The holiday party season is in full swing and is set to hit its annual crescendo on December 31. And that means that many of us will enjoy a hearty New Year’s Eve celebration with cocktails and Champaign, then spend the first day of the new year hungover. In Asia, partiers have been using hangover prevention remedies for years. Some of those remedies that use the same key ingredients have found their way to the U.S. and two Business Insider reporters, both of whom tend to easily get hangovers, bravely decided to put two of these remedies to the test. We tried Morning Recovery, an herbal drink developed by Sisun Lee, a former Tesla engineer, in conjunction with Dr. Jing Liang, a USC scientist who is studying herbal hangover remedies. He discovered the drinks during a visit to South Korea but when he returned to the US, he couldn’t find any that he thought worked as well. So he developed his own. We also tested Flyby, which are herbal pills that were similarly patterned from the hangover drinks commonly used in Asia. The creation story of Flyby is similar to Morning Recovery. The company’s founder Eddie Huai is 24, and a former mobile analyst for IAC. He discovered the remedy on a trip to Tokyo and worked for months to develop his own formula, working with a PhD to perfect it. He also has had nearly $1 million in sales in his first six months. Herbs to combat alcohol Both of these remedies use the same basic ingredient, an herbal compound called “Dihydromyricetin” (DHM) which is found in the oriental raisin tree and rattan tea. Herbs that contain DHM are used in Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory and used to treat a variety of ailments. Hangovers occur when we drink alcohol at a faster rate than our bodies can detoxify. Researchers have been studying DHM’s properties in helping the body cope with the toxic acid that builds up when too much alcohol is consumed. Both of the remedies we tried also add a number of other herbs, vitamins and minerals that are supposed to be useful in combating hangovers such as prickly pear (said to boost metabolism), milk thistle (said to support healthy liver function), taurine (also supposed to be good for the liver), Vitamin B (often lost during drinking). The key with DHM-based remedies is that they have to be taken while you are drinking. They aren’t designed to work after-the-fact, if you wake up with a hangover. Flyby recommends taking a dose of its pills before the drinking commences and another dose before you go to sleep. Morning Recovery recommends drinking a bottle when you are done drinking before you go to sleep. Note that these remedies are not official, FDA-approved cures for hangovers at this point, although all of the individual ingredients are FDA approved. They market themselves as herbal supplements. Feeling good, not sure why Caroline Cakebread tried Morning Recovery and felt pretty good the next day, but she isn’t 100% sure that the remedy was wholly responsible. She explains: “I typically get bad hangovers even when I consume small amounts of alcohol. “To truly put the Morning Recovery formula to the test, I consumed four glasses of wine and one hard alcohol drink over the course of four hours. I’m relatively small, and this would typically be enough to make me feel less than great in the morning. I woke up feeling a bit tired but fine overall. “I can’t conclusively say it was the Morning Recovery that did it though. The night before I also had a large dinner and ended up getting to bed at a pretty reasonable hour. While the mix didn’t seem to do any harm, it’s hard to say if it had any type of magical affect either.” Feeling saved by the herbs Avery Hartmans tried Flyby to help her celebrate her birthday, and she felt like it really helped her avoid a hangover. She explains: “I was nervous to try a hangover cure because it didn’t seem possible that some pills could prevent the monstrous headache I’m used to getting. Usually after drinking one or two more drinks than usual, I wake up to a pulsating headache that quickly turns into a migraine and lasts several days. My hangovers are unbearable.
“So when I tried Flyby, a supplement you take before and after you drink alcohol, I wasn’t expecting much. I popped three of the (extremely large) pills before my first drink of the night and tried to drink water occasionally like the directions suggested. I ended up drinking about eight drinks throughout the course of the evening — I was celebrating my birthday. These included both wine and sugary cocktails. Before I headed to bed, I remembered to pop three more of the pills and hoped for the best. “Shockingly, I woke up feeling almost totally OK. That amount of drinks would normally keep me in bed all of the following day, but I felt normal — especially compared to my boyfriend, who slept later than me and woke up with a headache. My body felt exhausted and a little bit queasy, but my head was clear and headache-free. “My test of Flyby wasn’t 100% scientific, of course, and there could be other reasons why I avoided a terrible hangover. I drank more water than I normally remember to do while drinking, and I ate a big meal at the start of the night. I also stretched out the number of drinks I had over the course of several hours, which probably gave my body more time to process the alcohol. “Still, I think I would have woken up in a much worse state if I hadn’t taken the supplement. While I’m not sure I’d take it before every drinking event, I would definitely use the Flyby again. “On the downside, the pills are enormous and were difficult to swallow, and taking away the consequence of a terrible hangover each time might encourage me to drink more than I should. But for a big event like the birthday, Flyby worked like a charm.” SEE ALSO: The ex-Tesla engineer who created an FDA-compliant hangover cure made $1 million in 3 months Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: The best phones of 2017 that you can buy right now