Herbal patch that fights a hangover as you go on drinking
A herbal patch that claims to counter the horrors of a hangover while a person is still drinking is being launched in Britain.
The skin patch, about the same size as a nicotine patch, was launched in America last year. It is now available online in Britain.
The patch contains four ingredients: milk thistle, artichoke, green tea and vitamin C, all of which are said to have some effect on hangovers.
The product, called Sober X, is being marketed by Preventx, which also sells home diagnostic tests.
Six patches can be bought online for about ú20. Thomas Fotheringham, the managing director of Preventx, said yesterday: "This has proved very popular in the US. It is designed to release a formula that gives the body protection against toxins.
"You put it on before you start drinking and you feel better the next day. But we do not claim this is a complete cure."
Michelle Hart, the director of Sober X, said she hoped the product's success in America would continue in Britain.
"No doubt the majority of adults will be suffering from a hangover this New Year's Day, so we're delighted to be launching in Britain," she said.
"There's been some extensive research done in the US. Our patches have only natural nutrients in them such as milk thistle, which has been proved to protect the liver and help it break down toxic substances."
Don Shenker, the director of policy and services at Alcohol Concern, said the best way to deal with a hangover was to avoid one.
"Not drinking too much is the best thing to do," he said. "Herbal or chemical remedies are not going to help the damage the body suffers from excessive drinking. There is only one message: drinking excessively is bad for you."
Last week a study of herbal and other hangover remedies could find no convincing evidence that they worked. The survey, in the British Medical Journal, found a "paucity" of quality-controlled trials on the effectiveness of a range of treatments.
The small number that showed any promise included an extract of borage, a dried yeast product and tolefenamic acid, a prescription drug usually given for migraine.