Popular hangover cures such as taking vitamin supplements, red ginseng or eating artichoke do not work, a new study has claimed.
Experts at King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, who assessed the effectiveness of 23 different so-called cures, found that the most popular remedies cannot alleviate the symptoms of drinking too much alcohol.
Researchers assessed earlier findings of 21 placebo-controlled trials on 386 drinkers in the UK, US, Australia, India and Finland. They were asked to take part in a range of “alcohol challenges”, some which were consumed with food and others without.
The drinks in each challenge included either whisky, vodka, wine or beer.
Of the 23 remedies tested, participants reported that only seven had any effect of improving their symptoms, but these studies were of “low-quality” and deemed unconvincing by experts.
These included Korean pear juice, red ginseng, three types of vitamins and supplements, Tolfenamic acid and clove extract.
Other remedies such as prickly pear, artichoke or taking Naproxen or Propanolol had no effect on the symptoms of a hangover.
Participants also tried other cures such as taking turmeric, but the outcome of this was not reported.
Dr Emmert Roberts, a lead author of the study, commented: “Given the continuing speculation in the media as to which hangover remedies work or not, the question around the effectiveness of substances that claim to treat or prevent a hangover appears to be one with considerable public interest.
“Our study has found that evidence on these hangover remedies is of very low quality and there is a need to provide more rigorous assessment. For now, the surest way of preventing hangover symptoms is to abstain from alcohol or drink in moderation.”
It recommends treating a hangover by rehydrating the body and taking painkillers to help with headaches and muscle cramps.
It advises those with hangovers to try foods high in sugar to “help you feel less trembly” and bouillon soup, as it can help replenish vitamins and is easy on the stomach.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies