Did the Ancient Egyptians know how to cure a hangover?
Scientists who have been working on deciphering Ancient Egyptian papyrus from Oxyrhynchus city, one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, have discovered something astonishing: a recipe for curing a hangover.
According to the historians, this magic remedy was created two thousand years ago and was used to get rid of headaches after wild feasts and celebrations. In this recipe, ancient Egyptians used a wreath or necklace made of Alexandrian laurel leaves.
Unfortunately, modern specialists are not interested in investigating this plant further, therefore there is no proof that this way of healing was efficient – although, villagers from Cambodia are believed to inhale Alexandrian laurel leaves to cure vertigo and headaches to this day.
Containing more than 500,000 documents, this papyrus was found in the Oxyrhynchus city in 1896 by Oxford University archaeologists, Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Society. The newly translated medical texts include not only hangover treatments but also cure of haemorrhoids, toothache, gangrene and many more.
Research specialist Dr David Leith said: “The remedies appear to cross what we might see as the boundary between magic and medicine – and although some ancient doctors disliked making use of “magical” remedies, this was far from always the case.”
Scientists have always claimed there is no cure for a hangover. The cause for hangover is widely believed to be due to two toxins formaldehyde and formic acid. Given a hangover works in two stages; enzymes breaking down firstly the ethanol then methanol (metabolises the toxins), if Ancient Egyptians discovered a way to metabolise methanol at a rapidly increased rate then they may have discovered the elusive hangover cure. We can simply never be sure.
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