I’ve personally found that the best hangover cure is an egg, a banana, some water, and a multivitamin, all taken the night of the drinking before I go to sleep. Others insist that the best hangover cure is burnt toast. And still others fill their stomachs with greasy food.
There is some science to the burning off of hangovers, but most people prefer their own personal remedies. Here are some of the craziest hangover cures from around the world.
Long ago, dried bull penis was considered a hangover cure (and an aphrodisiac) in Sicily. Clearly, hangovers and virility are closely linked for many cultures.
Puerto Ricans believe that if, before a night of drinking, you rub a lemon or lime slice in the armpit of your drinking arm, you won’t be sick the next day.
A number of cultures, notably the Russians, suggest sweat therapy for cleansing the body of toxins. I, for one, do not fully understand why I would make my body even more dehydrated than it already is, but many banya fans switch between hot steam rooms and cold pools, and I could see how the shock to the system might help distract from other ugly sensations.
Korea is home to haejangguk, which is literally translated to “hangover soup.” This soup features an ox bone broth, ox blood, and soybean paste.
Hindu medicine has a large number of “cleanses” that are meant to clean the toxins from your body. Cleanses have become the trendy new thing for people looking to lose weight, and their effectiveness in that regard depends on both the person and the cleanse. But they are almost certainly a good idea for those looking to burn off hangovers: not only do they ask that you eat healthy food and get massages, but they take time. Which is the one indisputably proven hangover cure.
Germans often suggest rollmops, which are filets of pickled herring wrapped around a pickle or an onion. The saltiness is said to encourage you to drink more water, and the sugar is said to help replenish your blood sugar after a night of drinking.
The Philippines is famous for balut, a fertilized duck embryo boiled and eaten out of the egg. Balut is also used as a hangover cure.
Tripe soup (Ciorba de burta in Romania) is a very popular hangover cure in Eastern Europe. Tripe, which is made from cow stomach, is mixed with vinegar, crushed garlic, hot pepper, and fermented wheat bran. If you can stomach the idea of eating a cow’s stomach while nauseous, then the soup may not be a bad idea: it’s loaded with protein.
Peruvians suggest taking the marinade leftover from a ceviche — they call it “Leche de Tigre,” and taking it as a shot for a hangover cure. The concoction is also said to be an aphrodisiac, so two birds with one stone.
Ask a scuba diver: an injection of a little extra oxygen into your bloodstream can go a long way after a rough night out. And if you’re not a diver, there are always oxygen bars.
An Irish Celtic legend suggests that the best hangover cure is to get buried up to your neck in wet sand. Not many people actually try this hangover cure.
One of the go-to “hair of the dog” hangover cures is the Bloody Mary, but the Mongolians have made their own, much weirder version. Instead of vodka and spices in their tomato juice, they put two pickled sheeps eyes into it.
In the Old West, cowboys would fight off hangovers with a tea made from the droppings of jackrabbits. But to be fair, this was only marginally more disgusting than all of the other food and drink available in the Wild West.
In Japan, plums — or ume — are pickled in sea salt and are served over hot rice. The plums are incredibly sour, and are said by the Japanese to be good for slowing aging, improving digestion, and, of course, ending hangovers.
Haitian voodoo practitioners will stick 13 black-headed pins into the cork of the bottle they were drinking from the night before. And even if it doesn’t work, the idea of punishing the booze that’s punishing you is going to make you feel better.