Six of the Worst
Okay - call me a killjoy if you like, but the truth is that as far as hangovers are concerned, prevention is the best cure. But there's no point in telling you this today as the damage is already done - your head's pounding, you're irritable, liverish, nauseous, depressed and totally shattered. But get a grip, pull yourself together and you could soon be feeling perky enough to face a hair of the dog or a stroll to the nearest pub.
Here's the natural way to deal with the six worst symptoms of a hangover:
The two main reasons for the men with hammers who suddenly decided to take up residence inside your skull are the irritant effects of alcohol on brain tissue and the fact that too much booze is very dehydrating. It stimulates the kidneys to get rid of more than the normal amount of water, which in turn dries out many bodily tissues and concentrates the levels of toxic and irritant substances circulating in the blood.
The first thing is to drink plenty of water - still, as the gas in fizzy water causes uncomfortable bloating. The best natural headache remedy is a wonderful herb called feverfew, and if you've got it growing in your garden or on your windowsill, a couple of leaves in a sandwich or some feverfew tablets from your local chemist or health food store will soon do the trick. If you're normally a regular coffee drinker and you spent all last night on the sauce and didn't wake up till 11 this morning, the lack of caffeine fix will make your headache much worse, so after the water and the feverfew, a large black coffee is next on the list.
Alcohol is severely irritant to your stomach lining, and if like most New Year's parties you were given loads to drink but not much food, your stomach is very sensitive this morning. This inflammation and the poisonous effects of a couple of bottles of red wine and a large glass of champagne are why you feel so sick. Ginger is the ultimate cure for nausea and sickness. Grate half an inch of ginger root into a mug, fill with boiling water and two teaspoons of honey, leave to stand for 10 minutes, strain and sip slowly. A couple of mugs of this will guarantee you don't spend the rest of the day with your head down the toilet. If you can't face making it yourself you can buy lemon and ginger teabags or use Hofels Ginger capsules. In desperation a few ginger biscuits dunked into your coffee might help.
A night of binge drinking wreaks havoc with your liver and makes you feel awful. Sluggish, hungover, bilious and very uncomfortable around your middle. The best remedy for the liver is to eat a globe artichoke, but I can't imagine you'll be up to cooking one of those today - even if you've got one in the fridge! Cynara Artichoke Extract tablets are the answer and you'll find them in any health store or good chemist. Fennel is another great herb for the liver and you can buy fennel teabags or make your own with two teaspoons of chopped fresh fennel fronds or one of dried to a mug of boiling water. Give your liver a rest today by avoiding more alcohol and all fatty foods.
All the other symptoms of the hangover are enough on their own to make you depressed. But there's worse news - alcohol destroys your body's store of B vitamins which are essential for the normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system. If you haven't got a bottle of vitamin B pills in the house, you've probably got a jar of Marmite. Either spread it thickly on a piece of toast or put a teaspoon into a mug of hot water and drink. St. John's Wort is by far the best instant remedy for post-alcoholic depression so take two Kira St. John's Wort tablets right now and another two tomorrow to get you back to normal.
You've been up most of the night and though all the alcohol you consumed is full of calories, you burn these up very quickly, you didn't eat much during the evening, you didn't even have a snack before you went to bed, and you certainly haven't eaten a good fry up for your breakfast. You need to eat something pretty quickly but the nausea and your poor liver won't go well with eggs and bacon. A big bowl of cereal with a banana for slow release energy with a large added spoon of honey for instant energy will get you going. Try to nibble some nuts and dried fruits to keep your energy up and take some Rio Trading Guarana, tablets or liquid, for a sustained energy boost. This brilliant herb was discovered by the rain forest Indians of the Amazon and has been their energy herb for thousands of years.
Of course you're bad tempered - you've got a hangover. You're cross with yourself because you vowed you'd never do it again, your brain, liver and stomach have taken a battering, you've got a headache, stomach ache and you feel sick. You're a real life bear with a sore head. Your only hope is a hair of the dog and a powerful antioxidant like lycopene which you get from ripe tomatoes. I doubt that you could cope with six tomatoes for breakfast but you can get the equivalent of this protective carotenoid from one capsule of Lyc-O-Mato. If you think you can bear the noise of a juicer then stick four carrots, four radishes and two apples into the machine to make a powerful detoxing juice, and add a small tot of vodka.
If all this fails, try the ancient Roman remedy which they used after their Bacchanalian feasts. Boil a whole head of garlic in a pint of red wine, let it simmer for 10 minutes, add a dessertspoon of honey and sip - serves you right.
When you eventually feel like food, what you need is a hot bowl of real home made chicken soup. It's rich in healing enzymes, a powerful decongestant to relieve your throbbing head, easy to digest, and crammed full of body boosting nutrients. Not surprisingly, chicken soup has a worldwide and well deserved reputation as the best food for convalescents - just what you need.
Some of my books...
- Superfoods, Superjuices, Superhealth
- Eat Well Live Longer
- Superfood Pocketbook
(100 Top Foods for Health)
- The Omega 3 Cookbook
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