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The History of Hangover Cures

Unsurprisingly the problem of hangovers has plagued man for many years and as such the many "cures" have been well-documented through the ages and throughout that time there have been a number of weird and wonderful ways in which man has attempted to cure hangovers…  


25th Century BC: Bird Beaks and Tree Sap - An ancient treatment from Assyria

 Looking back to the earliest recorded records of hangover cures, we’re presented with an ancient remedy from Assyria – now known as present-day Syria, parts of Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. Common folk grinded up the beaks of birds along with myrrh, the fragrant resin of the Commiphora tree. Unfortunately, since myrrh was generally used as a perfume, it’s easy to deduce that their remedy wasn’t exactly efficient or working. And that’s even before considering the part where you’re supposed to eat bird beaks.


10th Century BC: Wearing plants on your head – A serious remedy from Greece

 Funny, ridiculous, and unbelievable? Yes. Did the Greeks take it seriously? Absolutely. Back in the day, the Greeks recommended wearing a careful selection of plants on your head to keep drunkenness at bay. Most of the plants are associated with the god Dionysus — ivy, laurel, and asphodel — were used for medicinal purposes. It’s up to you to decide if you want to do it. I assure you – you’ll get a few good laughs, but I doubt it’ll completely cure your headaches.


13th Century: Delicious raw eels – Ugh. Hardcore Medieval Europeans…

 If anything, I don’t suggest you do try this at home unless you love eating eels and lampreys – raw. That’s right! A popular treatment in the 13th Century, the Medieval Europeans suggest that you eat raw eels for breakfast and eat a lamprey boiled in wine along with its own blood. Not sure if that’s supposed to help fix your headache – because writing this is giving me one.


17th Century: Shake it off by snorting some Tree Ivy – A questionable remedy from England

 The English certainly are unique when coming up with remedies for hangovers, aren’t they? In this case, we have Nicholas Culpeper advising you to “stuff the nasal passages with the juice of tree ivy.” Culpeper also made a career out of blaming certain diseases and afflictions on astrology, so you may want to take everything this guy said with a grain of salt.


 19th Century: Shots. Vinegar shots. – Get drunk on vinegar – by a medical adviser

 Who would’ve ever guessed that taking shots would cure your headache from having too many shots in the first place? Never fear, because according to a medical adviser, drinking vinegar will solve all your problems. Getting naked while downing vinegar just might help. However, I have one extra recommendation: Please don’t get naked in public while hungover. That would suck.



Mid-20th Century: Bull’s Penis. – Yummy. Delicious. Let’s go to Bolivia and get cured.

The last thing I would’ve thought about doing to cure a hangover is to eat a penis. However, in the case of the Bolivians, it’s flamboyant to behold—considering that the penises are served whole and that they average about a foot-and-a-half in length. Well, it’s worth a shot, isn’t it? Time to dig in!


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