Horrid Historical Hangover Cures

We’ve all been there. Splitting headaches, hot flushes, shaking nausea and the lack of ability to function as a normal person. All wonderful hallmarks of a stinking hangover!

Nowadays, we see out these dark moments wrapped in a fluffy duvet, curled up in a ball watching horrendous ‘take your brain out TV’ and uttering those familiar words…“I will NEVER drink again”!

Hangover1Me…on a Sunday morning…

Source: stuff.co.nz

If you ask anyone they’ve all got their own tried and tested cure, whether it’s Berocca, Diet Coke or just to keep drinking. But imagine nursing the mother of all hangovers in smelly 16th Century London!?

How exactly did our ancestors cope after one too many tipples?

Ancient Egypt

Apparently, ancient Egyptians drank the remnants of water left from boiled cabbages to cure their hangovers. I’m not sure how effective this would have been…just imagine the smell?! Eurgh.

cabbageLooks most un-appetising…but the Ancient Egyptians used to swear by the healing properties of the water left behind after boiling cabbage. I know what I would prefer…

Source: hothungarianchef.blogspot.com

Ancient Assyria

Assyria, home to the modern day Iraq, favoured a cure of ground up sparrow beaks to cure the indulgences of the night before. Doesn’t sound very appetising huh! No fear. To make it go down easier the Assyrians would mix in myrrh before consuming the powder. Yum.

Ancient Greece

The Greeks swore by boiling down and simmering ivy to cure even the worst headache. They were also big fans of the ‘hair of the dog’ and believed the best way to cure a hangover is to stay drunk and just keep on drinking!

Fact Alert: It seems Ivy continued to be a popular hangover cure. During the 17th Century, Nicholas Culpeper recommended stuffing the nasal passage with juice from the Ivy tree. 

SPH-B-2Ivy has been a popular remedy for years, from the Greeks right up until the 17th Century. Brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘rabbit food’, don’t you think!

Source: dailymail.co.uk


I cannot imagine anything worse than waking up after a horrendously drunken night out, and having to eat a pickled sheep’s eye. Yet, this was the chosen cure by the Mongolian people. Either they believed every part of the animal had a purpose and didn’t like to waste food, or eating a pickled eyeball first thing in the morning was so revolting it would detract from their suffering heads.


During the middle ages, raw eels were consumed the morning after the night before. Now, if you’re anything like me…sushi is the last thing you want whilst nursing a hangover! Bitter almonds were an alternative, and they don’t sound appetising either.


Back in the days of the Cowboys & Indians, you would probably have got steaming drunk in a saloon in the middle of the dessert. After a night on the juice, the cure of choice was a tea made from rabbit droppings. Bottoms up!

Rabbit_droppings_620I love a good steaming cup of…rabbit droppings…wait no! But apparently, the American’s of the Mid-West swore by the not-so-sweet brew made from rabbit excrement. Bright side is that it was probably easy to find!

Source: ecop.pbworks.com

Fact Alert: In 1824, a journal called ‘The Medical Advisor’ recommended shock treatment for anyone who has passed out from the effects of alcohol. Vinegar was poured down the sufferer’s throat and rubbed onto his temples!

So, there you go. Our ancestors had a plethora of hangover cures to sort their feeble bodies out. Although, I would much prefer a pizza and a nice cup of tea to sort me out!

Do you know of any other radical hangover cures from the pages of history? Share your knowledge in the comments box below!

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