Finding a hangover cure guaranteed to really work would be like discovering the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow or being on first name terms with the tooth fairy.
In other words, a magical pill or secret recipe that’ll make the night before seem like a walk in the park is at best an ancient myth, a fabricated fairy-tale, at worse, it’s a useless tonic sold by snake oil salesmen in second-hand suits.
As all seasoned booze hounds, sorcerers of the sauce, and connoisseurs of the just hard stuff know only too well, if you commit the crime then you’ve got to be prepared to do the time. When you invite the devil to dance he doesn’t just stop the foxtrot when the musicians begin to play a little off key.
So for years, a fried breakfast, a dose of strong coffee, and a few painkillers is the best you could hope for to make you feel human again after a hard night on the town.
And if all else failed, well ordering a double whiskey and eating the hair of the dog that bit you could steady a fella’s hand and clear his vision somewhat.
Yet a hangover cure that really works? Well you can go take your jive talk someplace else pal, the guys propping up this bar ain’t buying that crock of fool’s gold.
But just what if a Middle Eastern recipe uncovered in a 10th century cookbook could be all you need to cure a hangover.
Would you propose a toast and drink to that?
The Daily Mail reported that a 1,000-year-old Iraqi dish of meat, vegetables, spices and something called ‘Kashk’ is all you need to keep the hangover blues at bay.
Kashk is a combination of fermented yoghurt, milk and whey, and is apparently quite common in Iranian, Turkish, Balkan and Arabic food.
An ancient book believed to be the oldest cookbook in the Arab world, called Annals of the Caliphs Kitchens written by Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, and translated by Nawal Nasrallah, suggests that Kashk is the mother of all hangover cures.
Ms Nasrallah explained:
“We need to keep in mind that people in medieval times believed in the Galenic theory of the four humors — blood, phlegm, yellow bile and black bile, and their properties, of cold, hot, humid, and dry.
“The rationale was that with its cold properties, easy digestion, and nourishing power, it helped alleviate the hangovers – usually people suffer from excess heat in the head and stomach.”
For those interested in such things, the book claims that eating cabbage before drinking prevents you from getting too drunk and advises eating snacks between drinks to slow down the effects of alcohol.
“You need to know that drinking cold water first thing in the morning is recommended only for people suffering from…hangovers.
“However, they should avoid drinking it in one big gulp. Rather, they need to have it in several small doses and breathe deeply between one dose and the other.”
So now you know. Chin! Chin!