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what are the best hangover cures that actually work?

There are still a few things in life that you cannot buy your way out of. One of them is a hangover. Even the most disciplined among us occasionally drink just a wee bit too much from time to time. Like say, on New Year’s Eve. Which triggers a search for an effective hangover cure the next day. Just to dream a little dream, we went in search of the ultimate remedies for a hangover. If money were no object, what’s the best hangover cure in the world that actually works?

a common ailment the world over

Hangovers happen. The French call the condition gueule de bois (“wooden mouth”), but we think the Scottish poet laureate Robert Burns described the dilemma most eloquently: he apparently reported feeling “ramfeezled and forswense.”

We feel you, man.

And yes, abstainers, we hear you saying the best hangover cure is not drinking in the first place. Have some compassion for your fellow humans who choose not to take that path, or who occasionally stumble off of it, and bear with us. And thanks for being designated drivers, by the way.

If money is no object, what’s the best hangover cure?

We surveyed our luxury class friends all over the world, and this is what we found. As fellow Wolf Pack members, we suggest that you read this now, and plan accordingly. You’ll want everything in easy reach. By tomorrow morning, it’ll be too late.

old school cures

1. hair of the dog

Let’s start with the old school. Everyone has been told that thehair of the dog is the best hangover cure. Meaning: drink more alcohol!

Where did that logic come from? According to our friends at the Oxford Dictionary, the expression is a shortening of “a hair of the dog that bit you,” and it apparently comes from an old belief that someone bitten by a rabid dog could be cured of rabies by drinking a potion containing some of the dog’s burned hair. Yum!

Of course you could drink more. You could even go all Ernest Hemingway pre-prohibition, and mix up a Corpse Reviver (vermouth, Calvados, and Cognac) or a Corpse Reviver #2 (Cointreau, gin, lemon juice, Lillet, and absinthe). It would be a grand gesture, but potentially a tragic one – a rather fruitless way of kicking the can down the road.

2. maybe eat something? or don’t drink something?

Other old school remedies:

A big greasy breakfast; Alka-Seltzer; a Prairie Oyster Cocktail (raw egg, Worcestershire and Tabasco sauces, salt and pepper); umeboshi (a pickled fruit from Japan); and haejangguk (a spicy “hangover soup” from South Korea).

The ancient Romans believed eating a fried canary would help; the Greeks opted for cabbage. We’ll take a hard pass on both of those.

It’s said that avoiding darker-colored drinks (red wine, bourbon) will lead to a less painful hangover. Urban Legend? You decide.

3. there’s always divine intervention

If you find yourself in Romania, you might consider a prayer to Saint Vivian, the patron saint of the hungover.

4. or the jedi mind trick

Designer Alexander Wang’s Jedi mind trick to prevent a hangover in the first place is: “If you think, ‘I’m going to drink tonight, I’m going to make it tomorrow, I’m going to suck it in’ [you’ll be okay].”

Alexander Wang

our expert panel weighs in

Here’s what our Dandelion Chandelier panel of elite experts recommends:

1. swiss ingenuity

Our Swiss bureau chief reports: “If hangover hits, I think the best way to cure it is to drink a few glasses of water; I add a spoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt. Exercising to sweat out the poison or spending time in the sauna/steam bath also helps. A Bloody Mary is also a good cure, but the effect is somewhat short-lived.”

2. clearing the fog the bay area way

From the Bay Area, comes this from one of our sophisticated friends: “The best remedy for hangover is DripDrop Hydration Powder, invented by a physician here in San Francisco. You mix it (preferably) with a big glass of water before you go to bed (or pass out). Of course it’s primarily used for dehydrated refugees/war/natural disaster victims. But it’s remarkably effective on hangovers, too.”

3. red carpet remedy

Our LA correspondent swears by cold pressed green juice and a cold shower.

4. mad science

Our Head of Research is a firm believer in drinking a glass of water with an Emergen-C before commencing the libations to maximize vitamins C and a B.

5. an organic cleanse

Our cousin, the millennial, chimed in with Lime Ginger Juice From BluePrint Cleanse (it’s like Gatorade, but without the dyes and sugar); she also recommends detox bath treatments from Pursoma – they’re made from whole, raw and organic materials like French sea salt and Loire Valley Clay. If you’ve had a seriously heavy dose of holiday cheer in December, consider making January your month to try a 30-day liver detox.

Pursoma Detox Bath

The Adventurous Globe-Trotter says: “My favorite’s kombucha,” a probiotic tea that can be consumed straight up or used as an ingredient in a morning cocktail. She also recommends “miso soup for breakfast; 2 Advil; and 2 Nalgene bottles of water.”

6. h2o – just o

A chic friend says it’s all about H2O – she recommends drinking copious amounts of water throughout the evening – one drink, one glass of water – and also suggests ordering on the rock so that the ice cubes provide hydration.

The sporting crowd seems to like the idea of oxygen bars or an oxygen tank. A few hits from a tank can help regulate the oxygen in your blood and aid in preventing nausea, headaches, and achy muscles. It can also help clear your head. The St. Regis in Aspen offers oxygen treatments with champagne as their luxury hangover cure.

7. pharmaceuticals

You could try an over-the-counter “hangover pill” like Chaser or DeToxx.

let’s see what vegas has to say

The center of all expertise on hangovers and how to make them disappear has to be Las Vegas. The people with Ph. D’s in hangover recovery say that IV treatments that include a boost of vitamins like B1 and B12 are the best way to go.

The problem is that you need access to someone who can administer them. If you’re in Vegas, for $150, Hangover Heaven will send a team to your hotel room with everything you need. If you’re in the Hamptons or Long Island, $250 will get you a house call from The IV Doctor. Some nurses moonlight providing these IV drips to earn some extra income, so you could ask around.

of course, you could try faking it

No time for any of that? You can fake sobriety and look – if not fully rested – then at least not fully a wreck, by following these 5 steps from the beauty industry experts:

1.  Remove your makeup from the night before (you gotta start somewhere)

2.  Apply toner, a hydrating facial mask, and then eye drops (our Beauty Editor says that these SK II portable face masks are a life-saver). If you want to go all-natural (and stick to a lower price point), try a Burt’s Bees Purifying Sheet mask (full disclosure, the author is on the board of the parent company of Burt’s Bees and Renew Life).

The SK II Facial Mask

3.  Reduce eye puffiness further by employing ice cubes or chamomile tea bags

4.  Avoid the temptation to use heavy eye-makeup: no liner, no shimmer, keep it simple

5.  Throw on some lipstick, a light layer of tinted moisturizer, and a killer pair of sunglasses

And if none of that helps, try booking one of the world’s best luxury facial treatments to get your glow back. Or don a designer ski mask, and tell people you’re rocking the hottest looks from the runway.

the doctor says

What do the true experts – the doctors – have to say on this subject?

The over-arching themes are: hydration in the most efficient form possible; a digestive aid of some type (bubbles seem to help); a mild pain reliever (but Advil, not Tylenol) and the passage of time with no further alcohol intake.

Other doctor-recommended cures? Take a multi-vitamin to restore nutrients; if you’re a caffeine addict, have a small cup of coffee to avoid a caffeine-deprivation headache on top of the one you already have; have some simple carbs (plain toast or crackers – not hash browns); get some rest (intense exercise is a really bad idea because you’re already dehydrated – but a walk might be good as long as you bring water; sleeping it off actually works if you can do it).

if all else fails, play some tunes

We need to grab our party shoes, so you’re on your own from here. Good luck, cowboys!

Here’s our parting thought.

One of the best suggestions we found when researching this pressing topic was that listening to country music is a helpful restorative (in combination with some of the remedies above). It helps pass the time, it allows you to feel less lonely, and really, you were probably singing loudly the night before anyway, so why not keep it up?

But which tune is most suitable? One writer summed up the criteria brilliantly: “a proper hangover song must have equal parts regret over what you’ve done, and pride that you’re such a badass that you actually did it.”

Who better than Johnny Cash to understand and empathize at a time like this? Check out Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down. It may not cure you, but it’ll definitely make you feel better.

Anybody found anything else that works? Let us know.

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