Be warned - there's no such thing as a hangover cure!

With the festive season in full swing in Australia and elsewhere, in the run up to Christmas, scientists in the United States have made an attempt to ascertain if there is indeed a proven cure for a hangover.

Hangover cures abound and range from the ludicrous and ridiculous to the seemingly sensible but according to a study by two American doctors the idea you can cure a hangover is little more than a medical myth.

Suggested cures include aspirin, bananas, Vegemite and water, a good old-fashioned fried breakfast and even the 'hair of the dog', (more alcohol) and a trawl through the internet offers endless options for supposedly preventing or treating alcohol hangovers.

However researchers Dr. Rachel Vreeman and Dr. Aaron Carroll, from Indiana University School of Medicine say none of these supposed hangover remedies are effective.

The two carried out a comprehensive search of published scientific literature into a number of medical myths for evidence to support common claims and they say preventing or alleviating the after-effects of a night's over-indulgence is little more than folk wisdom which regularly appears at Christmas with no foundation in fact.

Hundreds of remedies have been proposed over as many years, many of which are said to have a medical foundation and some are even advocated by doctors.

However Dr. Vreeman and Dr. Carroll found no evidence from randomised trials to suggest that any of them worked - they say good studies were available evaluating the herb borage, the artichoke, prickly pear, Vegemite, fructose, glucose, tolfenamic acid and propranolol and none were found to have had any effect.

They say they found no scientific evidence for preventing or treating hangovers in either traditional or complementary medicine and also warn that certain hangover cures carry risks.

The doctors say while a few small studies have suggested that fluid and salt replacement might be helpful, hangovers also get better with time - so whatever you have taken will eventually seem to work and the only guaranteed way to avoid a hangover is to not drink alcohol at all or to drink only in moderation.

The study is published in the Christmas issue of the British Medical Journal.


  1. Mark Mark United States says:

    I tried day2 hangover pill and it worked pretty well for me, but I think a lot of it had to do with the salix alba in it that turns into aspirin in your stomach.

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