9 Hangover Cures From Around the World

Green Tree Ant Tea, Australia
Green tree ants weave leaves together to form a nest. Getting some ants for the tea might be hard as they're pretty aggressive. Auscape / UIG/Getty Images

Drinking a cup of green tea would be a rather pleasant way to shut down a hangover. Unfortunately, that's not quite what Australia's indigenous people came up with. Instead, they historically drank green tree ant tea. The recipe is simple: Mix ground-up green tree ants in a cup of hot water or bush tea. The only trick is getting the ants. Green tree ants, aka weaver ants, are aggressive. If you attack their nests, they'll swarm onto you, take a bite, then squirt a burning fluid into the wound. Ouch! Despite this danger, Aborigines have collected these yellowish-green bugs for millennia to combat headaches and colds — hence their additional use in fighting hangovers. If this remedy works, it may be due to the protein that ants contain [sources: The Guardian, Queensland Museum,Ipatenco].

Interestingly, Australian scientists with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the country's main science entity, recently claimed to have found a potential hangover cure, and it's much more palatable than ant tea: pears. Specifically, the Korean variety. The researchers found that if you drink 220 milliliters of Korean pear juice before drinking alcohol, the overall intensity of your hangover will be significantly reduced. That's because Korean pears lower blood alcohol levels by affecting the key enzymes involved in the metabolism of alcohol — alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) [source: Pash].