Having a hangover is as old as binge drinking. Treating it could have started during ancient times.
Written on a 1,900-year-old papyrus is a Greek prescription for hangovers. Wearing a necklace of laurel leaves cures a “drunken headache,” the writing says. Pharmacologist Dioscorides advised eating five almonds before drinking.
A Mesopotamian physician’s remedy is “a tincture of licorice, oleander, beans, oil and wine” presumably for ingestion.
Around the 3rd century, the solution to a alcohol-induced headache was probably a ring worn by affluent men and women in the Roman Empire. The Israel Antiquities Authority cited archaeologist Amir Golani’s hypothesis on the purpose of a gold and purple amethyst ring found in a Byzantine era amphorae warehouse recently excavated in the city of Yavne.
Golani said many virtues were attached to the ring, “including the prevention of the side effect of drinking, the hangover,” according to a CNN report.
Fast forward to 2020. University of Helsinki researchers experimented with amino acid L-cysteine as a hangover deterrent. Several men volunteered to drink nine servings of Finnish grain alcohol and take 600 and 1,200 milligrams of L-cysteine after their last shot. The men who received the 1,200 mg pill experienced less severe headaches and nausea the following morning. The findings were published in the Oxford Academic journal Alcohol and Alcoholism.
Other suggested remedies are rehydration, painkillers, sugar and bouillon from UK’s National Health Service. For Filipinos, hot mami (noodle soup) or coffee after a beer-drinking session can sometimes ease if not prevent a hangover.
A more extreme approach was tried by an alcoholic from Ilocos Sur with a disastrous consequence. The guy abstained from drinking for three days, but the unbearable withdrawal symptoms drove him to harm himself on 29 October.
Neighbors and village officials found him sprawled on the street and bleeding. They brought him to a hospital where he woke up in pain after cutting off his penis and throwing it away.
Doctors could no longer reattach the severed penis because the blood supply was already poor. They had to attach a catheter so he can pee.
Maybe someday, the poor guy will heal his alcoholism and hangover. For now, he will have to heal his self-inflicted wound.