Could it be that ... Food

Wellness shots are the new hangover cure

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The shot culture that was stared about 20 years ago has peaked now and is used as an antidote to pollution, sleep deprivation and many more

I have never tried Jeeves’ raw egg, Worcester sauce, and red pepper hangover cure, primarily because there has been no Jeeves-like person in my life. But I have gone through a variety of wellness shots that promise everything from glow to an immunity boost. None of them uses the word ‘instant’, because they are subscription services that depend on long-term patronage.

The shot culture started about 20 years ago, with the wheatgrass-cures-cancer promise. It has peaked now, not as a cure to disease, but as an antidote to the lack of sleep, pollution, and even junk food that mark our unnecessarily busy city lives (how much time do we waste on the mobile phone?).

In between, there were several developments that fuelled its popularity. First, there was the entry of the word antioxidant into the non-scientists’ lexicon. These little compounds from plants could, we were told, prevent everything from cancer to a cold. The second was the rise of health and wellness as aspirational, as advocated by Hollywood and Bollywood. The third was the wave of health-food entrepreneurs, often women. Abroad, they had a sort of Scandi-chic vibe that made them so aspirational. And finally, the development of the concept of self-care on social media (blind to the fact that if we just got off it that would be self-care enough). All these rolled wellness, prettiness, and indulgence into 60 or 90 ml.

The little vials we get today don’t usually use unsavoury language that could mar their photogenic quality (they are made for flatlays, the hero of social-media photography). So you would not have an anti-flu shot or an upset-tummy one. Instead, you would have an “anti-inflammatory boost” or a “liver flush” or even one for “adrenal fatigue” (basically tiredness), all of which “detox” and “rejuvenate”.

We don’t do hangover cures any more because it’s passé to get drunk. It is perfectly fine, however, to declare you are having a bad day, are stressed, and slept three hours.

Most of these shots are probably not harmful if you are in reasonably good health, in the quantities the healthpreneurs ‘prescribe’ them. They are all usually centred around ingredients that have proven health benefits: turmeric, aloe vera, ginger, cucumber, celery (though I am unsure of the collagen and vinegar shots). But will they stir you into action in the manner that Bertie Wooster was, the morning after? Well Jeeves was — and I say this with a heavy heart — fiction.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 8:53:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/could-it-be-that-wellness-shots-are-the-new-hangover-cure/article29557300.ece

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