Like many of us, we’ve christened each new year imbibing in tasty alcoholic drinks anticipating the new horizon ahead while shedding the year’s events. With friends and family, we danced and drank in no specific order. And we paid for those joy-filled hours suffering the next-day hangovers. As the years tick by, with several parties under our belts, most of us have our own hangover cure we ply to mitigate those new year blahs.
Ancient wisdom to present-day myths
If you query ten people who have experienced hangovers and their aftereffects, you will get ten different answers on how they “cure” their next-day hangover. Ancient Romans believed eating fried canaries cured hangovers. Today’s Greek fraternity brothers purport “hair of the dog,” meaning more alcohol. That myth rose from the days when a cure for rabies was thought to be a potion concocted from the fur of the animal that bit you.
Revealing interesting facts
According to Jeffrey Wiese, MD, from the General Internal Medicine Section of the Veterans Administration, he and colleagues derived the culmination report of 108 studies focusing specifically on hangovers. He and medical experts offer insight so we can effectively plan for or manage our upcoming New Year’s celebratory event without suffering its next-day impact.
I passed this quiz among thirteen folks of both genders who admittedly suffered from New Year’s and other occasional hangovers. Not one aced this test. Rather, most were surprised they didn’t get all the answers correct and all admitted they learned something.
How much do you really know about hangovers? Try and ace the quiz below.
What’s on the horizon?
Some have proffered vitamin B6 and prostaglandin inhibitors (the class of anti-inflammatory drugs that include Ibuprofen and aspirin). Studies have found a high level of cytokines, a protein that sends messages to the immune system, in folks with hangovers – alluding to the conclusion that dehydration and inflammatory response leads to feeling miserable after consuming alcohol.
Does anything homeopathic-related work?
Scientists have a spate of findings that supplements – red Ginseng, Siberian Ginseng and Korean pear juice – may offer some relief. Extract from the fruit Holvenia Dulcis, a tree native to East Asia, showed promise in a small study. Extract from prickly pear cactus was reported to reduce symptoms if taken prior to consuming alcohol. The report did not disclose the amount of extract or how it was consumed (e.g., with water, juice or pure extract). Further research is hinting probiotics may have promise, but no data has been published.
Intravenous cures, really?
IV lounges have been popping up and claim to quickly cure your hangover by infusing electrolytes directly in your vein. Medical research has not yet reported that electrolytes, whether you drink them or take them via an intravenous infusion, is the ultimate cure for a hangover. What was consistent in every study was the inclusion of sipping water or non-alcoholic drinks interspersed throughout the drinking of alcohol to lessen the dehydration that incites a domino effect of next-day blahs. Make this New Year’s celebration more enjoyable.
Kate Doherty has been writing for more than 30 years in technical, medical and general media. In her previous business, she and her spouse dealt with special projects within the military/government sector. Recently she published Masquerade: A Logan Scott Novel under the pen name Bryan Alexander, a thriller now available in eBook and paperback on Amazon. It’s a page-turner!