer to tomato juice, the Bloody Mary is the breakfast choice of many a seasoned drinker. While its ‘restorative’ properties are debatable, the reason most people will avoid it is the fact it’s likely to get them drunk again.
Cure: Boil the skin of a banana and drink the resulting liquid.
Why you won’t bother: It sounds pretty harmless and is according to the Chinese a means of relaxing the body while it contends with nausea, but it seems unlikely that a Brit is likely to swap his usual cup of Earl Grey even in his or her darkest moment.
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