Well, I guess this is kind of late being it’s already January 2nd. Right now, you’ve either already gotten over your hangover, or you’re in the hospital recovering from alcohol poisoning. Still, thought it might be interesting to write about.
These aren’t “traditional” remedies. I actually don’t know of any. And except for the second one, they’re more for hangover prevention.
UKON NO CHIKARA (ウコンの力)
I found out about this years ago through TV. I don’t see that many ads anymore, but they used to show commercials all the time. “Ukon no Chikara” in English means “Turmeric power”. As you can probably tell, the active ingredient here is turmeric.
You’re supposed to take this about an hour to 30 minutes before going drinking, and doing so supposedly protects your liver from some of the damage, which somehow helps prevent hangovers. Or something like that.
Most Japanese people I’ve talked to about this say it doesn’t really work.
SHIJIMI JIRU (しじみ汁)
A couple of Japanese guys I know swear by this. “Shijimi jiu” is clam soup, though specifically this is miso soup with clams. You take this after drinking. When the drinking party is done, folks go to a convenience store to pick this up.
My friends say that clam soup wakes you up and reduces the effects of hangovers. I can see how it can wake someone up… it has a pretty strong flavor. Not sure though about how it is effective for hangovers.
This I just discovered a few months ago. I was asking someone if he takes Ukon no Chikara before drinking. He said that Ukon doesn’t work for him, but what he finds really effective is Heparize.
Like Ukon, you take this before drinking. The idea is similar: it helps protect your liver from the alcohol binging you are about to engage in. The active ingredient is “liver hydrolysate”, which seems to be some kind of liver extract. So yeah, I guess you’re drinking liver juice!
I’m not quite sure what Heparize means. I guess “hepa” comes from liver, but I don’t know what “rize” stands for.
Here’s a commercial of the “sparkling” (carbonated) version of Heparize:
I don’t really drink that often, and when I do, I make sure to stop before getting plastered, so I don’t find the need to take any of these. If you’re in town and plan to get wasted, you might want to give these a go. They’re all readily available at any convenience store in Japan.