People Got Drunk In The Name Of Science To Test A New Hangover Cure

This could be key in helping you get over your lockdown hangover.

We’re here to guide you through the coronavirus lockdown. Sign up to the Life newsletter for daily tips, advice, how-tos and escapism.

Plant extracts could help relieve our hangover symptoms, and the loss of electrolytes isn’t the main reason we feel rough the day after drinking.

These are two findings from a new study on hangovers, that may well ease those sluggish days we’re having in lockdown.

Natural remedies have previously been recommended to ease hangovers, but there’s no strong evidence for this. So, researchers at the British Medical Journal assessed the potential of plant extracts, vitamins and minerals to ease symptoms associated with drinking alcohol – aka The Hangover from Hell.

The plant extracts included Barbados cherry (acerola), prickly pear, ginkgo biloba, willow and ginger root. The vitamins and minerals included magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin and folic acid.

In the study, 214 healthy 18-65 year olds were randomly split into three groups and given a flavoured, water soluble supplement 45 minutes before, and immediately after they drank beer, white wine, or a white wine spritzer.

Yes, people got drunk in the name of science.

CSA Images via Getty Images

The first group were given a supplement containing the plant extracts, vitamins and minerals, and antioxidant compounds. The second group were given a supplement minus the plant extracts, and the third group were given a glucose placebo.

Researchers took blood and urine samples and measured people’s blood pressure before and after a four-hour period, before everyone was sent home to sober up. Then, 12 hours later, the same samples and measurements were taken, and participants filled in a questionnaire about their hangover symptoms.

Intensity varied widely among the participants, but compared with the placebo supplement, those taking plant extracts, minerals/vitamins, and antioxidants reported less severe symptoms.

In fact, average headache intensity was 34% less, nausea 42% less, feelings of indifference fell by an average of 27% and restlessness by 41%.

No significant difference was reported by those taking the supplement minus the plant extracts, suggesting the extracts were the magic ingredient.

And, researchers added, the absence of any impact from taking vitamins and minerals alone suggests alcohol might not affect electrolyte and mineral balance, as is commonly thought. “It seems to be clear that hangover symptoms are predominantly caused by alcohol and its metabolites,” they said.

The moral of the story? A plant extract combination of fruits, leaves, and roots may help to relieve your hangover symptoms.

If you fancy giving it a go you can buy plant extracts online – or, find out how alcohol experts relieve their hangovers instead.