Does 'hair of the dog' ACTUALLY cure a hangover?

Abbi Malbon

From Digital Spy

Plenty of people claim to have a great hangover cure that can work miracles, but the only one that actually seems to be used over and over is good old 'hair of the dog' – ie drinking even more alcohol. But honestly, does it actually work?

The meaning of the term would certainly suggest so. The phrase 'hair of the dog' comes from the old-school belief that you could cure rabies by drinking a 'magic potion' containing "hair from the dog that bit you". Obviously that's not the case, but in time the phrase shifted to mean that you could cure a hangover by drinking more of what made you feel bad in the first place.

But is there any truth behind it?

WELL, science has the actual answer – and it's probably not what you want to hear.

Keri Peterson MD, an internist, told SELF that having a drink the next morning is actually more likely to make you feel worse.

"The infamous 'hair of the dog that bit you' cocktail doesn't cure a hangover, it merely postpones it until later in the day," she said, before explaining that the damage is done because hangovers set in when blood-alcohol levels start to fall. "The worst symptoms begin when the levels drop to zero."

Dr Charles Cutler, chair of the American College of Physicians' board of governors, agrees. He told Health magazine: "The worst thing to do is to have another drink."

He also said that it might take a whole 48 hours until your body is recovered enough to take more alcohol. Sorry about that. So that Blood Mary at brunch is actually more likely to make you feel worse than you did first thing. Bummer.

Thankfully, there are other, scientifically proven ways to get rid of a hangover. First, drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink. It's also important to make sure you get enough sleep. In the morning, avoid caffeine and drink more water. Sports drinks (in moderation) may also help.

Aside from that, the only real way to cure a hangover is abstinence. But if you can't quite bring yourself to stay off the alcohol completely, drink sensibly and don't go overboard. Bonus: you'll never wake up filled with dread about who you texted last night.

You Might Also Like

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes