FOUR EDITORS TRY

Testing the Potency (and Limits) of the Latest Miracle Hangover Cure

Four W editors took part in the latest booze craze: a miracle pill and tincture that claims to cure symptoms of a hangover.


Photo by John Mills/Frederic Lewis/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Miracle hangover cures run the gamut, and you’ve likely heard them all: a glass of water between each drink, gulping down a strong cup of coffee, consumption of greasy foods, and of course, the age old adage, hair of the dog. In recent years, vitamin-packed pills, tinctures, and patches from brands including Bytox, Morning Recovery, and Sobrenix, allege to alleviate hangover symptoms. The latest entrée onto the scene comes from wellness brand Kamu Labs. Their product, Revive, is a blend of botanicals including Japanese raisin, (which contains powerful enzymes that boost your ability to break down alcohol,) and Guava leaf (aids in preventing liver damage)—together, they work to stabilize blood sugar levels and support liver function. But does it actually work? Four W editors put it to the test, and gave their honest opinions.

Armand Limnander, Executive Editor

How would you describe your typical drinking habits and hangover symptoms?

It varies, but in general I’m not a big drinker. I’d say I maybe have a drink or two a week, more if I go out. But of course going out—let alone out-out—hasn’t been an option for quite some time. When I do have several drinks in one night, the hangover is pretty brutal and unusually swift. I don’t have to wait until the next morning to feel the effects—I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with a headache.

Had you heard of this kind of “miracle” hangover cure before?

A real hangover cure is one of those things I can’t believe hasn’t been invented. (Other scientific advances I wish had been made decades ago: painless dentistry; a cure for baldness and/or gray hair; miniature animals, so we could have pug-sized pet elephants.) Everyone has a magic remedy for hangovers, whether it’s hair of the dog, drinking gallons of water, salty broths, Gatorade, bullshots, raw eggs…the list is endless.

Describe your experience using Kamu Revive.

In the interest of scientific research, I consumed four gin martinis in quick succession. At the end of the evening I managed to take two Kamu Revive pills and a dropper-full of the tincture with a glass of water before stumbling into bed. Did it help? Possibly—it certainly didn’t hurt. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night, which was a big plus, but in the morning I still felt decidedly unrefreshed, and the situation didn’t seem to improve for most of the day. The problem is, you can’t prove a negative—would I have felt much worse if I hadn’t taken the Kamu Revive? Only a psychic prestidigitator could tell us for sure.

Would you use Kamu Revive again in the future?

Sure, why not? Anything to try and avoid a hangover. Next time I will probably top off the Kamu Revive with a couple of Advil, and have a Bloody Mary the second I wake up. I’d be happy to report back…

Sandra Ballentine, Beauty and Health Editor at Large

How would you describe your typical drinking habits and hangover symptoms?

By drinking habits, do you mean the ones I had before Covid, or the ones I have now? And shouldn’t you be asking how often I drink in a day? In any case, I have always loved wine with dinner (and brunch/lunch when possible), but over the past year I’ve become an equal opportunity cocktail consumer. Some people took up bread-baking during lockdown. I perfected my bartender skills. Now I can make a particularly mean Manhattan, and my ultra-dry vodka martini is pretty much nonpareil. All that said, even in these crazy times, I don’t tend to drink so much that I get a meaningful hangover. Maybe it’s simply a function of age, but the idea of drinking-inflicted misery has gotten, well, old. That said, when I do overindulge, (like this past New Year’s Eve, when I may or may not have drank an entire bottle of vintage Dom Perignon to chase down 2020), I usually feel listless, fatigued, dehydrated, and depressed I went down such a predictable route.

Had you heard of this kind of “miracle” hangover cure before?

I’m all for miracles of any kind. But when it comes to alcohol, experience has taught me that the only way to stop a hangover is not to drink too much in the first place. Sure, it’s helpful to drink a glass of water with every cocktail consumed, but who remembers to do this once they’re wasted?

Describe your experience using Kamu Revive.

I’ve done all sorts of things in the name of story research, but drinking with abandon wasn’t one of them—until last weekend. On Friday night, I diligently knocked back two enormous martinis before dinner, gulped down a couple of bucket-sized glasses of red wine during the meal, and polished off a generously portioned postprandial bourbon on the rocks while dancing crazily (okay, drunkenly) around my kitchen to Dua Lipa. Before passing out, I somehow remembered my assignment, and drank two glasses of water, one to wash down two so-called miracle pills and the other as a vehicle for a dropper-full of tincture.

While I had a pretty peaceful night’s sleep (usually so much sugar would make me restless), I woke up feeling a little foggy, but amazingly, I didn’t have a headache or upset stomach. I even managed to play a rigorous game of outdoor paddle tennis before brunch. Maybe the fact I couldn’t feel my face by the end of play (it was 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside!) distracted me from any remaining trace of hangover. But considering how much I drank the night before, and the fact I mixed three different kinds of booze, by all rights Saturday should have been spent hiding under a weighted blanket, with only Bridgerton standing between me and total despair. So either my quarantine cocktailing has left me immune to hangovers—in which case it’s going to take more than supplements to fix what ails me—or, maybe, just maybe, Kamu Revive lived up to its name.

Would you use Kamu Revive again in the future?

I’m putting a martini in a cocktail shaker right now.

Stephanie Eckardt, Staff Writer

How would you describe your typical drinking habits and hangover symptoms?

I’ve been drinking way more often since the pandemic began—sort of as a replacement for a commute to separate the workday from rest of the night. Overall, though, it probably evens out quantity-wise compared to when I would go out once or twice a week. I rarely ever get hangovers, but in the past couple of years I’ve found that drinking larger quantities can trigger migraines, which have pretty similar symptoms to hangovers (sometimes including nausea).

Had you heard of this kind of “miracle” hangover cure before?

I don’t believe in “miracle” products for things as complicated and common as hangovers and migraines. And given that I’ve yet to find one for migraines, let alone believe that one exists, I definitely didn’t think one for hangovers would work. For me, the only “miracle” solution to pretty much any ailment has always been getting enough sleep.

Describe your experience using Kamu Revive.

The capsules are big, and look like the type that make me nauseous if I don’t have a completely full stomach. (The organic, turns-your-pee-neon-yellow kind.) I was surprised that these didn’t, though I made sure to space them out midway through and after my first drink. I had about one and a half Negronis (I knocked over the first one when I was washing dishes) and some wine throughout the night. I went to bed way too late, but somehow woke up without a headache—a rarity even for nights when I don’t drink. Of course, I can’t be sure how much the fact that I didn’t feel anything was thanks to Kamu. I still think it’s too extreme to call this a miracle cure, and a bit skeptical that it was a fluke, but I was very pleasantly surprised.

Would you use Kamu Revive in the future?

Sure! I’ll probably stick to one pill, though, since I don’t particularly enjoy taking big capsules and the bottle only has 30. As for the drops, I don’t like the taste and wouldn’t ever take the recommended amount (one to two dropper-fulls). I guess I’d be open to taking a little bit if I’m having wine with some flavorful food.

Allia Alliata Di Montereale, Special Projects Editor

How would you describe your typical drinking habits and hangover symptoms?

I drink alcohol at least twice to three times a week. I only experience hangovers if I drink four or more cocktails or glasses of wine. Typically, I feel the hangover a couple hours after I wake up, not immediately. I will experience a headache, facial swelling, and fatigue.

Had you heard of this kind of “miracle” hangover cure before?

I had not heard of this specific “miracle” hangover cure, but in the past a friend suggested taking milk thistle before bed. I tried it and it worked sometimes! For the most part I am skeptical, but I like the idea of opting for herbal cures.

Describe your experience using Kamu Revive.

My experience with Kamu was successful. I thought the drops were more effective than the pills. I found that the nights I used both the drops and the pills I did not experience any hangover symptoms. I would put a dropper-full or two in my cocktail before I started drinking it. Then I would take a pill with water before bed. The next day I would not feel as tired and I was clear-headed. Kamu definitely helps and made me feel better than when I would just take an Aspirin.

Would you use Kamu Revive again in the future?

Yes—I would use the drops!

Related: Putting Essènci, a Truly Nontoxic Skincare Brand, to the Test