6 novel ways to cure a hangover (one of them is sex!)

Fear not the holiday hangover: these tips will have you up-and-at-‘em faster than you can say cheers!

10 December 2017 - 00:00 By Paula Andropoulos
Drinking all those tequila shots always seems like a good idea at the time; not so much the morning after.
Drinking all those tequila shots always seems like a good idea at the time; not so much the morning after.
Image: 123RF/bialasiewicz

The magnitude of human perversity is never more apparent than in relation to the way we drink. There is something comically childlike about our chagrin the day after we drink to excess; particularly given that, by the age of majority, most of us are well-versed in the after-effects of spirituous Saturnalia.

Needless to say, most hangover cures are analogous to diet pills: they are a pathetically futile bid to circumvent the exigencies of temperance, after the fact. But then, life is short, and moderation is mundane, unimaginative, and a near cousin to tedium.

In the spirit of enhancing your sybaritic stamina this festive season, here are six fairly novel hangover cures to combat your nauseous contrition.


Activated charcoal is the new darling of holistic health-food fanatics, but it's long been in use in medical environs for counteracting the effects of overdose.

Please don't go foraging in the charred remains of your braai: this sooty black powder is not akin to its combustible counterpart. It's the byproduct of a variety of charred vegetation - coconut, or bamboo, or wood - which is subsequently exposed to chemicals - "activated" - to enhance its porousness.

Taken in the form of a pill or a powder, activated charcoal is gloriously absorbent: toxins adhere to its prodigious surface area, and are benevolently conveyed out of your adulterated body.


Coke and crème soda are so passé. If you habitually favour the soft-drink solution, try reaching for a Sprite instead: a study by researchers at the Sun Yat-Sen University in China found that the lime and lemon components of this childhood favourite speed up the breakdown of acetaldehyde, an enzyme that assists us in processing alcohol - and evinces its resentment by making us feel miserable.

Incidentally, the same study indicated that some ostensibly healthy alternatives - herbal things - actually slow down the process; Sprite is sugary, delicious, and comparatively easy to keep down.


For a hangover cure with a romantically literary bent, take a cue from PG Wodehouse's butler archetype, Jeeves.

I drink too much. The last time I gave a urine sample it had an olive in it
Rodney Dangerfield

Companion and loyal confidant to Bertie Wooster, pragmatic Jeeves is obviously an old hand at caring for boozy reprobates: over time, he has perfected a concoction that he guarantees to alleviate the symptoms of, as he discreetly puts it, "a late evening".

To emulate the valet's approach, combine one raw egg, for nutrition; Worcestershire sauce, for colour; and red pepper, "for bite." Try it: nascent salmonella aside, you're in good company.


Chromium picolinate is an ominous-sounding supplement, sometimes used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Available in pill form over the counter, small quantities of chromium are useful for stabilising your blood sugar levels, which are liable to rise and then tumble, just as you did in front of your entire family.

Since a great deal of the discomfort associated with hangovers is attributable to blood-sugar chaos, popping a few chromium pills before or after drinking might nullify this facet of your fatigue. Take caution, though, and consult a doctor. Chromium picolinate is not suitable for everyone.

5. SEX

If you possibly can, do. Endorphins are the ultimate panacea; and sex is an excellent method of generating them.

The prospect mightn't be particularly enticing at the apex of your hangover: lethargy, nausea and a pervasive sense of self-loathing aren't precisely aphrodisiacs. But sex also has anti-inflammatory benefits, as a flood of congratulatory oxytocin not only augments conjugal euphoria, but also combats the inflammatory immune response to which some experts attribute hangovers.


The ability to deal with a hangover is inversely proportionate to age. Sadly, as your teeth get longer so your tether to the land of recovery is drastically loosened. You are out there alone in a sea of nausea and loser syndrome.

Have no fear, help is near. The drip. That's right the rehydrating solution medics insert directly into the mainline artery of teens who have passed out in the club and are en route to the ICU in an ambulance.

This solution is now available for the elderly punter. A medical practitioner seeks out your vein, tut tutting about how dehydrated you are, then hydrates you with such a powerful concoction of vitamins and power juice that you perk up on the spot.

If you are lucky they will also add some glutathione, a potent antioxidant that boosts your skin along with your dehydrated husk of a body. Genius.

I tried the custom-made drip by Dr Kanaris and promptly booked myself in for another. It is, after all, a long, dry season. Visit medaesthetique.co.za - Aspasia Karras