Where does ‘hair of the dog’ come from?

1 minute read

As a hangover remedy, 'hair of the dog' is about as effective as its medieval namesake


Unaccustomed as we are to the experience of a hangover (ahem!), we are familiar with the concept of the “hair of the dog” remedy for the self-afflicted malady.

And while it may be tempting to try to ease the fallout from a big night on the tiles with a tincture, the evidence is compelling that nothing cures a hangover better than time, rest and non-alcoholic rehydration.


But what is the canine connection to this practice?

It seems the saying can be traced back to medieval Europeans and their weird and wacky methods for the diagnosis and treatment of rabies.

So apart from blood-letting and astrology, one popular therapy for treating a rabies patient was to place some pieces of hair from the rabid dog onto the victim’s bite wound.

And just like the hangover cure, it didn’t work.


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