“I am never drinking again” – this is often muttered the morning after a very fun night. While over the counter medicine has become a common reliever for a hangover, they are not well suited to alcohol and may not be as beneficial as once hoped. Aspiring is a blood thinner, much like alcohol, and thus when combined can effect the bloods coagulation properties. Acetaminophen has an adverse affect on your liver and Ibuprofen has been linked to stomach bleeding. We all know time is the greatest healer – but if you aren’t able to sit it out here are some natural remedies for your hangover this season:
- Water is the obvious cure for a hangover, but try to avoid taking pain relieving medicines such as ibuprofen if you can. These tend to mask symptoms and do not actually help with the root cause of a hangover. Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you urinate more and therefore makes you lose water. It does this by suppressing our body’s antidiuretic hormone vasopressin. This eventually results in you losing about 4 times more liquid then you gain, causing dehydration, headaches and a dry mouth. The headaches are actually a result of your organs being so “thirsty” that they steal water from your brain causing it to shrink. Drink a few large glasses before you sleep and all throughout the next day.
- Alkalise by drinking plenty of lemon throughout the day. Lemon actually turns alkaline in the body and will greatly help with the symptoms of a hangover. By adding two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon to a warm glass of water (add manuka honey for taste) you will control symptoms such as queasiness, dizziness, light and sound sensitivity and muscular pain. By making the above drink and having it 4 times that day you will control the blood sugar and pH levels. Put down the coffee which will only dehydrate you further and have this first thing instead.
- The high glycemic index of alcohol will lead to some serious sugar cravings the next day – make sure you pre prep your meals to include high levels of protein and unprocessed foods. Bananas are a great source of potassium. When you experience a hangover you are also depleted in key minerals due to the vasopressin hormone being suppressed. This leads to the body losing a lot of salt, potassium and magnesium – All of which are integral for homeostasis and bodily functions. A great option is to include them in a smoothie with sources of omega 3 fatty acids, these will help with inflammation. Natural sources of omega 3 fatty acids include avocado, coconut, nuts and seeds.
- Support your liver by increasing the production of Glutathione. This antioxidant protects your liver, which is responsible for alcohol breakdown. The liver needs dehydrogenase to break down any booze in the system and glutathione helps a lot. Increase intake of turmeric and milk thistle in which Silymarin, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, is the main active ingredient. Make sure you are eating a diet rich in dark green vegetables, onions, tomatoes and garlic the night before.
- Tiger balm to soothe your wounds. This is my favourite topical remedy I picked up living in Asia. It is multi purpose and made from camphor, menthol, cajuput and clove oil. Its known to assist in blood flow and has analgesic properties- fantastic for liver detoxing and relieve inflammation. I find it helps with a hangover when curing headaches, simply rub into neck and temples and relax into the feeling. I also suggest for the braver few to go to a yoga class as many asanas are focused around aiding the release of toxins from the liver. Try any of these poses.