Author`s name Pravda.Ru

Eating opuntia cactus helps overcome hangovers

Published in the Journal of Internal Medicine is an article, that suggests using prickly pear cactus as a cure for hangovers.

US researchers at Tulane University found extracts of a prickly pear cactus lessened hangover symptoms such as nausea and a dry mouth.

The researchers tested 55 men and women aged 21 to 35 by simulating a night out under laboratory conditions.

Five hours before the study participants started drinking, the researchers gave them two capsules of prickly pear fruit extract (1600 IU in total) or a placebo. The people in the study then ate a junk-food meal and were told to start drinking.

They could choose from vodka, gin, rum, bourbon, scotch or tequila. But they couldn't mix their drinks.

Over the next four hours they drank 1.75 grams of alcohol per kilogram of body weight, which earlier research had shown was enough to induce a hangover.

Researchers believe the extract works by reducing stress caused to the body by impurities in alcoholic drinks.

The prickly pear cactus, which is native to the Americas, was brought to Australia with the First Fleet.

It's now widely banned as a noxious weed, except for one variety, Opuntia ficus indica or Indian fig, which is grown in some states for its edible fruit.