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You know you have a hangover when you have a headache, nausea, intestinal upset, and perhaps diarrhea, aches in the muscles and joints, and fatigue. Now let's look at some prevention techniques and remedies. Hangovers are no fun, so you really need to know what to do!
Almonds American Indians claim that eating 6 raw almonds before imbibing helps prevent intoxication.
Bifidus powder Put a teaspoon of bifidus powder in a glass of water and drink before going to bed. Bifidus is the "friendly" bacteria that detoxifies acetaldehyde, a digestive byproduct of alcohol that is a major cause of hangovers.
Evening primrose oil helps prevent hangovers. Take two teaspoons. See our Health From The Sun - Evening Primrose Oil product.
Eating a meal high in saturated fat causes the effects of alcohol to peak earlier and last longer than diets high in polyunsaturated fat. Research at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Peanut Butter Eating peanut butter before drinking is an African remedy.
Prickly pear cactus extract (see remedies below).
Sports drinks, high in electrolytes, will help replenish what the kidneys have excreted during drinking. Take before bedtime.
Hangovers occur in part because the body has been depleted of essential minerals and becomes dehydrated. An excellent source of replacing trace minerals immediately is to add Supplement CHARGE to your water. It also creates needed electrolytes. It is inexpensive, charges 60 glasses of water and has numerous other health benefits.
Tomato juice To help stop the urge for alcohol drink a tangy drink, such as tomato with the juice of one lemon added.
Water One of the best preventive measures is to drink 2-3 large glasses of water before you go to bed. Drinking alcohol is very dehydrating and hydrating your system helps counteract the effects of the alcohol.
Exercise will help get rid of your hangover by helping the body rid itself of toxins. The increased circulation gets blood and oxygen to your oxygen-starved brain.
A good, brisk walk will also increase circulation with the results mentioned above.
Another "morning after" remedy is to take a probiotic supplement, such as acidophilus, to help restore the flora balance in your stomach.
You may be more susceptible to alcohol if you have candida, which creates alcohol, too.
While painkillers will provide immediate relief, they can cause problems for the kidneys and liver with long-term use. See our headache section for more ideas. Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Ibuprin, Motrin IB, Nuprin) are hard on your stomach (may promote gastrointestinal bleeding), while acetaminophen (Excedrin, Panadol, Tylenol) is hard on your kidneys and liver, too, which will be working overtime processing the alcohol. Excessive use of acetaminophen can lead to kidney failure and irreversible liver damage. Ibuprofen can lead to kidney damage when taken in large doses over prolonged periods.
If you have gas associated with your stomach problems, see our gas section.
If you feel nauseated, see our section for more information.Remedies
Activated charcoal Take one tablet of activated charcoal per drink while you are drinking. The charcoal absorbs the impurities in the alcohol which are the cause of the hangover. The charcoal also absorbs important nutrients, so if you are a heavy drinker, don't use this remedy daily as you will end up with nutritional deficiencies.
Apples eaten on an empty stomach the day after drinking is an effective remedy.
Bananas One of the quickest ways to cure a hangover is to make a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. The banana helps calm the stomach, and with the honey, builds up the depleted blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates your system. Bananas are also rich in the important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are severely depleted during heavy drinking.
B-vitamins Take the vitamins before you go to bed and let them work their magic while you sleep. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. B-Vitamins are important in aiding the carbohydrate (alcohol) metabolizing process and in dilating blood vessels. B-vitamins will help restore your energy level. You will need to take a high-potency B-complex supplement for this remedy to work (50-75 mg of B-complex twice a day, hopefully once before bed after indulging).
Chicken soup Grandma's old stand-by, chicken soup, seems to work as well for hangover problems as it does for colds.
Feverfew Use feverfew, an herb, in place of aspirin. Aspirin is very hard on the stomach, while feverfew is not.
Ginger Take 500 mg of ginger capsules every few hours, or make a ginger tea. This will help soothe your stomach.
Honey Take 2-6 teaspoonfuls of honey every twenty minutes upon awaking, depending on the severity of the hangover. Continue with the honey until you start to feel better, then take four teaspoonsful with your first meal. The potassium in the honey helps counteract the effects of the alcohol and will decrease the cravings for it. Alcoholic drinks are acidic in reaction and satisfy your natural desire for an acid, the same as coffee and tea do. If you have an alcohol problem, check your body chemistry and make appropriate changes in diet and supplementation. In addition, honey contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly.
Kudzu Extract (or kuzu) Studies have shown that its isoflavones, diadzin and puerarin, can help relieve hangovers quickly!
Lemon Add the juice of one lemon to a cup of black coffee and drink it unsweetened and without milk.
Lime As soon as you wake up on the "morning after" add two teaspoons of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of sugar to 8 ounces of water. Drink it slowly. This concoction will help stabilize your blood sugar, which will be low after imbibing.
Peppermint The herb peppermint, either in tea form or chewing the leaves, will relax the intestines. Peppermint is a carminative, which is a substance that removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines. Make a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb; cover; steep for fifteen minutes; strain. Drink 1-2 cups as soon as you can.
Persimmon Eat a raw persimmon for a headache.
Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia ficus indica) extract has been found to relieve hangover nausea and dry mouth according to researchers at Tulane University and the University of California, San Francisco. Prickly pear is known to reduce inflammation, and hangover symptoms are due to an increase in inflammation. Researchers found that C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, was 40% higher in the group that took a placebo. The extract was taken five hours before alcohol consumption.
Raw cabbage Eat raw cabbage to dissipate a headache.
Sauerkraut juice Drink sauerkraut juice with some tomato juice if you don't like it straight. These drinks replace lost nutrients.
Scalp stimulation Pull your hair in clumps so that your full scalp is stimulated. This remedy brings blood to the scalp and relieves the headache.
Silymarin, better known as milk thistle, protects liver cells from alcohol by preventing toxins from entering them and helps to remove existing toxins. Take two 70 mg capsules with a meal or before or while drinking.
Thyme Make a tea by lightly crushing five fresh or dried leaves; place in a cup and fill with water cooled to just below boiling; cover and leave to infuse for five minutes; remove leaves and drink.
Tomato juice In addition to being a prevention remedy, tomato juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolize alcohol more quickly. This is probably why the morning-after Bloody Mary seems to work.
Vitamin C stimulates the liver to break down the alcohol. Take 2-10 gm per day in divided doses. Start at 1,000 mg an hour and built up to bowel tolerance. An excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhea, and since you probably have stomach distress already too much C may cause a problem.
Nux vomica will help relieve gas, bloating and a sour stomach. Take the 6c potency in 4 drops or pellets every hour.