Folk Remedy

“Everybody has their own cure for a hangover, but I swear by mine: cranberry juice like Oceanspray because the sugar made it easier to drink and a plain bagel- not toasted.”

Paula was born in Northridge, California and has three older sisters. She learned of this hangover remedy from her eldest sister, Susan, who had learned it from their mother. Paula and her sisters grew up in a household that avoided taking medication whenever it wasn’t absolutely necessary. So on the occasion that the girls had a hangover while still living at home, they always drank “an ice cold glass of cranberry juice” and ate a plain bagel. The logic was “that if we drank something sugary we would have a better chance of finishing it and it would better hydrate us. The bagel was to absorb the alcohol.” Now she still follows the same remedy, but for different reasons, when she needs it and she also passed it along to her children. Paula now explained that she still drinks cranberry juice because although it does hydrate her, the sugar also balances out her blood sugar. As for the bagel she explained, “I think my mother was just trying to get us to eat something, she always thought it was best to start out the day with something light. But I do feel like a bagel actually does serve as a great remedy for a hangover!”

Folk Medicine is a universal thing because everyone gets sick with the same illnesses and tries to find their own relief. Though certain parts of the world may grow a certain plant that is unavailable elsewhere and so their remedy is isolated, the idea that people search for remedies is a frequent thing. Who doesn’t have a hangover remedy? The notion that everyone creates their own concoction for a hangover is a powerful notion, it says a lot about people’s constant and persistent drive to find cures and better our lives. It’s a great accomplishment to say that everyone has a remedy because it diffuses power equally. People trust their friends and family and when it is possible to utilize those sources for a health concern rather than a multi-billion dollar corporation it is a nice change from the normal top-down system. The notion of folk medicine truly emphasizes how folklore is a horizontal method of communication.