Natural Remedies to Prevent & Heal Hangovers
Say Good-Bye to Long-Lasting Hangovers... Naturally
Commercials on television give you the impression that alcohol does nothing but make you happy, young, and attractive. The truth is much more sobering. Alcohol can act as a depressant or lead to aggressive behavior and have you waking up with a painful hangover which can include sensitivity to noise and light, a throbbing headache, upset stomach, achy muscles, nausea, and a host of other uncomfortable conditions. For hangovers, you’ve probably heard of the remedy using a Bloody Mary drink. There is some truth to tomato juice being useful, mostly because it’s a fluid that helps repair your dehydration. But here are some better suggestions that really work for cures and prevention. For more home remedies and tips from nature using herbs, foods, spices, and lifestyle choices, please refer to my series of natural remedy booklet/CD combos and my special seminar collection entitled RENEW YOUR LIFE. Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Create a Nature’s Medicine Chest in your home and include some or all of these surefire remedies below.
ALKALINE WATER helps immensely in the prevention and healing of hangovers. And so do all of the following other natural remedies.
Let's start with a favorite herb of most people — the fragrant peppermint.
- Peppermint to the rescue: A single drop of essential oil of peppermint on your tongue may help calm those waves of nausea that often ride tandem with a hangover. Peppermint is also a natural stomach soother and can be taken as a tea to calm nerves and improve digestion. Your digestive system slows down after a night of drinking, so you can keep things more in balance with a little herbal help. Ginger tea also helps after the hangover is gripping your body.
- Drink like a fish: Drinking alcohol is very dehydrating to the body; it literally dries you out. Don’t forget to water your brain both before and after too much drinking. Your brain is mostly water and after too much alcohol, it gets very thirsty. Most often those nasty headaches after a night of drinking is your brain’s cry for water. I also recommend drinking lemon balm tea; it’s delicious and will help assuage your headache and lift your sagging spirits. To calm your stomach, ginger tea is always a winner. Additionally, coconut water is excellent to drink when you have a hangover because it adds alkalinity to your body to help mop up acidity. It's rich in potassium and a variety of nutrients that will help soothe an upset stomach, aches and pains, and nausea.
- Lessen the urge to drink: Kudzu root is native to the forests of Japan and Southeast Asia, but can now be found abundantly in the southern United States. Modern research into this ancient herb indicates its primary phytocompounds may hold the clue to lessening alcohol desire. It was first mentioned in the famous Han dynasty’s Shen Nong Herbal (circa 206 B.C. – 23 A.D). In recent years however, Kudzu preparations have been thrust into the spotlight as a possible aid for alcohol withdrawal support. A widely publicized university study suggested that its active ingredients reduced the desire for alcohol in animal experiments. You can find it in health food stores in a liquid extract or capsule form. BTW: it’s also an excellent culinary food starch thickener (powder). Add this powder to your morning-after smoothies. And it's one of the best-kept secrets to easy and lasting weight loss that I write about in my full color book Living on the Lighter Side. In this booklet you'll learn exactly how to use kudzu to accelerate fat loss and help you create a healthy, fit body.
- Keep it plain: Having a slice of plain bread (whole grain is best) the morning after—without butter, nut butters, or cream cheese—will help buffer acids in the stomach that can lead to nausea. As well, bland foods like bread and pasta are easy to digest, which can help keep an upset stomach calm. In fact, load up on carbs. Try ginger snaps, muffins, and anything with strawberries in it. The strawberries will lessen that pounding in your head. In other words, once you’ve rehydrated your dried-out cells with water, your next mandate is to munch on carbohydrate-rich foods.
- Pucker up with lemon juice: A little lemon squeezed or sliced into a glass of water or ginger ale (or ginger tea) helps prevent and quell a hangover. Drink a glass before bed and first thing the next morning.
- Bitters feel better: Bitters work well with all of my clients in my private practice in need of hangover remedies. This helps your liver metabolize alcohol. Make some by mixing equal parts of dandelion root, gentian, milk thistle, and peppermint. Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of the mixture in 1 cup of hot water for 20 minutes; then sip slowly before bed and again first thing in the morning. This works almost miraculously. These are all available through health food stores or PennHerb.com. In fact, for almost 40 years, I have purchased my natural remedies through this excellent company, including everything mentioned here in this Blog — teas, supplements, herbs, spices, etc.
- Absorb with activated charcoal: Activated charcoal is a centuries-old home remedy for the quick relief of gas, nausea, acid indigestion and heartburn, as well as other intestinal disorders that often accompany a hangover. Activated charcoal is an absorbent, which means it attracts and holds the molecules of a substance and then carries them away. Take it in capsule or powder form the day of drinking as well as the morning after for a more speedy recovery.
- Turn to turmeric: The bright orange-yellow spice, native to southern India and cultivated for more than 5,000 years, has long been utilized for its saturation of golden color; it has been used to dye everything from textiles to the mustard on your hot dog. At the same time, it’s been revered in ancient Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine for centuries as a spice with potent healing properties. Curcumin, the compound in turmeric that lends its signature yellow hue, is known to have significant anti-inflammatory properties, making it as effective as anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals for conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis (especially rheumatoid arthritis), and without unpleasant side effects. But turmeric is also a wonderful remedy for hangovers, too. It helps mop up the acid residue of the alcohol, prevents nausea, relieves nausea, detoxifies the liver, and can even help put you in a better mood. Take it in capsule form, liquid extract or sprinkle the spice on your beans, pasta, casseroles, or other high carb foods. To learn more about the healing power of spices and culinary herbs, refer to my full color book The Curative Kitchen & Lifestyle.
- Diminish hangover time with thyme: Brew up some tea with thyme leaves and enjoy it with a drop of honey. Thyme helps soothe tense and tired muscles, and can help with any stomach troubles that often accompany a hangover. To increase the hangover remedy potency, combine thyme, ginger and peppermint teas and add in a cinnamon stick.
- Find some fennel: Throw a few fennel seeds into a hot cup of any kind of tea you enjoy. Fennel is a restorative herb, and can help bring your liver back into working order. For example, make some peppermint-ginger tea and include a few fennel seeds. This will calm a queasy stomach, perk up your mood, and revitalize your liver.
- Mate with magnesium: Many doctors believe that hangover symptoms are a result of low magnesium levels. The mineral can keep your heart healthy and your nerve and muscle cells in good shape. Magnesium depletion can be the reason behind excessive fatigue, lethargy, and your loss of appetite. Here are some good sources of magnesium. Chow down on any of these: pumpkin seeds, Brazil nuts, bran ready-to-eat cereal, spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashews, oat bran, artichokes, beet greens, soy milk and tofu, brown rice, and beans.
- Dine with evening primrose oil: Evening Primrose Oil has long been used as a natural hangover remedy since it can help reduce stomach and liver discomfort. Since the liver is working overtime during the hangover period, this herb can help make the process that much more efficient. This treasure-trove of nature is also excellent for your skin to keep it healthy well into your late senior years. It's excellent for all kinds of skin conditions, and I take it daily to keep my skin glowing, to reduce inflammation in my body, and to soothe aching joints and muscles. It‘s readily available at PennHerb.com.
- Wallow with willow bark: To get your head out of the vise—that gruesome headache that is usually part and parcel of a hangover—reach for willow bark. Also known as “nature’s aspirin”, willow bark can be mixed with cold water as an inexpensive, surefire bitter tonic. Willow bark tinctures are also available ready-made at many health food stores.
- Keep milk thistle in your kitchen’s medicine chest: The herb, milk thistle, is very healing to the liver; not only can it help protect that sensitive organ, it also helps process the alcohol and move it out of your system. The sooner this happens, the better, and milk thistle helps a lot. Pop around two milk thistle capsules (or 30 drops of a liquid extract) 30 minutes before you start drinking and two more after you are finished drinking.
- B-complex will uncomplicate a hangover: Make sure to include a B-complex in your nutritional arsenal. Drinking drains the body of these valuable vitamins. Research shows your system turns to B vitamins when it is under stress—and overtaxing the body with too much booze, beer, or wine definitely qualifies as stress. Replenishing your body with a B-complex vitamin capsule can help shorten the duration of your hangover.
- Smooth out the hangovers with a banana smoothie: Monkeys may be wiser than we think. Their favorite food, the banana, is a cure for almost anything that ails you, and this is true for hangovers. The morning after, make a smoothie in your blender (but hold your ears when the blender is turned on!) using a combination of your favorite liquid base (juice, milk, or tea), two ripe bananas (fresh or frozen), a handful of strawberries or blueberries (fresh or frozen), a dash of cinnamon, 3-4 leaves of romaine lettuce or a handful of baby leaf spinach (you won’t even taste the leafy greens) and the optional sweetener of your choice. Blend until smooth and enjoy. For a more potent hangover remedy, use peppermint, chamomile or berry teas (or combination thereof) as your liquid base instead of milk or juice; I also recommend and use almond or cashew milk, to increase the magnesium content, as the liquid base.
For more information on how to live a more vibrant, balanced, and peaceful life — a life filled with strength, joy, confidence, prosperity, success and high self-esteem, please refer to my full color book Healthy, Happy & Radiant...at Any Age.
Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.
~ Frank Sinatra
Talking to a drunk person was like talking to an extremely happy, severly brain-damaged three-year-old.
~ John Green
Alcohol is a make-you-stupid drug.
~ Beverly A. Potter & Sebastian Orfali
All excess is ill, but drunkenness is of the worst sort. It spoils health, dismounts the mind, and unmans men. It reveals secrets, is quarrelsome, lascivious, impudent, dangerous and mad. In fine, he that is drunk is not a man because he is so long void of reason that distinguishes a man from a beast.
~ William Penn
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life.
~ George Bernard Shaw
The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour.
~ William James
Because alcohol is encouraged by our culture, we get the idea that it isn't dangerous. However, alcohol is the most potent and most toxic of the legal psychoactive drugs.
~ Beverly A. Potter & Sebastian Orfali
I am very serious about no alcohol, no drugs. Life is too beautiful.
~ Jim Carrey