During the Middle Ages, people countered their nights of merriment with raw eel. Not because raw eel is an objectively delicious variety of sushi, but because European doctors logically believed that once ingested, the slithering creatures would somehow resurrect to suck up the remaining alcohol causing one’s hangover.
5. Owl’s Eggs
Pliny the Elder, the distinguished Roman and namesake of one of the most coveted and top-rated beers in the United States, had a particularly strange remedy for hangovers. He famously believed that eating two raw owl’s eggs after a night of binge drinking could stave off that Tuscan wine hangover. This treatment may not sound eggs-ellent, but Pliny’s not the only person to advocate for raw eggs post-hangover: New England’s signature Prairie Oyster is a popular home remedy, which can be made by sliding an egg yolk into a cup, adding Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, salt and pepper. Drink up.
6. Crying
Ever felt hollow and horrible following a hangover? Good. British author Kingsley Amis insisted in his book On Drink (1972) that instead of attempting to cure “physical hangovers,” one should focus on addressing the headier “metaphysical hangover.” This means addressing the “the ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future” one may have after a night out drinking. The cure? Catharsis, of course: “A good cry,” he writes, reading the likes of the final scene of Paradise Lost, and ascending “for half an hour in an open aeroplane, needless to say with a non-hungover person at the controls.”
7. Citrus Armpits
In an attempt to not become dehydrated while hitting the bottle, some Puerto Ricans take a slice of a citrus fruit, usually limes or lemons, and rub it into the armpit of their preferred “drinking arm” before going out on the town. When life gives you lemons, rub them all over yourself?
8. Dried Viper and Skulls
Jonathan Goddard, the 17th century English doctor and College of Physicians fellow, had an especially macabre hangover cocktail recipe. Called Goddard’s Drops, the recipe called for a touch of dried viper, the spirit of hartshorn (better known as ammonia), and the skull of a person who had recently been hung. For some reason, Goddard’s Drops never quite took off.
9. Soot
After a night of libations, your insides might feel like tar. So why not douse them with soot fresh from fireplace ashes? That’s what people in the 1800s did. The English believed that dumping a lump of fresh soot into some warm milk could help rid those dreadful fevers and shakes. But it might not be the worst idea—after all, activated charcoal often acts as a digestive supplement and has been proven to absorb toxins.
10. Dried Bull Penis
For a beefy approach to hangover treatment, one could look to the Sicilians, who eat entire dried bull penises to regain virility after a bad night out. So much for retaining a sense of dick-nity.
11. Hair of the Dog
The term hair of the dog has been synonymous with drinking more alcohol to ease hangover pains since 1546. But the saying originated from the medieval belief that people could stave off rabies by placing the same dog’s hair on the bite mark itself. There’s no scientific proof that drinking a spot of whiskey will help with a hangover, or that dog hair cures rabies, yet this seems to be the remedy of choice for enablers everywhere.