Hungover summary

What is it?

Red ginseng has been used for many centuries and scientific research has shown that it can relieve hangover symptoms by increasing the rate at which alcohol is metabolised in the body.

What symptoms does it cure?

  • Reduces hangover severity
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Reduces blood alcohol levels

Where can I get it?

Red ginseng can be found in most health shops or online as a tablet in supplement form.


Ginseng is one of the world's most popular natural remedies due to many reported health benefits. Ginseng refers to any of eleven different varieties of the plant which are marked by their fleshy, fork-shaped roots and light colouring. Ginseng is also characterised by slow growth, its perennial nature and the presence of the presence of ginsenoside and gintonin.

Ginseng has been used as a traditional natural remedy in China for over 500 years and is known to improve a person’s well being from stimulating cognitive function and aiding physical activity to helping in preventing cancer and erectile dysfunction.

Among Ginseng’s many plus points is it’s ability to lessen the severity of hangovers by reducing symptoms of by speeding up the rate at which alcohol is metabolised. This could mean that not only will a cup of ginseng tea giving you a boost the morning after a big night out, it could actually help prevent a hangover by speeding up the time it takes for your body to process alcohol by taking Ginseng before you have even started drinking.

What the Science Says

A study by Lee et al. (2014) from the National Research Laboratory of Clinical Nutrigenetics in Seoul found that red ginseng significantly reduced hangover severity and blood alcohol levels.

In the randomised crossover study, included 25 healthy male participants drank 100ml of whiskey (40% alcohol) followed by 100ml of a red ginseng drink or water on three separate occasions. The researchers measured alcohol levels, expiratory air-alcohol levels and hangover symptoms and found that the red ginseng drink has positive benefits in significantly reducing hangover symptoms and plasma blood alcohol levels.
The study provides strong evidence that ginseng’s health benefits extend to being an effective hangover cure. Comparable studies have found similar results testing the effect of red ginseng on blood alcohol levels in animals but it is important that further research is conducted to replicate the findings of Lee et al. (2014).


Lee, M. H., Kwak, J. H., Jeon, G., Lee, J. W., Seo, J. H., Lee, H. S., & Lee, J. H. (2014). Red ginseng relieves the effects of alcohol consumption and hangover symptoms in healthy men: a randomized crossover study. Food & function, 5(3), 528-534