New Year's Eve celebrations are often accompanied by the consumption of alcohol, often to excess. This means many people are nursing hangovers on the first day of the new year. In order to combat the headache, fatigue, and dry mouth of hangovers, people have developed a wide range of "cures," some of which are more effective than others.
Hangovers are caused primarily by dehydration, so drinking a few glasses of water before bed can help relieve symptoms. People who were consuming mixed drinks should consider drinking "virgin" versions of their beverage of choice. For instance, a party-goer who spent the evening consuming vodka and cranberry might drink cranberry juice. This can be easier on stomachs than drinking water. Intake of non-alcoholic beverages should continue throughout the day after a party.
Commercial painkillers are also commonly used to battle headaches and body aches associated with hangovers. Aspirin can upset stomachs, which can be more sensitive than normal after a night of drinking.
Not all ideas are as effective as water and commercial painkillers at reducing the discomfort of hangovers.
Coffee is often part of the morning ritual for people suffering from hangovers, but healthcare professionals do not recommend the drink as a treatment, since it acts like a diuretic, similar to alcohol.
Alcohol is a popular home remedy for hangovers, often called "the hair of the dog that bit you." This behavior can alleviate some symptoms of the condition, but will just serve to make them worse in the long term.
Bytox, an adhesive patch that releases green tea extract and multivitamins through the skin, is applied before drinking commences. The manufacturer claims these substances will help alleviate the symptoms of alcohol on the human body.
For New Yorkers needing serious rehydration, I.V. Doc visits homes, providing clients with intravenous injections of a concoction of liquid vitamins, amino acids, and other ingredients.
Some ancient people, including those in Greece and Rome, would eat boiled cabbage and drink the broth the cooking produced as a way of offsetting the effects of alcohol. Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote that sheep intestines and the ground-up beaks of swallows also served to treat the condition.
Ancient Egyptians believed that casting spells on drinks before consumption would prevent the effects of hangovers.
Raw eel was consumed by many people suffering from the after-effects of alcohol during the Middle Ages. This food provides protein and nutrients that could help relieve symptoms, so the practice may have had some benefit. People of the era, however, believed the animal came back to life after being ingested, and drank remaining alcohol.
"Warm milk mixed with a spoonful of fireplace ashes seemed to also be popular among 19th century England. Granted, charcoal does have the ability to re-balance the acid/alkaline of the digestive system so -- when mixed with milk -- it wouldn't be too different [from] over-the-counter antacids we find today," Justin Jones wrote for the Daily Beast.