'Hair Of The Dog': A Cure For Hangovers

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By Afza Fathima | August 26, 2014 3:28 PM EST

A new book studying the science of alcohol found that the "hair of the dog" could be the best cure for hangover, reported Irish Mirror.

Reuters
Labourers pour vodka to bottles while packaging at the Hanoi Alcohol factory in Yen Phong industrial Park at Bac Ninh, outside Hanoi August 14, 2014. Vietnam's alcoholic beverage industry grew an average 17.61 percent per year over the 2009-2013 period despite an economic downturn that hurt most sectors in the country, according to VietinBank Securities, the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper reported.

Drinking more after a long night could help bring down the level of tipsiness as well as reduce the amount of pain in comparison to the usual bacon sandwich, rehydration methods and painkillers.

Adam Rogers, editor of Wired magazine, in the book "Proof: The Science of Booze," said that there could be an explanation as to why having more alcohol can cure a hangover. At a Google talk in early 2014, Adam said that the "hair of the dog" cure has led to the concotion of many cocktails, like the Bloody Mary.

Most people believe that hangovers happen because of dehydration, but Adam said that there is a theory which states that a hangover is the result of consuming small amounts of methanol.

He explained that if a hangover is due to the small amounts of methanol in the body, another drink with ethanol is necessary to throw the methanol off, in turn curing the hangover. Ethanol is the main component of alcohol and is administered to patients suffering from methanol poisoning. He added that this was only a hypothesis and there has been no proof yet. 

Methanol, which is toxic in nature, can result to blindness, even death, if taken in high concentrations. This toxic substance is usually used in the preservation of dead bodies and, in high levels, deprives organs of the necessary oxygen.

Adam also noted that "veisalgia," the medical term for hangover, is derived from the Greek word "pain" and it translates to "uneasiness after debauchery."

The National Health Services advises a more cautious approach to a cure: urging people not to drink on an empty stomach, avoid dark-coloured alcohols (which have more impurities) and to down a pint of water before going to bed.

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(Photo: Reuters / Kham)
Labourers pour vodka to bottles while packaging at the Hanoi Alcohol factory in Yen Phong industrial Park at Bac Ninh, outside Hanoi August 14, 2014. Vietnam's alcoholic beverage industry grew an average 17.61 percent per year over the 2009-2013 period despite an economic downturn that hurt most sectors in the country, according to VietinBank Securities, the Lao Dong (Labour) newspaper reported.
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