Top 8 Historical Cures For Hangover

How did they deal with it back then?

It’s Friday again and after another week of hard work you deserve to have some Friday night fun, but before running down to your local pub with your friends for a couple of cold ones, you should remember that too much fun on Friday night will give you a hell of a headache on Saturday morning.

The morning hangover has always been the bitter side of a great night out, the punishment your body deals you for abusing it and pretty much everybody has his own way of fighting it. Some think a big lavish breakfast would take away the headache, others resort to drinking large quantities of water. Some even choose to fight fire with fire and go for a quick drink to put them on their feet.

Hangover is probably the worst enemy of all party animals ever since the concept of party and booze appeared.

Today we have pills to help us deal with the morning hangover or we resort to the traditional methods, but where did those methods appeared? And what other methods of fighting hangover our ancestors used thorough the centuries?

Let’s find out by looking at the top eight old ways of dealing with hangover and get ready to go medieval on hangovers

8. Sour Herring. (Surströmming)

While originated in Scandinavia, it’s good to note that even scandinavians who have used this as a hangover cure since ages, will always consume this specialty outside so their houses won’t end up smelling like it. The Japanese Association for the Study of Taste and Smell ( Yeah, that actually exists I looked it up) found that the smell of Surströmming which is basically rotten fish, is the most putrid food smell in the world. I can’t really tell if the consumption of this product cures the hangover or the fact that you might probably vomit everything you ingested in the last week after taking a bite.

7. Wearing a crown of parsley on your head.

This method is recommended to us by the ancients Greeks and is presumably very effective to ward off hangovers. Although I can’t say I tried this method before is seems to be far more humane than the Scandinavian approach. Also it’s a very polite way of communicating :”I got wasted last night, please don’t make any loud noises around me”.

6. Pickled sheep eyes in tomato juice.

This was a cure used in Mongolia and I reckon Genghis Han’s soldiers either stayed sober or had very large herds of sheep. One way or the other this probably not something you could try yourself unless you’re a shepard or your local grocery store sells cans of pickled sheep eyes.

5. A lung of a sheep with owl eggs.

If you didn’t found the parsley crown quite fashionable, the ancients Greeks suggest us an alternative cure : a tasty breakfast of fried sheep lungs and owl eggs( what is it with sheep and hangovers, is the cure for drinking encrypted in their DNA, or something?) Anyway I think that cure might have worked then but nowadays I would strongly advise NOT to go on a owl egg hunt. It may get you a fine to go with that headache.

4. Eels with almonds

In the medieval England, each spring thousands of eels would invade Thames and it seems people just made the best of it. Consuming bitter almonds before drinking would allegedly prevent you from getting drunk and a pasta made out of eels and almonds could cure the morning hangover. A seemingly very popular cure at the time, but still, if you plan on trying it make sure you go eel fishing BEFORE starting your drinking session.

3. Sauerkraut.

Not only a cure for hangover but also a very healthy food, the sauerkraut contains vitamin C, lactobacili and has various cancer-fighting compounds. While in certain regions of Europe it’s still consumed as a refreshing snack or used to cook various dishes, we can find versions of sauerkraut in ancient Rome and even China. Even though the Romans had recipes for cabbage preserved in salt, it seems sauerkraut was brought to medieval Europe by the Mongols and Tartars. Probably they run out of sheep’s eyes.

2. Getting yourself buried in the river sand.

While it sees more like a torture than a cure, in Ireland , after a night of drinking with your mates at the village pub, you would be fresh and ready for a new day right after you spent some time buried under the moist cold river sand. I guess you need a designated digger for that one.

1. Drink horse dung juice.

And I would advise you not to Google this one. Squeezing juice out of horse manure down the throat of the drunkard was a method recommended in the dark ages for those who would literally risk drink themselves to death, although in my opinion it could probably be just a cruel ancient prank.

Your opinion

So tell me, are you tempted to try any of the old school methods any time soon or do you have your own method of curing hangover?

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Cristi Thomasson

Cristi Thomasson loves to write all new things about Home and Kitchen. She is a passionate blogger and concentrates on modern interior design. She is a contributor of home and kitchen segments of

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