Fluid loss and acetaldehyde, a toxic compound caused by the breakdown of alcohol in the body, which is 10-30 times more toxic than alcohol, are two major causes of hangovers. Drinking a lot of fluids in the morning can help provide relief by replacing lost fluids and by flushing acetaldehyde out of the body. Drink plenty of water and avoid beverages that contain caffeine. Caffeine increases urine output and can dehydrate the body even more.
Electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium, are lost through the urine. This can also cause hangover symptoms, such as headaches, lethargy and dry mouth. Drinking a sports drink or coconut water can help by replacing lost electrolytes. Coconut water, also known as "nature's sports drink", has 15 times the amount of electrolytes than sports drinks and has as much potassium as two bananas.
The liver's ability to supply glucose (sugar) to tissues, including the brain, is impaired from drinking alcohol and can cause symptoms such as mood disturbances, fatigue, the shakes and decreased concentration. Eating fresh fruit or drinking pure fruit juice can help provide relief by replenishing lost sugar.
Honey is another good remedy to help treat these hangover symptoms. Take 1 tablespoon of honey every minute for five minutes. Repeat in 30 minutes if needed.
This recipe can soothe an upset stomach and replace potassium and sugar. Blend 1 1/2 cups of milk (adjust the amount to your preference), 1 large, ripe banana and 2 tablespoons of honey. Drink a big glass of water before drinking the shake.
Vitamins B & C
Taking a high potency vitamin B-complex supplement in the morning can be helpful in aiding carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolization and clearing the liver of acetaldehyde. Vitamin C, 2 to 10 grams in divided doses throughout the day, can also help break down alcohol.
Drink a cup of sage, chamomile or peppermint tea to help relieve nausea and soothe an upset stomach.
To prepare a cup of sage or chamomile tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of dried herb, cover and steep for 10 minutes.
To prepare a cup of peppermint tea, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried leaves, cover and steep for 10 to 20 minutes.
Peppermint essential oil can also help relieve these symptoms. Place a couple of drops of oil on a cotton ball, place the cotton ball under your nose and inhale the aroma. Place the cotton ball in a sealed baggie so you can use later as needed. You can also dilute about three drops of peppermint oil with one ounce of carrier oil, such as olive, grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba or coconut, and rub two to three drops of the mixture on your stomach.
Alcohol can deplete the body of glutathione and other detoxification agents which are needed to remove acetaldehyde and other toxins from the body. Cysteine (an amino acid found in chicken, eggs and milk) helps the body make glutathione. After soothing an upset stomach, eat a bowl of chicken soup or some scrambled eggs and baked beans on toast – the beans and toast will help steady blood sugar levels.
Other Natural Remedies
For a throbbing headache, eat some raw cabbage or a raw persimmon.
Take four drops of 6c potency Nux vomica (a homeopathic remedy) to relieve an upset stomach.
Drink a non-alcoholic hot toddy. Add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice in a cup of hot water and stir. You can add more of each to desired taste.
Take a walk outside in the fresh air. This can help rid toxins from the body.
Place some crushed ice in a plastic bag, wrap a dry wash cloth over the bag and apply on your aching head.
Sleep it off.
The best remedy for extreme hangover is prevention.
Eat a meal or drink a glass of milk before drinking. This will help slow the absorption of alcohol.
Drink slowly, one drink or less per hour, so the body has time to process the alcohol.
Drink a glass of water between each alcoholic beverage, and drink a couple of glasses of water before going to bed.
Take two 70 milligrams milk thistle capsules (standardized to 70 to 80 percent silymarin) before drinking. This can help your liver process alcohol faster.
Take a vitamin B-complex supplement and/or 1,000 milligrams of evening primrose oil with two to three glasses of water before going to bed to help a prevent hangover.
Health 911: Hangover – https://www.health911.com/hangovers
Discovery Health: 9 Home Remedies for Hangovers – https://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/home-remedies/home-remedies-for-hangovers.htm
Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen, Bottom Line's Healing Remedies (2006)
Alternative Remedies Online: How to Prevent a Hangover – https://alternativeremediesonline.org/hangover/how-to-prevent-a-hangover/
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