11 of History's Battiest Hangover Cures

After a night out boozing some people swear by "hair of the dog," which means treating hangovers by drinking more alcohol. Regis Duvignau/Reuters

Whether it's chugging a bucket of green tea or taking a hot shower, everyone swears by their own remedy for the pain following a night of hard drinking. Centuries before the days of Alka-Seltzer and expensive juice cleanses, ancient civilizations had developed their own hangover home remedies.

Earlier this week, the ancient papyrus Oxyrhynchus Papyriat, which resides at Oxford University's Sackler Library, revealed that the Egyptians had a bizarre tried-and-true hangover cure. It involved wearing a strung necklace of the shrub Danae racemosa—more commonly known as Alexandrian laurel. No word on whether or not the plant actually helped assuage hangovers, but given that these necklaces had traditionally been used to drape accomplished scholars and athletes, as Discovery News reports, maybe the Egyptians thought one could will hangovers away with the illusion of victory.

Still, this isn't the strangest hangover remedy in history. In the Middle Ages, raw eel was all the rage, and dried viper was a favorite of some chemists in the 1600s. Below is a brief list of history's more bizarre hangover remedies.

1. Rabbit Dung

Nothing like waking up with a throbbing headache and washing down a refreshing cup of bunny excrement. At least, that's what cowboys used to do back in the Wild West days. The idea is that rabbit droppings contain key salts and nutrients, such as potassium, that the body depletes when boozing. But bananas may be a tastier choice than a stinking cup of Peter Rabbit's finest.

2. Cabbage

Ancient civilizations swore by this leafy green, with boiling being the consumption method of choice. It's not off-base: Cabbage contains minerals that can help the liver metabolize alcohol more easily. But ancient physician Galen the Greek insisted that wrapping one's head in cabbage leaves was the only way to get rid of a pesky hangover, giving a new meaning to getting your head in the game.

3. Sweat Swishing

Breaking a sweat typically helps rid the body of toxins and a walk can help clear one's head. Sure. But some Native American cultures hold that licking one's own sweat post-workout, swishing it around then spitting it out is the way to dispel the "poison," according to the BBC. What they forgot to mention, though, is that the mere thought of swishing might cause one to break out into a feverish cold sweat.

4. Raw Eel

During the Middle Ages, people countered their nights of merriment with raw eel. Not because raw eel is an objectively delicious variety of sushi, but because European doctors logically believed that once ingested, the slithering creatures would somehow resurrect to suck up the remaining alcohol causing one's hangover.

5. Owl's Eggs

Pliny the Elder, the distinguished Roman and namesake of one of the most coveted and top-rated beers in the United States, had a particularly strange remedy for hangovers. He famously believed that eating two raw owl's eggs after a night of binge drinking could stave off that Tuscan wine hangover. This treatment may not sound eggs-ellent, but Pliny's not the only person to advocate for raw eggs post-hangover: New England's signature Prairie Oyster is a popular home remedy, which can be made by sliding an egg yolk into a cup, adding Worcestershire sauce, celery salt, salt and pepper. Drink up.

6. Crying

Ever felt hollow and horrible following a hangover? Good. British author Kingsley Amis insisted in his book On Drink (1972) that instead of attempting to cure "physical hangovers," one should focus on addressing the headier "metaphysical hangover." This means addressing the "the ineffable compound of depression, sadness (these two are not the same), anxiety, self-hatred, sense of failure and fear for the future" one may have after a night out drinking. The cure? Catharsis, of course: "A good cry," he writes, reading the likes of the final scene of Paradise Lost, and ascending "for half an hour in an open aeroplane, needless to say with a non-hungover person at the controls."

7. Citrus Armpits

In an attempt to not become dehydrated while hitting the bottle, some Puerto Ricans take a slice of a citrus fruit, usually limes or lemons, and rub it into the armpit of their preferred "drinking arm" before going out on the town. When life gives you lemons, rub them all over yourself?

8. Dried Viper and Skulls

Jonathan Goddard, the 17th century English doctor and College of Physicians fellow, had an especially macabre hangover cocktail recipe. Called Goddard's Drops, the recipe called for a touch of dried viper, the spirit of hartshorn (better known as ammonia), and the skull of a person who had recently been hung. For some reason, Goddard's Drops never quite took off.

9. Soot

After a night of libations, your insides might feel like tar. So why not douse them with soot fresh from fireplace ashes? That's what people in the 1800s did. The English believed that dumping a lump of fresh soot into some warm milk could help rid those dreadful fevers and shakes. But it might not be the worst idea—after all, activated charcoal often acts as a digestive supplement and has been proven to absorb toxins.

10. Dried Bull Penis

For a beefy approach to hangover treatment, one could look to the Sicilians, who eat entire dried bull penises to regain virility after a bad night out. So much for retaining a sense of dick-nity.

11. Hair of the Dog

The term hair of the dog has been synonymous with drinking more alcohol to ease hangover pains since 1546. But the saying originated from the medieval belief that people could stave off rabies by placing the same dog's hair on the bite mark itself. There's no scientific proof that drinking a spot of whiskey will help with a hangover, or that dog hair cures rabies, yet this seems to be the remedy of choice for enablers everywhere.