A Sip of History

Why is it called ‘hair of the dog’ and does this much quoted hangover cure work?

The mystery of ‘the hair of the dog’ hangover cure.

jack russell dog sleeping in bed with high fever temperature, ice bag on head, thermometer in mouth, covered by a blanket

There are some weird and wonderful hangover cures in existence, from black coffee with salt in it, to raw eggs, indeed it seems that most people claim to know the recipe for a hang over cure that can work miracles, but one cure that is quoted time and time again is the good old hair of the dog – but does it actually work?

The meaning of the term would certainly suggest so. The phrase “hair of the dog” comes from the belief that you could cure rabies by taking the  “hair from the dog that bit you. Whilst, it was accepted that the hair of the dog was not a magical cure for rabies the concept was transferred to hangovers and the phrase shifted to mean that you could cure a hangover by drinking more of what ails you.

So, does it work? Well, it doesn’t actually cure a hangover, but it does temporarily make you feel better. Hangover symptoms occur when blood-alcohol levels start to fall, with the worst symptoms beginning when the levels drop to zero. So taking ‘the hair of the dog’ just postpones the worst of your hangover cures.

Sadly there are no magical hangover cures, but the best ways to deal with a hangover are to sleep, eat something, avoid caffeine and drink more water.

Though, this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a Bloody Mary or Corpse Reviver Cocktail!

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