Work hard, play hard; there are few cities where this is truer than in Dongguan. Whether it be a late evening drinking rice wine with suppliers in a restaurant, followed by early morning drives moving from town to town on factory visits, or a weekend in the clubs of Bar Street, followed by a week of classes with noisy kids, life leaves little time to have a hangover.
A recent study suggests that the hangover remedy we have all been looking for may well have been right in front of us all along. Researchers at Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou have published a study asserting that Sprite, the lemon-lime flavored soda drink, is the most effective way to cure a hangover.
The reasoning is that it is not the affects of alcohol that makes us feel so unwell, but the process our body goes through to break it down. Based on this, the researchers looked at 57 different drinks to see which drink accelerated this process the most. The study claims that drinks like herbal tea were found to actually slow down the process. Soda drinks like Sprite were said to speed it up.
Pu’er tea is a fermented dark tea originating from Yunnan and has long been considered a hangover remedy in Chinese culture. Not only is Pu’er said to cure hangovers, but it is also believed to have many other health benefits. It is said that the tea can also lower cholesterol and reduce risk of heart disease, although these claims have yet to be fully proven.
Although the tea is produced in Yunnan, it can be found at almost any local tea shop. Be careful which tea you buy. The good quality Pu’er is said to have a rich taste, while the poor quality Pu’er tea can taste muddy oreven moldy.
Recipe: Add 5 grams tea and rapid boiling water into teapot, pour water (cleaning leaves), repeat. Repeat a second time, but this time let it steep 10 to 20 seconds before drinking.
Another tea used as a hangover remedy is Ginseng tea. Traditionally, it is used as a stimulant and aphrodisiac, while more recently it has been used to treat diabetes. Its hydrating qualities, however, can be applied to help cure a hangover. It too can be found in most local tea shops, or stop by the Dongbei Ginseng Shop behind the Dongcheng Zhongxin bus stop, across from Moon Bay Garden.
Recipe: Add 3 grams of American ginseng (sliced or whole), 3 grams wolf berry and boiling water to a teapot; steep for 5 minutes.
Ginger is another hangover cure that is used to treat many different ailments. It is just as likely to be used to treat those suffering from arthritis or the common cold as it is those dealing with the morning after a particularly heavy night.
Traditionally, the Ginger is cooked along with brown sugar to create a kind of syrup with the texture of a preserve. If the taste of Ginger on its own is off putting than consider mixing it with some tea or even a smoothie.
Plus, Ginger is very convenient to find. It can be found at any fruit and vegetable stall, which means that you will not have to go on an odyssey to find this remedy when you are feeling too hung over to even leave your apartment.
Recipe: Mix 6 grams of black tea (green tea has the opposite Qi energy) with sliced ginger and add boiling water. Pour, let cool, then add honey.
The famous rice porridge is also one of the most popular hangover cures. Congee is given to those who are feeling unwell and even when it has been self-inflicted by those who are suffering from drinking too much the night before.
The reason that Congee is considered so effective is because the rice porridge both hydrates your body and satiates your appetite. It can be found in many of the local restaurants around town and also goes down a lot easier than some of the other remedies.
If after trying the traditional cures you still feel hung over, then perhaps it is time to try something somewhat more drastic. Hailong Yuzun (海龙玉樽) is a tablet that is a little different than the other remedies in that you are meant to take it the night before, instead of the morning after. Rather than focus on reducing how hung over you are, the tablet instead limits how drunk you get.
Hailong Yuzun is produced in Chengdu and it is debatable just how effective, or even how safe, the tablet is. Those who are desperate enough to try, however, can find the tablets at pharmacies like Watsons and on Web sites
Hair of the Dog
If all else fails, than perhaps it’s time to try the hair of the dog. If you can’t cure your hangover than have another drink and put it off for another day. In Dongguan you are never far from somewhere that sells alcohol—be it a bottle of beer at a convenience store or a shot of rice wine anywhere else.