Ah, New Year's Eve. A glorious night of sparkles and debauchery followed by a less-than-glorious morning of bleary-eyed wobbly-ness. Starting the new year on a terribly nauseous, woozy foot always feels particularly punishing, though inevitable. But after the 2016 we've all had, nobody needs that kind of drama, which is why I embarked on this experiment for all of our sakes.
My go-to hangover cure is usually a cup of coffee, a spin class, and a green juice. But considering how hard it is to actually get out of bed and drag yourself to a spin class and then order the green juice, I figured there has to be a
lazier better way. Short of (because apparently people really do that?), I rounded up five of the most out-there hangover remedies I could find and then tried them all, much to the chagrin of my family members. It was all in the name of journalism, and so we could wake up on the first day of 2017 feeling like our best selves, ready to take down the patriarchy, etc. And no, you don't need to drink a raw egg. You're welcome.
1. Getting IV Fluids
Overall Effectiveness: 7/10
After severely overdoing it on a Christmas party punch—never again will I drink anything in which I can't taste the alcohol—I treated myself to a morning-after IV. Said morning-after IV treats hangovers by giving your body fluids and nutrients faster and more efficiently than you could by hydrating with a water bottle. Celebrities, including Kim Kardashian, swear by this method for all kinds of detoxification reasons.
At $199+ per treatment, it's not exactly the most cost-effective way to cure a hangover (but alas, Kim Kardashian), but it's pretty damn efficient. A nurse practitioner shows up at your apartment, sticks the IV to your arm and less than 20 minutes later you're pretty much cured. It's quick, painless and easy…and it really does work.
According to Dr. Adam Nadelson, founder of the IV Doc, an IV drip rehydrates on a level way beyond downing a glass of water before bed. One liter of IV fluid, which has all kinds of minerals, electrolytes, and medications that provide symptomatic relief, is equivalent to drinking a gallon of water. And it's absorbed into your system faster than if you consumed the same nutrients orally.
Word to the wise: If you opt for this treatment, definitely spring for the nausea add-on. I made that mistake the hard way (Sorry again for puking during lunch, my dear boyfriend's parents! 👋).
2. Drinking a"Prairie Oyster"
Overall Effectiveness: 4/10
I've always laughed in the face of salmonella poisoning, because cookie dough = worth it. That is, until I came face-to-face with the prospect of drinking a raw egg.
The prairie oyster technique was the only hangover cure I'd actually heard of before this experiment. It involves drinking a raw egg mixed with salt, vinegar, and something spicy. Apparently, you can delay your hangover by giving your body a dose of fat and protein, and introducing new toxins, like capsaicin, which is found in spicy foods. Basically, your body becomes distracted from processing the alcohol and begins to process those new toxins instead. Science, man. It's the same principle as eating a greasy breakfast or drinking a Bloody Mary…just, more disgusting.
My version of the prairie oyster included salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco—mainly because I forgot to buy tomato juice, which was...regrettable. It was just as disgusting as it sounds. Mid-sip, I realized that it's called a "prairie oyster" because of the way the yolk slides down your throat. Are you gagging yet? My 5-year-old nephew told me it was the "grossest thing" he's ever seen, and I've seen him eat boogers. To be totally honest, it was hard to tell whether or not it worked on my hangover, because all day I kept replaying the sensation of swallowing the raw egg. It made me more nauseous than the alcohol did, and was NOT worth it. I'll be sticking to my bacon, fully-cooked eggs, and cheese sandwich, for sure.
3. Eating Pickled Plums
Overall Effectiveness: 8/10
When Cher Horowitz calls something the "'ve been to treat skin ailments, increase liver function, aid with detoxification and apparently, cure hangovers. After waking up one morning with an earth-shattering hangover, I decided it was time to see if Tai Frasier's life coach Cher was right." I listen. Vegan/activist/all-around-health-nut Alicia Silverstone swears by Japanese pickled "Umeboshi" plums the morning after drinking because of their alkaline qualities and antibiotic and antiseptic abilities. They
I had ordered a dreading trying them, due to all the "holy shit these are the worst tasting things ever" comments I had read on the internet. I ate two of them straight from the jar—I was too hungover to even think about dealing with "steeping them in tea" like Silverstone recommends—and they actually weren't so bad. In fairness, though, I am the person who orders a side of pickles with breakfast. (Plus, after slurping down a spicy raw egg yolk, my stomach can pretty much handle anything.) Within an hour, I felt totally recovered (as in, "able to babysit two children for 12 hours and not lose my cool" fine). This led me to believe that Cher Horowitz really does know everything.and had been
4. Being Buried in Wet River Sand
Overall Effectiveness: 4/10
According to Irish legends, beingis the ultimate way to cure a hangover. After hours of scouring the internet, I still don't understand the origins of this theory or if there is any science behind it, but in the spirit of this experiment and compounded by my wine hangover on Christmas Day, I figured it was worth a shot.
Rivers are hard to come by in South Florida, so I set off towards the Atlantic Ocean. I got buried up to my neck right at the water's edge, and hung out for 10 minutes or so to see if anything would happen. I'll give it to you straight: Being buried in wet sand is f*cking uncomfortable. Sand is heavy, and being buried under 15+ pounds of it felt like someone was sitting on my chest. Plus, it didn't do anything for my hangover. Nothing. At. All. So not only did I feel crappy for the rest of the day, but I also had sand lodged in places you never want sand to see.
I think the logic behind the wet sand burial might have something to do with shocking your system the same way a cold shower or a dip in the ocean would. But let me save you the trouble: It's not nearly as refreshing or enjoyable as those aforementioned activities. I did, however, get many hilarious and dirty looks from other beach-goers who could not understand why my mom was burying me in sand with a kid's shovel. At least that part distracted me from my hangover.
5. Getting Crystal Therapy
Overall Effectiveness: 10/10
I've always thought the whole crystal thing was a little silly—I mean, it's hard to get on board with anything Spencer Pratt endorses so enthusiastically—but after this experience I am a changed woman. (Sorry for ever doubting you, Spence.) I went in for a Healing Crystal Facial at the Susan Ciminelli Spa the morning after polishing off three margaritas and a bottle of wine at a Third Eye Blind Concert. I had absolutely no faith that the treatment would work in any way, especially since I didn't tell Susan I was hungover. So when she placed the fluorites (and rose quartz and tourmalines and Herkimer diamonds and orange calcite) over of my body, I settled in for a nap and prayed I'd be able to sleep off the alcohol before having to go back to work.
But instead of falling asleep, I somehow managed to reach a mid-consciousness meditative state that felt like I was floating. Before you scoff, I am someone who has never meditated before and can barely sit through a yoga class or clear her head long enough to remember a phone number. Which is to say, it was legitimately an out-of-body experience. Forty-five minutes went by in what felt like five, and at one point I remember my nauseous stomach made a weird gurgling noise. When the lights came back on, I felt 100% recovered from the pounding headache and nausea that had plagued me all morning. And then I ended up having one of the most productive afternoons of work I'd had in months.
"Crystals help move energy through the body the way acupuncture does. It helps your inner organs run better, which can be reflected in the skin," Susan told me when I asked her WTF had just happened to me. "When your body runs more efficiently and at a higher vibrational level, your body will heal itself more easily."
Bottom line? I will be bathing in rose quartz every time I'm hungover for the rest of my life. Spencer, if you're reading this, please call me and let's trade secrets.
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