Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 487–491 | Cite as

Clinical effectiveness of KSS formula, a traditional folk remedy for alcohol hangover symptoms

  • Mizuho TakahashiEmail author
  • Wei Li
  • Kazuo Koike
  • Kiyomi Sadamoto


A formula (KSS formula) containing the pith of Citrus tangerine Hort. et Tanaka (Kitsuraku), the rhizome of Zingiber officinale (Shokyo), and brown sugar has been traditionally used in China for the treatment of discomfort and cold sensation in the abdomen after ingestion of large amounts of alcohol. We evaluated the clinical effectiveness of this formula on signs and symptoms of alcohol hangover (AH). Of the twenty-two symptoms listed, significant decreases in severity scores were shown in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea when the formula was administered in scheduled prophylactic doses. The score in overall well-being, ranging from 0 to 100 (worst possible condition), was 68.9 ± 16.5 (mean ± SD) in the control group and it decreased to 46.9 ± 27.3 and to 44.4 ± 26.4 in the two groups that included a dosing point prior to alcohol ingestion. Regardless of dosing schedules, KSS formula did not alter the time required for complete recovery from AH symptoms. These findings suggest the possibility that KSS formula may become a candidate for AH remedy when administered prophylactically.


Alcohol hangover Remedy Prevention Clinical effectiveness Assessment 


  1. 1.
    Wiese J, Shlipak M, Brouner W (2000) The alcohol hangover. Ann Intern Med 132:897–902PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Siegfried S, Pogash R, Braig D et al (1995) Alcohol hangover and managerial effectiveness. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 19:1141–1146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Verster J (2008) The alcohol hangover––a puzzling phenomenon. Alcohol Alcohol 43:124–126PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yokoyama M, Yokoyama A, Yokoyama T et al (2005) Hangover susceptibility in relation to aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 genotype, alcohol flushing, and mean corpuscular volume in Japanese workers. Alcohol Clin Exp Res 29:1165–1171CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    McKinney A, Coyle K (2004) Next day effects of normal night’s drinking on memory and psychomotor performance. Alcohol Alcohol 39:509–513PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Rohsenow D, Howland J, Minsky S et al (2007) The acute hangover scale: a new measure of immediate hangover symptoms. Addict Behav 32:1314–1320CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Wiese J, Mcpherson J, Odden M, Shilipak M (2004) Effect of Opuntia ficus indica on symptoms of the alcohol hangover. Arch Intern Med 164:1334–1340CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pittler M, White A, Stevinson C, Ernst E (2003) Effectiveness of artichoke extract in preventing alcohol-induced hangovers: a randomized controlled trial. Can Med Assoc J 169:1269–1273Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pittler M, Verster J, Ernst E (2005) Interventions for preventing or treating alcohol hangover: systematic review of randomised controlled trials. Br Med J 331:1515–1518CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Yu J (2005) The effect of Kitsuraku on cold sensation and pain in stomach. China Naturopathy 13:62Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ernst E, Pittler M (2000) Efficacy of ginger for nausea and vomiting: a systematic review of randomized clinical trials. Br J Anaesth 84:367–371PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yamahara J, Huang QR, Li YH, Xu L, Fujimura H (1990) Gastrointestinal motility enhancing effect of ginger and its active constituents. Chem Pharm Bull 38:430–431PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hashimoto K, Kase Y, Murata P, Kido T et al (2002) Pharmacological evaluation of Shokyo and Kankyo (1). Biol Pharm Bull 25:1183–1187CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ghayur M, Gilani A (2005) Pharmacological basis for the medicinal use of ginger in gastrointestinal disorders. Digest Dis Sci 50:1889–1897CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Huang Q, Matsuda H, Sakai K, Yamahara J, Tamai Y (1990) The effect of ginger on serotonin induced hypothermia and diarrhea. Yakugakuzasshi 110:936–942Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mizuho Takahashi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wei Li
    • 1
  • Kazuo Koike
    • 1
  • Kiyomi Sadamoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesToho UniversityFunabashiJapan

Personalised recommendations