As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, I thought it only fitting to include an article for anti-hangover remedies. Honestly, who hasn’t wished they thought of these before drinking that bottle or three of good wine as you’re slumped over in bed (or the toilet) feeling like death-warmed-over? I know I have, so I thought you might too.
What Causes a Hangover?
Hangovers in all essence are the result of alcohol withdrawal. The pounding headache that follows is causes by the relaxing effect alcohol imparts on the blood vessels making us feel warm and relaxed while drinking. As you consume more, the vessels in your head get larger and more relaxed, but instead of warm fuzzy comfort, they start to throb.
Alcohol is also a diuretic meaning it makes you visit the loo often. It’s very dehydrating. This is why after a night of heavy drinking you will often feel very thirsty the next morning.
Of course, there is the nausea and the lovely symptoms that come along with it. This is caused by alcohols irritating effects on the stomach and the various effects it has on the nervous system. You will also experience fatigue and a general sense of “yuck” from the build-up of acids in blood too, giving you a nice flushed tomato-y pallor.
As a side note which may or may not help you prevent a hangover, the darker the alcohol, the worse the hangover. Watch out for high sugar too! I only ever get hangovers nowadays from champagne, and I don’t need to drink very much of it to feel gross the next morning.
For a more in depth rendition of how a hangover occurs, check out this awesome article.
How to Prevent a Hangover - The Best Anti-Hangover Remedies and Cures
Too many sake bombs at the sushi bar? Try aloe for quick relief the following morning.
Aloe juice has the ability to coat the stomach lining allowing it to bring down inflammation and balance out the acidity. Taking it straight is best if you can manage it, otherwise mix it with non-acidic juice or coconut water for best results.
I love this brand and this brand.
Ginger is the king of anti-nausea herbs and who doesn’t need a little ginger on their side after bar-hopping?
Ginger’s strong aromatic qualities are what give it the upper hand when you’ve had a little too much to drink. It eases nausea, reduces pain, and helps reduce the symptoms of other less pleasant digestive complaints.
Taking fresh ginger straight might be a bit too strong, but steeping it fresh with a bit of raw honey will make it a powerful remedy for hangover. Learn how to make the best ginger tea ever here.
I recommend sipping on this tea hot and often for best results.
Don’t have time or can’t see well enough to make your own from scratch? Try this tea instead.
This herb is used for a very interesting reason; it actually makes you feel lousy WHILE you’re drinking instead of the morning after. How it does this is by increasing the amount of acetaldehyde in your blood faster , therefore,making you feel hungover as you keep drinking. Acetaldehyde is a chemical that has long been suspect in the formation and result of hangovers so it would make sense to increase it long before you actually become hungover.
It may not sound very fun, but if you think about it, kudzu will actually keep you from drinking in excess and is often a part of herbal hangover prevention formulas.
You can get Kudzu tablets here.
How to Use Kudzu
Take 2 tablets before consuming alcohol for prevention and take it as a tea the morning after as a treatment.
Milk thistle has long been coveted for its liver healing and restorative properties. Research demonstrates that milk thistle helps prevent hangover by cleansing the liver and increasing its production of compounds like glutathione, glutathione reductase, and glutathione peroxidase. Having too little of these compounds in the liver after a night out can inhibit the liver’s ability to metabolize alcohol.
Both remedies are best taken before and after consuming alcohol for best results.
While this herb is not necessarily a preventative herb for hangover, it will certainly help ease a sour stomach the next day.
Peppermint’s aromatic qualities give it an edge against nausea. It soothes the stomach by neutralizing overabundant acids and brings down inflammation in the intestinal tract. Sipping on peppermint tea the morning after will quell thirst and help bring you back to normalcy. I like to mix it cold with coconut water to up its effects.
You can get my favorite peppermint tea here.
If you have wintergreen on hand, a cup of this tea will also help silence a pounding headache. Be wary though if you’re allergic to aspirin.
Another fantastic herb for liver health, turmeric has the ability to really get acetaldehyde levels under control by quickening the metabolism of alcohol. It soothes the stomach by relieving nausea and reducing the secretion of bile and balances digestion.
Turmeric is also anti-inflammatory and reduces pain making it a great remedy for before and after drinking.
Below is a great recipe that will help keep you hangover free!
Turmeric Wellness Shot Recipe
Juice everything (I use this juicer), mix, and knock it back before going out for best results.
You can get my favorite turmeric supplement here.
White Willow Bark
For those who suffer from a headache the morning after, white willow bark is for you!
Rich in salicylates, white willow bark is both anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain reducing) making it a great remedy for hangovers. It is the original aspirin after all.
I like to take 2 capsules with a plain meal for best results. You can get the capsules here.
Taking bitters before and after consuming alcohol will help the liver metabolize alcohol faster thereby reducing the edge of a hangover.
Bitters help gently increase the release of bile making it easier for your body to break down acetaldehyde and keep your liver working optimally.
The key to taking bitters is to TASTE them for a few good seconds. Not tasting them makes them almost completely ineffective. I know bitter flavors are hard to swallow, but it’s necessary when using this remedy for best results.
You can find my favorite bitters here.
If you haven’t figured out by now the importance of liver supporting herbs, get cracking! These herbs WILL work with the proper foresight.
This is a convenient travel size packet with one capsules inside containing a few effective ayurvedic herbs such as:
• Chicory- a relative of milk thistle, this herb is great for protecting the liver
• Andrographis- a bitter herb that helps stimulate and protect the liver
• Grape- provides fructose and antioxidants
• Date Palm- astringent properties counteract hangover symptoms. Liver protective
• Phyllanthus- a diuretic and liver protective
• Amla- offers a potent dose of naturally occurring vitamin c
These herbs together create a fantastic anti-hangover remedy that is easy to throw in your purse or pocket before heading out to a party. I have personally used these and am happy to report no hangover symptoms the morning after!
You can get PartySmart here.
Digizen Essential Oil
I never leave home without this powerful essential oil blend. It balances digestion and relieves all manner of digestive complaints when applied to the stomach and abdomen.
I love using it in conjunction with any of the above remedies.
You can get this essential oil here.
What have been your favorite anti-hangover remedies?
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