- Alternative & Natural Medicine
You Booze, You Lose: Home Remedies for Hangovers
We’ve all been there – the dry mouth, pounding headache, nauseous feeling in the stomach, dizziness and overall feeling of weakness when we wake up the morning after a night of too much drinking. You could go the traditional route and load yourself up with Tylenol or aspirin and drink more alcohol, but those methods tend to do more harm than good. Certain medications are harsh on your stomach, while others make liver work too hard when it is already overloaded trying to process all the alcohol in your system.
There are some home remedies you can try – either to prevent or cure hangovers – that can help in these situations. These are natural ingredients that should not have the same harsh effects as some commercial medications, but be sure to consult with a doctor as all materials have different effects in people’s bodies.
We’ll look at ways to prevent hangovers, things you can do before you go to sleep after a night of drinking and what to take when a dreaded hangover strikes. All of these methods should be used in moderation, not as a method to drink more without facing the consequences. In addition to these natural hangover helpers, exercise is also a great way to get your blood pumping and help to expel those toxins you have ingested.
If your morning is like this, you might just need a hangover cure...
Activated Charcoal. In the medical field, activated charcoalis used to treat poisonings are overdoses, instead of previously used methodslike ipecac-induced vomiting or stomach pumping. Because of its ability toabsorb toxins, activated charcoal in tablet form can be taken while drinking toensure that the alcohol is absorbed before it has the chance to create ahangover. Take caution when using this because it absorbs everything – good andbad – so using it on a regular basis will deprive your body of essentialnutrients.
Evening Primrose Oil. The evening primrose is a wildflowerthat is native to North and South America and has been used as a food andmedicine for many years. The essential oils from the evening primrose are saidto help with such ailments as upset stomachs, PMS and skin conditions becauseof the presence of essential fatty acids. You will find it in capsule and oilform, but be sure to check with your doctor to make sure evening primrose oilwon’t react with any of your other medications or exacerbate other conditionslike seizures – take one dose as directed before you startdrinking.
Before You Go to Sleep
Bifidus Powder. Bifidus refers to helpful bacteria thatnaturally reside in our colon’s the aid in digestion. Similar to the probioticsfound in yogurt, bifidus helps regulate all things digestion and thisparticular powder helps to get rid of acetaldehyde, a toxin that causes ourmajor pain the morning after a drinking binge. To take, put 2 teaspoons of thebifidus powder in a full glass of water and drink it before bed so this miraclepotion can work its magic overnight and, hopefully, have you waking up hangoverfree.
B Vitamins. The eight B vitamins are essential for metabolism,which makes them a great choice for hangover prevention. A vitamin B complex,which contains all eight, regulates and speeds up the metabolism, which helpsmove all those toxins out of your system faster. Take the recommended dosebefore your head hits the pillow (with plenty of water!) and dream about ahangover-free morning. Since these vitamins are water-soluble, the excess willjust come out when you pee so be sure to take another dose in the morning ifyou are still feeling
Milk Thistle. Take a couple of milk thistle pills with aglass of water before bed – you can also take them before or during your nightof drinking – to help reduce your changes of a major hangover. Milk thistlestimulates the liver, helping to eliminate the toxins passing through it beforethey wreak havoc on your body
If Your Head is Already Pounding
Water. The number one thing you can ingest to help with your hangover is water, and tons of it! Because of the severe dehydrating effect of alcohol, your body needs lots and lots of hydration in order to return to normal functioning. Alcohol is a strong diuretic, making you pee more often than usual, which is why your body is depleted of its water. Some people suggest putting lime or lemon in your water, or drinking sports drinks with added electrolytes, but any way you can get it down, H2O is the best hangover cure there is.
Honey and Fruit Juice. Honey and fruit juices like orange and tomato contain a high concentration of fructose, which is a kind of sugar that will aid in metabolism and help your body process the alcohol faster. The most delicious way to get all this down is in a banana shake. Bananas are high in potassium, which is an important electrolyte to replenish after drinking. Add some honey for sweetness and fructose that will build your blood sugar levels back. Finally, add some milk that will, hopefully, help with nausea.
Ginger. One of the worst hangover symptoms is nausea and ginger is a great way to soothe your stomach. Ginger is used is many cultures for a variety of medical maladies – for example, in India, a ginger paste is used to cure headaches. There are several ways to take ginger – it can be a capsule form, ginger tea or even pickled ginger. Because ginger is natural and gentle, it won’t have the same side effects of other anti-nausea medications, plus it tastes much better!
Peppermint. Peppermint has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Specifically for curing hangover symptoms, this minty herb will help settle your stomach and eliminate gas from your intestines, which should soothe some nauseous feelings. The best way to ingest peppermint is with a nice cup of peppermint tea so you can keep getting your water intake, but also regulate your intestinal problems.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is everywhere and in every form – powders, pills, and lollipops. This essential nutrient helps with metabolic functions and helps to speed up the liver so it eliminates the alcohol toxins quicker. Many animals can make it in their own bodies, but humans must get vitamin C from diet and supplements because of a genetic mutation over the course of time. Make sure to pay careful attention to how much vitamin C you take because one of the side effects of too much is diarrhea and you don’t want to add that to the list of symptoms you are dealing with during a hangover.
Feverfew. Feverfew is a medicinal herb that comes the from Latin meaning “fever reducer,” and it prevents inflammation of the blood vessels in the head preventing headaches similar to other traditional pain relievers. Feverfew is available in capsules and tablets and, even though it could potentially cause stomach upset, it is gentler and more natural than other pain relievers you buy at the convenience store. Make sure to use this in moderation and infrequently because there is a potential for side effects if you stop taking it suddenly after a long period of use.
The Science Behind Your Hangover
- HowStuffWorks "How Hangovers Work"
Think the "hair of the dog that bit you" is your road to hangover salvation? Think again! Find out what really works for that hangover.