In all the holiday celebrations it is especially easy to get caught up in all the cheer and have one too many cocktails! Hangovers are the result of the body’s reaction to poisoning and/or withdrawal from alcohol. A hangover begins 8 to 12 hours after your last drink and symptoms typically include fatigue, depression, headache, thirst, nausea, and vomiting. The severity of hangover symptoms varies according to the individual and the amount of alcohol consumed. Hangovers can certainly slow you down and cause some post-party distress.
Here are our best tips for nursing that hangover naturally, preventing the hangover after your next party, and feeling better fast!
Easing a Hangover
Add Salt and Lemon. Sip on cool water with a sprinkle of unrefined sea salt and a squeeze of lemon. Every organ, gland, muscle and tissue in the body needs salt to hydrate the cells. Lemon is full of alkalizing minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Drinking lemon water with salt can boost your hydration and alkalinity, easing that hangover headache.
Calm the Gut. Ginger is a well-known and effective cure for nausea and stomach upset. Ginger tea can be found at health stores and may be convenient to keep on hand. You can also make your own ginger tea by cutting a dozen slices of fresh ginger root and boiling them in 4 cups of water for about ten minutes. Remove the ginger and add the juice of half a fresh lemon and honey to taste. Drink as much of the tea as needed to calm the nausea.
Love your Liver Several scientific studies suggest that substances in milk thistle (especially a flavonoid called silymarin) protect the liver from toxins, such as alcohol. Silymarin has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, and may help the liver repair itself by growing new cells. Try a high-quality milk thistle capsule standardized to 120 – 140 mg of active ingredient silymarin.
Reduce Inflammation Alcohol can create inflammation in the body, turmeric has been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory benefits as well as support the immune system. It may even help support a positive mood, which we could all use the day after a heavy night of drinking. Try a supplement with high concentrations of curcuminoids.
Rest Up. Rest does wonders for body healing. This is not the day for you to take on big projects or lots of stress. Sleep in, take a nap and take it easy. You didn’t sleep very well last night because your body’s liver was working hard to remove those party toxins out of your system.
Hangover Prevention Tips
Drink in Moderation. You probably knew that was coming, but moderation is the best way to avoid the hangover blues! The less alcohol you drink, the less likely you are to have a hangover.
Alternate with Water. To help the detoxification process along, it’s always a good idea to drink plenty of water before, during and after imbibing of your favorite spirit. Try to have a glass of water between each alcoholic drink to prevent a hangover. Before going to bed, try to down two big glasses of water. Water is the key to preventing the ill effects of dehydration.
Seek Some Heat. Eat a spicy meal with protein, such as chicken curry, before imbibing. The heat will encourage you to swallow more water so you’ll start the evening hydrated.
Slow Down. Decide how many drinks you will have before the party starts. Pace yourself and limit alcohol to one drink per hour. You’ll be glad you did in the morning!
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- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Milk thistle: effects on liver disease and cirrhosis and clinical adverse effects. Summary, evidence report/technology assessment: number 21, September 2000.