The alternative medicine has found renewed use as an effective treatment for hangovers, a study by British researchers has shown.
Homeopathic medicine typically “works” on the long-since discredited theory that an illness can be treated using a ridiculously dilute solution of the substance causing it. However, the research carried out at Kings College London focused more on the other constituents of the medicine – specifically water, which is thought to be the main ingredient.
Subjects were taken out of a local pub at closing time and then given two litres of water to drink before collapsing in a heap on their beds, with amounts of alcohol dissolved ranging from one part per billion to one in ten. 20 out of 34 of the subjects reported a reduction in severity of hangover symptoms 12 hours later, with seven reporting no symptoms at all. Of the remaining seven three were too incoherent to contribute to the study while the other four refused to take part, having forgotten they agreed to take part the night before. The researchers are currently conducting more tests on the effectiveness of higher concentrations to determine whether this is due to the well-documented “hair of the dog” mechanism, which merely delays hangovers.
Head of the group Andrew McKie initially had no intention of looking into a medical practice that was deemed “rubbish” by England’s chief medical officer in 2010. “The irony of it all is that we only did the study on a drunken bet that the department downstairs made us on St. Patrick’s Day, that we couldn’t take homeopathy and use it to actually cure something.”