I ate a raw eel to see if it’s a hangover cure
We all know the story – “Not going out” becomes “Okay, just a few pints”… and it’s all downhill from there. Next thing you know, you’re waking up with a head that feels like someone has taken an axe to it and a mouth drier than a cream cracker in the Sahara. You, my friend, are hungover.
A quick Google search will reveal the whole array of weird and wonderful cures that people rely on to avoid the “Irish flu”. These are some of the nasty ones.
The Prairie Oyster
The prairie oyster comes from the good old US of A. We may not think of our American cousins as the sharpest tools in the shed, but does their appetising combination of raw egg, tomato juice and hot sauce do the job of chasing away a jolly, old English hangover?
Verdict: Attempting to gulp down the viscous mix of raw egg is an experience that I do not recommend to anyone, let alone someone in the fragile state of being hungover. Needless to say, this concoction was only held down temporarily.
Hangover relief rating: -3/10
The Citrus Armpit
All the rage in Peru, the citrus armpit technique involves taking your favourite zesty fruit – either lemon or lime – and applying some of its juice to the armpit of the hand that you drink with.
Verdict: While I can appreciate my newly lemon-scented armpit hair from an aromatherapy standpoint, I feel like its impact on an actual hangover could also be achieved by spraying some air freshener around the room to cover the smell of cider and bottom shelf whiskey that has evaporated from my pores overnight. Save your citrus for your G&T.
Hangover relief rating: 4/10
The Raw Eel
A cure that was popular in medieval England, it was believed that after hitting the mead a little too heavily down the local Ye Olde Pub, eating some raw eel the next morning would alleviate the pounding in Ye Olde head.
Verdict: There’s a reason we don’t drink tinctures of mercury or cut holes in skulls to release evil spirits anymore – medieval people were idiots. So, while I can fully empathise with the feeling of desperation in trying to get rid of a hangover by any means possible, I will never again attempt to nibble on an oily sea serpent.
Hangover relief rating: 2/10
Best known for its use in various cliché horror films, as a means to reap revenge on unsuspecting enemies via jabbing the contents of your granny’s knitting box into an effigy of the enemy in question, voodoo can also be used to tackle hangovers. Haitian’s believe that by – you guessed it – taking sharp pins and sticking them into the cork of the bottle that you were drinking from the night before, you can relieve the hangover that the contents of said bottle caused.
Verdict: Despite what Stephen King would have you believe, voodoo isn’t real. Sticking pins into the offending corks and cans did nothing to ease the rhythmic pounding inside my head. However, the action of violently jabbing sharp objects into a cork was an oddly good form of tension relief.
Hangover relief rating: 6/10
The Fry Up
Favoured by people across the UK, the Great British fry up consists of a whole host of deep-fried delicacies that vary from region to region. Ulstermen subscribe to a plate of bacon, eggs, fried mushrooms, sausages and fried potato bread. The inclusion of beans depends on the severity of the hangover. Of course, all of these artery-clogging delights should be accompanied by a cup of tea with at least 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Verdict: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. As a nation of hungover youths, we should give in to those mid-morning cravings for the greasiest foodstuffs available. Nothing beats the satisfaction of washing down the greasy remains of bacon with a brew and returning to bed with the drowsiness that can only come from an overly full stomach.
Hangover relief rating: 10/10
The Hair of the Dog
Sometimes a controversial choice – and one that the NHS uses as a question to help diagnose alcoholism – the phrase comes, unsurprisingly, from Scotland. There’s nothing the Scots like more than voting no to a hangover. This technique involves pouring yourself a glass of the same alcohol that you had the night before and necking it while your hangover is at it’s peak.
Verdict: If you’re willing to run the risk of an impromptu intervention by your friends and family, this method actually made me feel mildly better. However, this is a case of fighting fire with fire – so be prepared to be burned the next day by the dreaded rollover hangover.
Hangover relief rating: 7/10