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Hangovers and the Power of Turmeric

Holidaaaay! Celebraaaate!

By 2 min read

Since the advent of drinking, people have been trying to prevent and cure hangovers. The ancient Romans ate raw owl eggs to cure hangovers. My American college roommates would stay up until the next morning and then sleep in the name of hangover prevention. I myself have tried everything from inhaling six bananas to watching police traffic videos to take away the pain.

Now, my Japanese coworkers take a special drink said to prevent hangovers. As I’m not a medical professional, I can’t verify the effectiveness of any of these preventions and cures, so if you really want to prevent a hangover, you should either consult a doctor or not drink. If you happen to be in Japan, plan on drinking, and aren’t adverse to drinking tumeric, you might want to see how this “hangover prevention” works for you.

ukonnochikara

Ukon no Chikara
ウコンの力

One evening before a 飲み会 (nomikai, drinking party), I saw a coworker down a sweet-smelling drink in a small metal bottle. When I asked about the drink, she explained that it is called Ukon no Chikara.

Ukon no Chikara is made of turmeric, a type of ginger. The name Ukon no Chikara itself means “the power of turmeric.” Turmeric is a root said to improve digestive function and, in addition, prevent hangovers. Ukon no Chikara is a specific product name, but several other turmeric drinks are sold in Japan, including Ukon Drink (ウコンドリンク) and Ukon no Genki (ウコンの元気).

In the spirit of scientific inquiry, I tried Ukon no Chikara before a drinking party of one, to be held in my bathtub. The drink is bright orange, the color of mango juice. Much like mango juice, the drink was mildly sweet and easy to drink. I had expected more of an acidic “energy drink” taste because many energy drinks come in similar metal bottles.

A few minutes after drinking Ukon no Chikara, I drank Sapporo’s take on black beer, called “Mugi to Hoppusu” (wheat and hops). Happily, the next morning, I did not get a hangover. I only drank about half the can of beer, though, so I’m hesitant to give the credit to Ukon no Chikara. What I did find is that drinking in the bathtub is a bad idea; I felt a little unwell after this experiment. Here’s to science!

Have you tried a ginger drink like Ukon no Chikara? What sort of hangover preventions or cures have you discovered in Japan?

2016 development

You can now buy Ukon no Chikara SUPER which is a ramped up version of normal Ukon in a larger bottle, in case you were thinking of having a session. It is the holidays.

Updated: 08/10/2016

  • Tanpopo says:

    It legit works!! I get awful hangovers when I don’t drink Ukon before. It’s still not like 100 perfect the next day, but it cuts down on the pain and nausea SO much.

  • Seabird says:

    I haven’t tried Ukon No Chikara, but I highly recommend Hepalyze DX pills. Hepalyze has tumeric as well, but also cattle liver extract (or so I’ve read on the internet). I don’t attest to the magical powers others may espouse, but it helps keep my stomach happy while I’m drinking and I notice I am less dehydrated/no headaches in the next morning. They aren’t cheap, but well worth it.

  • Blackbeltbarbie says:

    I’ve tried the powder form of Ukon No chikara as my japense friend brought some back for me. WOW it works i tell you. However she was only able to give me 2 sachets so I thought hang on if it’s turmeric I’ll try some of the Schwartz herb form in powder -baddddddddddddddddddd idea it seems to have worked but my god it stuck to my mouth and tasted foul! now on the internet I;m seeing where to purchase more Ukon lol

  • Timothy White says:

    Only drank a half a can……. Write this when you had a case! I agree Dave you can’t expect a hang over over a half can much less three cans.

    • Lynn says:

      Both my drinking skills and my application of the scientific method were admittedly sub par, so I agree that no real conclusions can be drawn from this experiment. I wasn’t able to find any literature on the effects of turmeric either, but I’m glad that some of the other readers were able to add their experiences.

  • Mieko says:

    I’ve tried this in hopes of preventing a hangover, only to receive mixed results. On one hand, when I casually go out drinking, it works fairly well. However, I found that I need to drink two. One before starting to drink and one after.

    On the other hand… On a night where a TON of drinking was done… (I’m talking about one of those blackout type of nights) I had, had an Ukon no Chikara before all that Sake, and then after but it did nothing for me. I felt like death all day and mostly stayed in bed.

    So I’m not sure what to make of it entirely. On one hand if you are simply going to a casual drinking party it might help… On the other hand if you plan on hardcore drinking, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Megs says:

      Thanks for the information. I would like to try this out here in my country. Although I don’t drink too often. But I would like to have a drink that helps reduce or get rids of hang overs whenever I drink out occasionally.

  • myths says:

    It does nothing for hangovers. Yes, tumric is good for a liver, but needs time to repair any damage
    Drinking one can will have zero effect.

  • Dave Doyle says:

    half a can of beer and you expect a hangover!?!?!?!?

  • Goomba says:

    I tell you what. You mail me some of that stuff here in America and I’ll be happy to test this out. Its my birthday weekend and I plan on being drunk.

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