A study that was approved by the institutional review boards at Tulane University and University of California found that an extract of the Prickly Pear (Opuntia Ficus Indica) plant has a moderate effect on reducing hangover symptoms.
What's The Science Behind The Research
Conclusions of the study (from JAMA Internal Medicine) state that symptoms of a hangover are largely due to alcohol activating inflammation in the body. And apparently the Prickly Pear works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators, therefore reducing the hangover. Alcohol impurities (congeners) is what can produce the heightened inflammatory state, also the metabolic byproducts of alcohol metabolism can contribute as well. There were 55 Tulane graduate students that the scientists studied ranging between the ages of 21 to 35. None of them had any medical history of hypertension, liver disease or cardiac disease, nor smoked. They all had some prior hangover experience though.
Hangover Symptoms That Were Helped
The placebo-controlled, crossover trial found hangover symptoms such as nausea, dry mouth, and anorexia, to be moderately reduced. Overall, Prickly Pear (Opuntia Ficus Indica) reduced the severity of a hangover by half. To further prove the conclusions, 10 of the worst hangovers occurred in the subjects that were given the placebo. Prickly Pear juice is how some prefer to take the fruit, and the plant itself is particularly popular in Latin America because it's high is fiber, antioxidants and carotenoids. If you've tried Prickly Pear before, please let us know your thoughts and results of taking it.
Other names for Prickly Pear: Barbary-fig Cactus, Cactus Fruit, Cactus Flowers, Cactus Pear Fruit, Figue d’Inde, Fruit du Cactus, Fruit de l’Oponce, Figuier de Barbarie, Indian-fig Prickly Pear Cactus, Indien-Figue, Nopal, Nopal Cactus, Nopales, Nopol, OPI, Oponce, Opuntia, Opuntia ficus, Opuntia cardona, Opuntia ficus-indica, Opuntia Fruit, Opuntia fuliginosa, Opuntia streptacantha, Opuntia hyptiacantha, Opuntia lasciacantha, Opuntia macrocentra, Opuntia megacantha, Opuntia puberula, Gracemere-Pear, Opuntia velutina, Opuntia violacea, Tuna Cardona, Westwood-Pear, Prickly Pear.