Ah, the hangover. When it comes to hangovers, the humorist Robert Benchley might have said it best, “the only cure for a real hangover is death.” Not that this is the most practical solution, of course.
So where does tea fit into this picture? Can tea cure a hangover? Probably not, though the jury is still out on this issue. But can tea ease the ill effects that are a part of the hangover experience? Perhaps. Puerh, in particular, is thought by many to be especially useful when it comes to dealing with the effects of a hangover, but it’s not clear if there’s any real research to back up this notion.
In spite of those clever marketers who would have us believe otherwise, there probably is not any such thing as a hangover cure. Researchers don’t agree about exactly what causes a hangover, but if you’re ever afflicted with one there are some steps you can take to make things a bit less unpleasant.
Most notable among these suggestions – stay hydrated. Be sure to drink other non-alcoholic liquids (like tea, for instance) before, during and after your revelry, whenever possible. This is very important, since alcohol consumption tends to cause dehydration. Some people have also suggested that the caffeine and particularly the theanine (which is known to have a calming and mentally stimulating effect) in tea might help with the mental fuzziness that typically plagues us on a tough morning after.
On the flip side of using tea to combat hangovers is a curious phenomenon often referred to as tea drunkenness. While not an actual recognized medical condition, this is a malady that has been remarked on by more than a few tea drinkers who have overindulged in their favorite liquid refreshment. For more thoughts on this one look here and here and you can even check out a paean to tea drunkenness here.