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Hangovers & Home Remedies

Hangovers. We’ve all had them a time or two. Around the holidays we’re more likely to drink excessively, so I thought it would be helpful to talk about what hangovers are and how to get rid of them as quickly as possible and return to a healthier state.

Obviously, the best way to deal with a hangover would be to not get one in the first place, but if you’re already hungover that isn’t helpful advice, so today I bring you: the nuts and bolts of hangovers.

What are hangovers and why do we get them?

We all know what a hangover feels like: headache and/or nausea, stomach ache, brain fog, and there can be a weakness throughout the body too.

Hangovers are a combination of dehydration, the body trying to process toxins from the alcohol consumed, and the lining of the stomach becoming inflamed. If you are a regular, heavy drinker this can lead to a fatty diseased liver. All of this is happening to some degree or another when you have a hangover.

Remedies for hangovers

Yes, you can reach for an ibuprofen when you have a hangover, but I really don’t like to go that route. Here’s the problem with it: if you are already dealing with an inflamed stomach and your liver is dealing with extra toxins from the alcohol, then adding more for the liver to flush out in the form of Tylenol or ibuprofen really seems like a lot to expect from your body. So the methods I’m suggesting are totally natural, involving no pills at all.

How to cure a hangover with food

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1. Drink water. This is the first line of defense. Getting your hydration back in check will help you feel better. Drinking either aloe or coconut water can up your hydration as well.

2. Bananas. Bananas are like the miracle cure for hangovers for a few different reasons. They have B6 and potassium in them, which are both lost when we are hungover. Bananas can also help settle the stomach.

3. Honey. Honey can also help settle the stomach and it helps re-stabilize the blood sugar in the body. When we stabilize the blood sugar we’re likely to have more energy and feel less weak. Honey helps the body metabolize the alcohol more effectively and adds some extra potassium to the body. Potassium helps the body build electrolytes, so extra potassium means an increase of electrolytes, which aids in proper hydration. In the case of a severe hangover you can take 2 tablespoons of honey every 20 minutes to help replenish the body and speed recovery.

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4. Ginger. Ginger is a great remedy for nausea and stomach upset. Ginger actually calms and soothes the stomach.

5. Peppermint. Peppermint is great for calming the stomach and intestines too. Peppermint is a carminative, which is a substance that removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines.

My suggestion for a hangover is to make a smoothie or green drink with banana, spinach, honey and ginger. Then make yourself a cup of peppermint tea.

6. Eggs. When you’re ready to eat, try some eggs. Eggs have cysteine in them which breaks down the alcohol in the body and reduces toxicity.

7. Mineral Rich Foods. Eating mineral rich foods also helps cure hangovers, so add some sauerkraut to your eggs to up the healing properties of your meal.

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Turn this into a smoothie by adding some ice.

 If you’re already hungover start here. These will help you feel better. If you’re getting ready for a party there are ways that you can drink to avoid getting a hangover. The alcohols most likely to cause a hangover are brown liquors, beer and wine. The alcohols least likely to cause a hangover are those that are the most pure: vodka and gin. You can also reduce your chances of a hangover by drinking less sweet drinks. The more sweet your cocktails are, the more likely it is that your blood sugar will crash, which adds to the hangover effect.

Another interesting tidbit is that if you eat a greasy meal before you start drinking this slows the alcohol’s effect on the body – so you can drink more without feeling it as much, and it allows the body to break down toxins more slowly, which is gentler on the body. An ancient folk remedy is to drink a tablespoon of olive oil before drinking to aid the body’s ability to digest the alcohol and slow the process down.

There are so many different folk remedies and bartender remedies out there, and some of them work to some degree. It’s true that you can stop the effects of a hangover with more alcohol, but that’s only temporary. If it’s always the solution, there is a high chance of becoming an alcoholic, so it should not be an all-the-time solution.

The other folk remedy you hear a lot about is the one about eating a greasy meal once you have the hangover. There is no evidence that this really helps more than other meals do. Here’s a link to facts and myths on hangovers.

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I hope this post has been helpful.

Please drink responsibly. Don’t drink and drive. And if you drink a little too much, try these natural home remedies for hangovers.

Happy holidays!

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