Wikipedia has an interesting article on hair of the dog. I enjoyed learning about the various ways other cultures say basically the same thing. Is it true? Does it work? Good, Bad, and Bogus has an interesting article about that, explaining that no research has ever shown that it actually works. Thereby Hangs A Tale, a favorite reference of mine, claims the term comes from an “ancient medical maxim, Like cures like- Similia mimilibus curantur” and more specifically from the ancient belief that to prevent infection from a dog bite, hair from that specific dog should be applied to the wound.
About.com has a list of ‘cures’ people have suggested, from drinking pickle juice to burying up to the neck in sand. According to the Telegraph some people try rubbing lemons slices on their armpits before drinking. Miss Charming’s Hangover Page reports jackrabbit dropping tea or sparrow droppings in brandy. Ireallylikefood.com cites pickled sheep eyes or dried bull penis.
Most fascinating to me is finding the ‘universal truth’ involved here, the common human experience: drinking, getting drunk, being hungover. And all over the world, people seem to agree that drinking more the next day cures the hangover. Yet, a lot of people say that it does not. I suspect that some cures work for some people some of the time and not others. According to BrainyQuote, Robert Benchley said : A real hangover is nothing to try out family remedies on. The only cure for a real hangover is death. I would bet the cures did not work for him.
The only thing for sure is that people do not like hangovers and will try nearly anything to get rid of them.