A history of unscientific hangover cures

Archeologists believe they have discovered an ancient hangover cure in a recently found amethyst ring, which probably wouldn't have actually done anything to shift a headache. But have hangover cures ever been anything other than pseudoscience?

Leyla Ferrand
29th November 2021
An amethyst ring, one of the most recently discovered 'ancient hangover cures' - Image credits: PxHere
The most common hangover cures include the all famous raw eggs, combined with hot sauce and salt. However, for the body, the salt mixed in won’t help you retain water; the capsaicin hot sauce is only effective as a painkiller when applied externally in tropical creams; and the cysteine found in eggs, an amino acid, doesn’t produce the right antioxidant to remove a hangover, long after the alcohol is starting to leave the body. 

On the other hand, the raw egg mixture looks surprisingly appetising in comparison to historical ancient hangover remedies. In medieval Europe, it was common to grind raw eel with almonds to consume in the aftermath of a long night. Some suggest to combat alcohol with alcohol, with concoctions made from vodka.  

amethyst was thought to have many health benefits, including hangover cures

Perhaps, the most aesthetically pleasing is the most recent archeological discovery of a gold and amethyst ring in Yavne, Israel. Believed to be from the Byzantine era, pre 7th century, amethyst was thought to have many health benefits, including hangover cures. Many of the wealthy wore elaborate jewels as forms of both healing crystals and signs of their affluence. On the other hand, the archeologists who discovered the ring believe that it had been lost, dropped off the hand of its wealthy owner - probably on a drunken night. 

To be honest, considering the unappetising ingredients in modern and ancient hangover remedies and the price of using amethyst as a cure, they probably aren’t worth it. After a night out, it's probably best to stick to the safe bets: lots of water and some food, and maybe a paracetamol. 

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