Any old fisherman’s wife from the villages of Cornwall, England will forcehair of the dog upon you to cure your hangover.
Why especially in some remote villages do they promote this remedy?
I often wonder myself because it’s an old wives tale, a myth and it doesn’t work.
First of all, what is the definition of hair of the dog?
The expression comes from “hair of the dog that bit you”.
In other words, if alcohol “bit” you by creating bad effects in your body, then having a small dose of it when feeling the symptoms should fix it.
That is, if you believe in it. Because in fact, it doesn’t work and just like coffee, falls flat on its back in its attempt to fix your hangovers.
So who started this bullshit rumour?
Hmmm, I think it started a very long time ago. Maybe a a few hundred or even a thousand years ago? There is very little evidence on who started it though.
But like most wives’ tales and fishermen’s remedies, it is complete garbage.
As there was little common sharing of knowledge and next to no effective and accessible medication hundreds of years ago, this was probably the best remedy that many people thought they could find.
It is understandable that people thought it worked as they had no real knowledge of biology.
Somehow, the myth that it fixes a hungover head has somehow persisted. Why is this?
It seems like it works
It appears that one day, someone realised that having a small dose of alcohol the next morning would immediately “distract” their body from dealing with the evil toxin “acetaldehyde” that they were processing.
The acetaldehyde is partly responsible for you feeling like duck poo.
A quick blast of whisky or vodka would mean the body would need to digest this new, strong dose of alcohol as a priority. So it would temporarily “forget” the unpleasant process of breaking down the toxins.
It’s a bit like having a brandy after a heavy dinner. Your body turns to digesting the alcohol instead of the food as a priority. So it feels like you’re not digesting anymore. In reality, you just digest later on.
But it doesn’t..because later on you feel worse
Hair of the dog just draws out your hangover over a longer period.
It does provide temporary relief from severe pain. But it’s not a real remedy at all. It’s kind of like making your hard, brutal landing into a softer, more drawn out and slower landing instead.
A remedy is what helps in curing your hungover condition and processing it as fast as possible. Drinking the morning after gives a longer, slower hangover.
You can do better than that.
So why mess around with next day drinking when you could get fast and effective hangover relief with these hangover cures.