Most people who have to pay the price for a particularly hard night of drinking nurse their wounds prostrate on the couch or slouching at a desk with greasy delivery and some ibuprofen. But many people who have felt the crippling effects of a particularly cruel hangover one too many times take it upon themselves to devise their own creative hangover treatments, sourcing inspiration from any number of bizarre hangover cure concoctions that exist in some unwritten drinkers' almanac sourced from "wild" aunts the world over.
But in South Korea, Asia's hardest drinking country, the hangover cure is a $125 million per year industry unto itself, with pills, cosmetic products to hide the effects of a night of boozing, and, of course, stomach-calming foods like hangover soup. But in a new step forward for humanity, hangover cures will be more delicious than ever. A South Korean convenience store chain has introduced a hangover-curing ice cream bar.
Reuters reports that South Koreans will soon be able to eat away their hangovers with the Gyeondyo-bar, a grapefruit flavored ice cream bar with a small amount of oriental raisin tree fruit juice. (Yes, that's its official name.) The raisin juice is the active ingredient, and has been considered a Korean hangover treatment since the 1600s, when it was listed in a medical book as a way to smooth away hangovers. There's some science to back that up: A study from 2012 in The Journal of Neuroscience found that raisin tree extract could reduce effects of intoxication in rats.
The Gyeondyo-bar's name translates to "hang in there," which "expresses the hardships of employees who have to suffer a working day after heavy drinking, as well as to provide comfort to those who have to come to work early after frequent nights of drinking," the convenience store chain Withme FS, which is releasing the bar, said in a press release.
And if it really works, the little bar could potentially help out a ton of hungover South Koreans. South Koreans drank 12.3 liters booze a year, leading to nearly $8 billion in lost productivity, medical costs, and early deaths in 2013. Hangovers are such a big deal in South Korea that Psy and Snoop Dogg actually made a music video together for a song called "Hangover," which features lyrics like "hangover, hangover, hangover, hangover, hangover." The video features another popular hangover remedy, a drink called Hut-gae Condition.
So Koreans who can't just sleep away the pain will have a new way to dull it soon with the Gyeondyo-bar. Unfortunately for hungover people around the world, you'll have to stick to whatever has been getting you through your Monday mornings. Or you can join the ranks of the home alchemists out there and get to work on some hangover-curing ice cream.