For all that we try to maintain that “healthy and balanced lifestyle” you’re always hearing so much about these days, there are times when the fun gets ever so slightly out of hand…. A nice big glass of red or two too many and you’re waking up with a head full of regrets that are pounding on your skull and a queasy feeling down below. So what should you do? How should you tackle it? To what should you turn in your time of great need?
The Hearty English Way
Typical of our hearty national character, the classic English approach to the hangover dispenses with anything light and soothing: forget the green tea- it’s all about the no-nonsense fried breakfast. That’s the full complement of bacon, sausage, baked beans, fried bread, tomato and fried eggs! The very idea of this array in the morning might be enough to turn your stomach, and it’s certainly not going to do your waistline any favours. But is that what you’re thinking about when you’re hungover? …Exactly! You want fuel and you want it ASAP. It’s certainly not a subtle approach, but that salty, greasy wallop washed down with a big mug of milky tea provides sustenance… and a nice helping of psychological comfort too!
The Sensible Scientific Solution
Now there’s a definite sense of folk wisdom to the fry-up solution so for a more scientific answer you might just want to go with a whole load of water and some bed rest. It’s true that it’s slightly underwhelming, but sometimes there’s little better than recharging the batteries in bed and recovering in peace and quiet… assuming that is that your bed is half decent! There can be none of this sleeping on a sofa or trying to get comfortable on a lumpy old mattress; investing in a good bed with mattress package before you find yourself hungover is the truly sensible thing to do! (That way when the headache from hell does turn up and pound on your brain you’ll be all set!)
Hair of the Dog
But whilst that’s all very sensible, it’s not exactly the most inventive of hangover cures, is it? The concept of “hair of the dog” or “hair of the dog that bit you” is an interesting one. You’ll find this approach taking various forms and in the USA, in particular, there are two classics: The Prairie Oyster and the Bloody Mary. Most know the Bloody Mary – tomato juice and vodka with a few spices and additions to taste, but fewer are familiar with the Prairie Oyster. This is understandable as it actually involves a raw egg. It’s generally comprised of brandy, tabasco, vinegar and one raw egg yolk. It might make you gag, but hey- if it goes down smoothly you could well be in for a good day…!
Finally, there are two slightly unusual choices from delightful Romania and Poland. The Romanians recommend tripe soup (just to clarify: that’s a hearty broth with a cow’s stomach as the main ingredient!) which, if nothing else, can certainly be said to hydrate the body well. The Polish actually go for pickle juice- that’s the juice of pickled gherkins, onions or whatever it might be. In fact, it really just amounts to flavoured vinegar. It’s sour and tangy so will definitely give you something to think about, although how effective a cure it makes is quite another matter!
A Final Thought…
So with their long and proud history, over-indulgers the world over have come up with some pretty interesting solutions to the perennial consequence of having one too many. Some are sensible, some are novel, some are highly amusing and some are, quite frankly, disgusting. If we’re honest with ourselves we all know that the most effective answer to the hangover problem is moderation, moderation, moderation… but that’s not much fun now, is it?