Published on December 4, 2018 | by Alastair Gilmour


Oh my head

Vincent Zeller searches for a hangover cure

What’s yours? This is not an invitation to have another drink at my expense, but an enquiry about hangover cures.

In all truth, the only way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from alcohol. Forget all this stuff about drinking small amounts of olive oil before a hefty session, or downing pints of milk to line your stomach – if you’re going to drink too much, you’re going to suffer. Simple.

It’s funny how a hangover is always caused by a “bad pint” or a “bad pie” – never too much alcohol, is it? Hangovers are often painful reminders of sessions we’d rather forget.

Yes, it was great at the time – life and soul you were – never knew you could be so witty. Tell us again what you said to the managing director’s wife – and how could you remember all the words to I’ve Got A Brand New Combine Harvester? With the Dorset accent, too.

But, once you’ve got a hangover, how to you get rid of it?

There is nothing quite like the artery-clogging fried breakfast to banish the extra heartbeat in your head. Serious lard intake is the only tried-and-tested route to feeling fine after one too many. Greasy egg, sausage, black pudding and fried bread poked around the plate by a large sweaty tomato will do nicely, though a Double Bacon and Egg McMuffin comes fairly close in the speed-of-action stakes.

An old Wild West story suggests quaffing hot water mixed with jackrabbit droppings for a hangover, while the Ancient Greeks swore by the restorative powers of eating cabbage.

Hangovers usually bring on bouts of heartburn or hiccups, which multiply the misery. In a research paper some years ago, the eminent doctor James Le Fanu related the eye-watering tale of a young man whose hiccupping had lasted for 72 hours despite several “cures”.

“Rectal massage was then attempted,” he wrote. “The frequency of the hiccups began to slow and terminated within 30 seconds.”

McMuffin and regular fries, please.

About the Author

Alastair Gilmour

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