Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Hangover Cure Or Mission Impossible?

Nature's ancient remedies really can help you beat the Self-inflicted horrors of a great night out

Let's start by setting the record straight – the best cure for a hangover is prevention. But even though I'm a natural health practitioner, I'm also a realist and I know that with the party season about to go into overdrive there are going to be many of our readers waking up more than once and wishing they hadn't. That is, hadn't abused their brains and livers to quite such an extent the night before.

You set off with the best of intentions and after the last time you've promised yourself it will never happen again. But one thing leads to another, a half of shandy becomes three gin and tonics, a few Baileys and vodka, then you work your way through the cocktail list! Well it's your liver!

At least if you're hell bent on self-destruction, give your body a fighting chance and follow my simple but highly effective Hangover Survival Plan.

1. Don't leave home without food.
This is an old wives tale that's really true. Alcohol is absorbed directly through the stomach lining but eating slows down this process and really does stop you getting totally smashed after the first two drinks. Try to eat something reasonably substantial like a large bowl of muesli with live yoghurt – the bacteria are very protective.

2. Artichoke
Artichokes protect the liver, garlic, and cod liver oil is nature's powerful anti-inflammatories and will protect your brain from the worst of the side effects. Obviously not many of you will want to chew a couple of cloves of garlic before taking your chances under the mistletoe, so take a couple of garlic tablets, two capsules of Nature's Way Super Fisol fish Oil and one maximum strength Thisilyn milk thistle capsule.
Thisilyn Artichoke

3. Vitamin E
The very latest research shows that vitamin E can protect your brain cells from the damage done by an alcoholic binge. Vitamin C is the most powerful antioxidant and the B vitamins are vital protection to the whole of your nervous system. Two Alive! B-Complex Soft Jells per day with added Vitamin C,and 400 international units of vitamin E must be added to the other supplements.

The worst symptoms of a hangover happen because your body has been virtually poisoned by the alcohol which is a very toxic substance. It directly affects the liver and for essential protection of this vital organ, the French traditional remedy is the globe artichoke. You can hardly put one in your pocket to take to the party but you can take a tablet of Thisilyn Artichoke

4. Tomato
The humble tomato may not be the first thing that springs to mind as a potential cure for a horrible hangover but naturally ripened deep red fruits contain an amazing substance called lycopene. It's one of the family of natural food chemicals called carotenoids and it has immense power as a protective antioxidant. Take one Lyc-O-Mato capsule – the equivalent of six large tomatoes – before you go out and first thing in the morning.

5. Water
On the continent, where regular but fairly modest consumption of wine is an everyday pleasure, they know that you need to mix your wine and water. Not in the same glass, though that's not such a bad idea, a chilled white wine spritzer is very pleasant, but glass for glass. One of water for every one of alcohol is the golden rule. Some of the worst effects of excessive drinking are the result of dehydration caused by alcohol and keeping your water consumption level with the drink makes a big difference.

6. Ginger
The last thing to do before you leave home is put a large jug of water and a glass beside your bed and a thermos full of ginger tea. Make it by grating one inch of fresh ginger into a jug, add a pint of boiling water, cover and leave for 10 minutes, strain into your thermos, add a dessertspoon of honey. If you can't be bothered, Lipton's make an excellent Lemon and Ginger teabag. Ginger is the best remedy for nausea.

7. Onion Soup
Parisian revellers, who know a thing or two about alcohol, traditionally end their night on the tiles with a visit to Les Halles, the famous market, where they drink steaming bowls of thick onion soup to stave off the morning miseries.

8. Getting home
When you finally stagger out of the taxi at home, it's really desperate that you drink at least one glass of water and one glass of ginger tea. Repeat every time you wake up in the night and first thing in the morning drink two glasses of water, a large mug of ginger tea, take another gram of vitamin C with a B complex and some more artichoke extract.

9. Hair of the dog
Hair of the dog isn't the best idea in the world, but if you must, juice 4 carrots, 4 radishes, 2 apples and add a small tot of vodka. If you haven't got a juicer put one on your Christmas list now.

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 homemade 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.


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