Natural Home Remedies for Hangovers

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you don’t need a definition but it’s the word we use for the sad effects of drinking too much alcohol.

Image of 8 empty wine bottles in the grass

Why we get hangovers is unknown but may have something to do with the impurities in alcohol.

Drinking more than one drink a day for women and two for men often results in a cascade of assaults on your body.  There are some people for whom even that much is too much.

  • Confusion and memory lapses
  • Dehydration
  • Expanding blood vessels
  • Impaired judgment
  • Inflammation
  • Low blood sugar
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Stomach irritation

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

  • Decreased motor skills
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased heart rate
  • Irritability
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Poor concentration
  • Poor quality sleep
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

Get some extra sleep. It may take a few hours or an entire day for you to feel normal again. There is no medical cure. There are some home remedies you can try for a little comfort, though.

SELF TREATMENT

DIET

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING

  • Bone broth to replace salt and potassium
  • Chicken soup
  • Crackers and honey
  • Eat a good breakfast the next morning
  • Eat a good meal before drinking
  • Ginger
  • Plain solid foods while suffering

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • Banana smoothie for potassium
  • Dandelion tea
  • Fruit juice between alcoholic drinks
  • Lemon juice
  • Sip water between alcoholic drinks
  • Stinging Nettle tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Bitters
  • Fennel
  • Gentian
  • Ginger for nausea
  • Kudzu root (might be good for withdrawal)
  • Milk Thistle
  • Peppermint
  • Roseroot
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric
  • Valerian
  • White Willow Bark (can be chewed)

ESSENTIAL OILS

Essential oils can be administered via a diffuser for inhalation, administered topically in a carrier oil, or undiluted drops can be added to a hot bath or compress.

  • Carrot seed
  • DeGize (commercial combo)
  • Fennel
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Primrose oil
  • Rosemary
  • Sandalwood

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Diatomaceous earth for detox
  • “Hangover Gone” supplement; a commercial herbal combination
  • “Partysmart” supplement; a commercial preparation
  • Activated charcoal
  • Magnesium
  • Prickly pear extract
  • Vitamin B complex (alcohol destroys B vitamins)

HYDRATION

Alcohol is dehydrating so you need to drink extra water. Water is essential and a main nutrient for the human body. Without it, you cannot survive for many days. Staying hydrated is fundamental for a healthy body, so how much is enough? There are so many differences in people (i.e., how much we sweat), as well as the diets we consume (a lot of water comes from healthy, whole foods), but a general rule is to consume enough water that your urine is clear, but not so much that you dilute your nutrients. If you are taking certain supplements that make your urine yellow, then you can start out with the formula of drinking ½-1 ounce of water for each pound you weigh. If you weigh 130 pounds, drink 65 to 130 ounces of water a day. Definitely drink when you are thirsty.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

Before and during drinking:

  • Drink on a full stomach.
  • Have a spoonful of olive oil before drinking.
  • Take prickly pear cactus extract a few hours before drinking.
  • Stay away from fizzy drinks like champagne.
  • Drink slowly.  Have no more than one drink (5 oz. wine, 12 oz. beer, 1.5 oz. hard liquor) per hour and chase your sips with water.
  • Eat fructose-containing foods while drinking. This is about avoiding a hangover but all those carbs are not ideal for your general health!

After drinking:

  • Exercise if you are able.
  • Replenish amino acids depleted by alcohol (eat some carbs or buy capsules).
  • Drink a couple cups of coffee to reduce the swelling in your blood vessels.  This may help, but it could also make you feel worse.  Experiment with a little bit and see how it makes you feel before downing more.
  • Drink water before going to bed after drinking.
  • Sleep it off if you can.
  • Detox bath

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

CAUTIONS

Call a doctor (or be sure someone else knows to do it) if:

  • You are unconscious and others cannot wake you.
  • Your breathing is very slow or irregular.
  • Your skin is very pale or blueish.

PREVENTION

Um….don’t drink so much.

 

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