German court rules that hangovers are officially an 'illness'

By | September 26, 2019

Hangovers have been ruled as an “illness” by a court in Frankfurt, Germany, with the unusual judgment coming only days after the annual Oktoberfest beer festival.

The pronouncement came about after a case was brought before judges in Frankfurt when plaintiffs claimed a firm offering anti-hangover “shots” and drink powders to mix with water was making illegal health claims.

The ruling from the superior regional court read that ”information about a food product cannot ascribe any properties for preventing, treating or healing a human illness or give the impression of such a property,” the sober.

A statement from the superior regional court read: “By an illness, one should understand even small or temporary disruptions to the normal state or normal activity of the body, including the tiredness, nausea and headaches.”

The company claimed its product could alleviate these symptoms.


Doctors have long since coined the word “veisalgia” as a specialist medical term for the morning after the night before, the judges noted.

Most adults become familiar with the symptoms of veisalgia at some point, but many do not realise the larger consequences of this familiar ailment.

Medical professionals will sometimes use the word veisalgia when talking about hangover symptoms.

This is a Norwegian word that means uneasiness after debauchery.

The term hangover began to be used to describe these symptoms at the beginning of the last century.

It refers to the fact that the hangover is unfinished business from the night before.


The Oktoberfest is a symbol of celebrating Bavarian heritage and saw an estimated 7.7 million litres of beer consumed at the last count in 2013.