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How to cure tomorrow’s hangover: hangover pills, cabbage water and a thermal spa

Posted at 6:15 pm, December 31, 2012 in Fun London

© Ed Marshall

New Year’s Day is the mother of all hangover days. We got drunk early (any excuse) to try out some of the hangover cures on the market. Here’s what we discovered to help you prepare yourself accordingly…

The Organic Pharmacy’s Hangover Pills
In my book, a hangover cure that isn’t deep-fried and doesn’t contain paracetamol is never going to work. So, when presented with a herbal hangover ‘remedy’, I assume I’ve been given a short straw artisanally woven from New Age bullshit. The Organic Pharmacy’s Hangover Pills claim to restore your body’s ‘nutrient balance’ naturally and therefore reduce headaches and nausea – the usual perils of binge drinking. If you’ve planned your festive bender in advance, you can pop one before the evening begins as well. After an impromptu ten-hour bender of shotting Jägermeister and swigging raspberry Smirnoff from the bottle, I take the maximum amount of post-drinking pills allowed: four. Shockingly, within one hour, all nausea passes. My throbbing headache subsides. By midday, I am cured. In fact, so successful are the pills I’m now seriously rethinking my ‘no shots on a Monday’ policy. Liz Darke

Alcohol guzzled: eight double vodkas, three Jägermeister shots
Units: 15.7 units
Price of cure: £7.95 for 14g
Cure rating: 9/10
THE BOTTOM LINE: Farewell McDonald’s-ism, hello herbalism.

Cabbage water
More like a barmy celebrity party-season diet than a hangover cure, the Ancient Egyptian remedy of cabbage-flavoured water should be at the bottom of your list of potential cures, somewhere between pickle brine and sheep’s eyeball soup (another remedy from ancient times – one that we couldn’t source, even on Ridley Road). With a woozy morning-after head, I slice up the greens, add a sprinkling of sea salt and black pepper, then boil. I remove the cabbage and leave the murky yellow liquid to cool. Then I down a glassful. The seasoning helps. A bit. But it’s a struggle to get it down and the aftertaste is revolting. Its hangover-curing properties are negligible, although there is one noticeable side effect: it gets a bit windier indoors. Mark O Donnell

Alcohol guzzled: three quarters of a bottle of wine, two pints and two cocktails
Units: 18
Price of cure: 76p
Cure rating: 2/10
THE BOTTOM LINE: No miracle cure here, just a lot of hot air


Thermal Spa
A violent hangover isn’t the best state in which to haul yourself out of bed, dig around for a long-forgotten cossie and shave your legs. But it’s all necessary prep for my visit to Spa London’s Thermal Experience: a series of dry saunas and steam rooms. Just the thought of all that heat makes me heave, but the reality is even worse. Surrounded by women sweating and stoically slapping crushed ice on themselves, I manage 30 minutes in the hot box just to save face – the nausea is rising now. I take a pathetic, up-to-the-knees dunk in the cold pool and feel more alive than I’ve felt all morning. My crashing headache is gone, but I’m still shaky and light-headed. Zena Alkayat

Alcohol guzzled: four large glasses of red wine.
Units: 12
Price of cure: £24
Overall rating: 7/10
THE BOTTOM LINE: Purging by sweat.

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