A hangover is one of the worst things you can ever go through, especially if your boss expects you to get to work early. Someone suffering from a hangover will usually experience a splitting headache, extreme thirst, dryness of the mouth, vomiting, dizziness, tremors, muscle cramps, nausea and serious fatigue.
The wisest man who ever lived described a hangover in a proverb (Proverbs 23:32) like this: “in the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.” Therefore, if you do not want to find out the pain that results from a poisonous viper’s bite, it should be your goal to avoid a hangover at all costs. Three ways of dealing with hangovers include avoiding drinking altogether, drinking in moderation as you also drink water, or making use of hangover remedies.
Although not drinking at all is the surest way of not getting a hangover, people want to experiment with moderate drinking. Moderate drinking, more often than not, leads to heavy drinking and people find themselves going to look for hangover remedies when the hangover has already hit them hard. Something to note is that the type of drink you take can also affect your likelihood of getting a hangover, “the darker the liquor, the harder the hangover will hit.”
Since today people know that drinking water during and after indulging in alcohol and taking some scientifically proven hangover remedies will also help to prevent a hangover, what did people in ancient times do?
Here is a list of ways that people used to cure hangovers in ancient times. Which of these would you use today?
15. Prairie Oyster (New England, 1878)
If you want to cure a hangover the way the English used to do it in the late 1870s, then the Prairie Oyster is what you need. This hangover remedy is some kind of a cocktail consisting of a raw egg, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ground black pepper, Tabasco sauce and salt.
It is important not to break the yolk of the raw egg, so you have to break it into a glass. You then add one teaspoon full of Worcestershire sauce, a pinch of salt, black pepper and two dashes of Tabasco sauce. The drink might not end up being the best thing you have ever tasted, but it will surely cure your hangover.
14. Dried Bull Penis (Sicily, Italy)
You probably think that ingesting a dried bull’s penis has got to be the most disgusting thing that you could ever do – and you are probably right. People who eat any type of animal penises are those in shows like Fear Factor and, as such, are the people who would do anything or eat anything in order to make some money.
However, the Italians – especially those living in Sicily – know how to get rid of a hangover the hard way. Coming across a dried bull’s penis might not be as easy today as it probably was a few decades back in Sicily, but the Italians can testify that this is the best way to cure a hangover.
13. Raw Pickled Herring Wrapped Around Pieces of Gherkin and Onion (Germany)
Since we all know that you can never go wrong with a German vehicle, you might be tempted to think that everything made in Germany is outstanding. Of course, the Germans are all about great quality – and the same can be said about their cure for hangovers. After a night of heavy drinking, the Germans would wake up to “katerfrühstück”, which when translated into English means “a hangover breakfast”, which consists of raw pickled herring wrapped around pieces of gherkin and onion.
This hangover remedy is apparently supposed to be taken on an empty stomach, and it supposedly works exceptionally well. Would you want to try it, though?
12. Picked Sheep Eyes in Tomato Juice (Mongolia)
Have you ever been to Mongolia? Mongolia is a great country to visit, especially if you want to experience beauty and wonderful people with strong cultural ties. If you ever get to go to Mongolia and end up having too much to drink, you need not worry about missing anything on your next day’s itinerary because their hangover remedy will get you back in an instant.
Ancient Mongolians used to cure their hangovers by ingesting sheep eyes in tomato juice – a concoction that present-day Mongolians would love to make for you. The cocktail certainly sounds strange and I am sure it tastes even stranger, but it is sure to get rid of that hangover before you know it.
11. A Glass of Warm Milk with a Teaspoon of Soot (the 1800s)
Before conventional medicine and the hangover remedies that you can buy over the counter today, people used to cure their hangovers in the simplest of ways. For instance, in the 1800s, a night of heavy drinking was no reason for anyone to neglect his or her next day’s chores or responsibilities since a teaspoon full of soot from the chimney stirred in a glass of warm milk was enough to cure the hangover.
Surprisingly, today’s hangover helpers contain carbon, which soaks up toxins produced in the body after heavy drinking, playing the same role as the soot from the chimney. Taking this hangover remedy before drinking would work even better.
10. Duck Embryo in the Egg (Philippines)
Would you ingest a balut egg, which is a Filipino name for a duck embryo? To some extent, it sounds wrong to eat the embryo of anything, although eating eggs and adult birds and animals, and claiming that eating an embryo of the same is wrong would be a bit hypocritical.
In the Philippines, eating duck embryo is not only acceptable, but it is both a hangover cure and an aphrodisiac. The duck’s embryo contains cysteine, which is a substance that has the ability to break down hangover toxins in the liver, consequently restoring you to a great state after a night of heavy drinking.
9. Ground Rhino Horn in Hot Water (Vietnam)
This is one of the worst remedies you would ever want use to cure a hangover – and it’s not because of the taste but because of what it takes to prepare it. Apparently, grinding a rhino’s horn in hot water and drinking it is a way that people used to cure hangovers in the past.
The worst thing about this method of curing a hangover is that it involves killing one of the most endangered species in the world. A rhino is far more precious than missing a day of work, because they are so few in the world, and the cure is yet to have proven useful benefits.
8. Goddard’s Drops (England 1600s)
Of all hangover cures, Goddard’s Drops are the creepiest, weirdest and smelliest cures on the list – and they’re also possibly poisonous. Goddard’s Drops were a hangover cure apparently made by Jonathan Goddard, who was a physician who lived in the 1600s. Jonathan prepared these drops using ammonia and then mixed it with weird things such as a dried viper, the skull of a person who was hanged and other weird things.
A person suffering from a serious hangover would ingest drops of the resultant concoction, and would apparently feel better. Although you would find it difficult to come across Goddard’s Drops anywhere on a shelf today, please do not make it for yourself regardless of how bad the hangover is, lest you poison yourself.
7. Raw Owl’s Eggs and Deep-Fried Canary (Ancient Rome)
For a very long period in history, the Roman Empire conquered and ruled the then-known world, meaning that the superior Roman methods and way of life spread throughout the conquered lands. However, the Romans’ methods of curing a hangover might not have been as great as others in different parts of the world, but their methods must have been effective.
Curing a hangover involved ingesting raw Owl’s eggs. Forget about the taste and think about how on earth you would get your hand on an Owl’s eggs today. Also, deep frying a canary and eating it is supposed to work, only if you can manage to kill and deep fry that cute looking bird.
6. Pellet Tea (US Wild West)
Pellet tea is tea made of rabbit droppings – and this is what cowboys in the Wild West used to drink to cure their hangover. I am sure you are asking yourself who even discovered pellet tea, but that is not as important as the risk that people who drink this tea are putting themselves in.
It is a fact that rabbit manure has a great percentage of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphoric acid that are important in dealing with a hangover, but the side-effects of ingesting anything that comes out of another animal’s digestive system are too much. Whether this method works or not, you are better off taking some painkillers than drinking pallet tea in the morning after heavy drinking.
5. Get Buried in River Sand (Ireland)
The Irish definitely have one of the weirdest ways of getting rid of a hangover, a way that city-dwellers will have a very hard time trying to hack. Many years ago in Ireland, people who had had too much to drink the previous night would have their friends bury them in river sand all the way up to their necks, such that only their heads are on the surface.
This was too bad for claustrophobic people or people who did not have friends to dig them a hole and bury them because they were also nursing a hangover. The Irish can tell us how effective this hangover cure is, since not many people have access to a river these days.
4. Put a Spell on Some Beer (Ancient Egypt)
Ancient Egypt was a civilization that was well beyond its time – and sadly most of the knowledge and technology of those times is either lost or buried so far deep into the earth that we do not know about it. Since the pyramids are still a mystery to this day, yet their architecture is beyond amazing, then everything else these ancient Egyptians did has got to have a touch of amazing in it, right?
The ancient Egyptian way of curing a hangover includes putting a spell on the beer, more specifically, stringing leaves of a plant called ruscus racemosus, which is commonly called Alexandrian chamaedaphne or Alexandrian laurel, around your neck. Don’t ask how that helps, just know that the Egyptians did it and it therefore has to work, right?
3. Sheep Lungs, Owl Eggs and Boiled Cabbage (Ancient Greece)
Ancient Greece is the home of some of the most useful knowledge and inventions we have today; therefore, anything that the ancient Greeks did should be taken very seriously. The idea that the ancient Greeks had of curing a hangover included feasting on sheep lungs together with owl eggs.
Sheep lungs and owl eggs might be a bit hard to get a hold of these days, but nothing is impossible. Furthermore, the ancient Greeks also believed that boiled cabbage would do the trick, an option that most people would actually come across. This hangover cure is sure to get you feeling better in no time – try it!
2. Lemon in the Armpit (Puerto Rico)
Puerto Ricans have one of the most novel ways of curing a hangover, although questions might be asked concerning its effectiveness. In Puerto Rico, people who knew that their chances of drinking too much were very high, they would rub a slice of lemon or lime under their armpits and this would apparently eliminate chances of developing hangovers the following morning.
What is interesting about this cure is that a drinker would have to rub the lemon under their drinking arm, not the other arm. The lemon is supposed to prevent dehydration, and we understand that one of the benefits of smelling like a citrus fruit is that you will not stink up the place.
1. Raw Eel (Middle Ages)
Medieval England is responsible for this very weird way of trying to cure a hangover, which only makes us appreciate the fact that we live when times when hangover remedies have drastically changed. It seems like there is nothing about raw eel that would possibly cure a hangover because raw eel’s blood is actually poisonous.
Ingesting even a small amount of an eel’s blood is enough to kill you, so do not try this hangover cure under any circumstances. The only way to look at raw eel as a cure is to imagine that an individual would only be saved through permanent sleep, which doesn’t really sound like a cure at all!