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26 Jun 2017

An ex-Tesla engineer's herbal cure for hangovers

The herbal cure for hangovers

A South Korean engineer, who has worked with Facebook and Tesla, is now all set to launch his new venture on July 5.

Sisun Lee's new company, Morning Recovery, will manufacture and sell herbal drinks which cure hangovers! And don't worry, it is FDA-compliant.

The key, as Lee discovered, is an ideal quantity of DHM. Read on to find out his exciting journey.

In context

The herbal cure for hangovers
The story behind Lee's journey


The story behind Lee's journey

About a year ago, 26-year-old Lee went to visit his homeland, which is known for its partying scene. There, his friends introduced him to popular local herbal drinks to cure his hangover, which worked wonderfully for him.

After his return to the US, he tried finding substitutes, but they didn't work well. He shared the Korean ones among his friends, who loved them.


Starting the business

Once Lee discovered it could be a potential money-maker, he contacted the companies to get permitted as a distributor, but they apparently didn't want someone with no background in beverages or consumer goods representing them.

Then he thought, why not make it himself? So he researched on the ingredients and came across the work of Dr Jing Liang, a UCLA researcher.

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So what is this magic herb?


So what is this magic herb?

Dr Liang's works led Lee to a herbal compound called dihydromyricetin (DHM), extracted from the oriental raisin tree native to Korea.

DHM helps rid the body of toxic acids produced by alcohol which causes headaches and vomiting.

The purity and quantity of DHM as well as other ingredients determine the efficacy of the cure drink, Lee found.

Lee tested the samples on himself and his friends

Lee decided to test the samples on himself and friends. He started drinking regularly and then consuming the cure, but had to quit the unhealthy habit due to side effects. Then he reached out to people through Facebook. 80% respondents rated it as 'helpful'.


Product Hunt- The step that led to a gold mine

Eventually, a VC in Toronto saw the post and shared it on Product Hunt, a platform that helps launch new products. That was a gold mine.

"Overnight we became No. 2 on Product Hunt," Lee said. In two days, 10,000 people signed up for the trials, and then 20,000 within the week.

Finally, he raised funds from Slow Ventures, 500 Startups and other investors.

So how can you get your hands on Lee's product?

Lee's company will go live on July 5. There's a waiting list right now, but you can sign up for it on www.morningrecoverydrink.com. You can also connect with beta testers on the Facebook group called 'Morning Recovery: Private Beta'.

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