Speed Reads


This papyrus includes an ancient Egyptian hangover cure

Even the ancient Egyptians needed to cure their headaches after a night of drinking.

A 1,900-year-old collection of medical papyri that was just translated includes a "drunken headache cure," which involves wearing a necklace made from laurel leaves near your head.

The text is part of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri, which contains more than 500,000 papyrus scraps, including works from ancient Greek authors, such as Sophocles. Written in Greek, the collection was discovered in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1915, but researchers from the University of Oxford and University College London only recently translated the section that includes the hangover cure.

Other medical advice in the section offers treatments for ulcers, dental issues, and eye surgery. Vivian Nutton, a professor at University College London, wrote in the volume's introduction that it represents "the largest single collection of medical papyri to be published."