Medieval Hangover Cures – Kishkiyya

Medieval Hangover Cures

Feeling a little worse for wear after ringing in the New Year? Rolling out of bed with a banging headache and a mouth that’s dry as ash? Cringing as you scroll through Facebook and see photos of yourself dancing with a tie around your head at 2am?

Well, as you chug some water, and curse yourself for believing in your drinking and dancing prowess, here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Medieval Hangover Cures 2Muslim writer, Ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, compiled the earliest known Arabic cookbook in the tenth century, the Kitab al-Tabikh, The Book of Dishes. Even though Muslims are prohibited from drinking, there are recipes in it for making wine, and curing hangovers.

So what did the Abbasids do to cure a hangover from “the wine of evildoers”? They prescribed drinking lemonade along with your alcohol, and throwing in some mint and quince for good measure. Drinking Myrtle tea was also recommended, as it was believed to promote good digestion. For those already too far gone to prevent the inevitable, al-Warraq suggests drinking water while breathing deeply between sips. After you’re done downing water, he suggest chasing that with a hangover stew, called Kishkiyya:


3 lbs of meat
1/2 lb of chopped onion
1/2 cup olive oil
Galangal (from the ginger family,
also known as Chinese ginger)
Seasonal vegetables
Kishk (a wheat and yogurt paste
used in the Middle East,  but you
can substitute plain yogurt)
Cassia (Cinnamon)
Spikenard (known as Nard or Muskroot,
is a plant that was  commonly used
to season foods in the Middle Ages)
Hot water

The site gives no method or approch, but then again, we have all made soup before have’t we 😉