For as long as people have been drinking too much, they have been searching for a cure for that dreaded morning after hangover。
Raw eggs with or without Worcestershire sauce is apparently one cure; others eat chocolate or a bacon sandwich - but the answer could be as simple as to carry on doing what you were doing that caused the hangover – have a drink。
Adam Rogers, the author of Proof: the Science of Booze, is of the opinion that the 'hair of the dog' makes you feel better, but the question is why it does this, and importantly whether it's really a good idea。
Every alcoholic drink contains, as well as ethanol, small traces of the poisonous methanol. In high doses methanol can make people go blind or even die because the body converts it to formaldehyde, a poison used as a preservative in some laboratories. Doctors treat methanol poisoning by giving patients ethanol to prevent its change into formaldehyde。
'If methanol poisoning is at least in part responsible for a hangover, having a drink the next morning may alleviate symptoms,' said Mr Rogers although he was at pains to point out that the theory was 'hypothetical' at best。
Lauren Owen, a psychopharmacologist at Keele University and a member of the Alcohol Hangover Research Group, agreed that there was some scientific support for the idea. 'Alcohol acts on a number of chemicals in the brain to increase feelings of pleasure. Reduction of hangover symptoms by "hair of the dog" may also be due to the activity of alcohol on neurotransmitter systems.'
One thing that appears to have no scientific basis is rehydration. Mr Rogers said: 'You can get rid of the dehydration and you are still hungover.'