Hangover --Top 10 Natural
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June 13, 2011, last updated June 14, 2015

By Michael Chang, Contributing Columnist

It's known as "the morning after the night before" --a
hangover.  Having a hangover after imbibing too much
alcohol is an all too familiar story. According to 1993
Veterans Administration Hospital study in Michigan,
approximately 75 percent of alcohol consumers have
experienced a hangover at least once, 15 percent have at
least once a month, and 25 percent of college students
experience hangovers weekly.

Hangovers are a serious drag on the economy too,.
Estimates are that 11.6 million Americans reported to work
with a hangover in 2009, the last year that data is available,
according to a 2010 report from the Alcohol Research
Group, a consortium of scientists from around the world led
by Dr. Joris Verster of the University of Utrecht in the

But is there anything you can do to "cure" a hangover? Do
certain spices, drinks or foods help get rid of a hangover?

Symptoms of a Hangover

The night begins with just a beer and proceeds to a night of
chaos and mayhem with your friends. A night of fun and
debauchery transforms into a morning of misery and
struggle. The nausea, the dizziness, and the body aches
make you regret ever taking that first sip of alcohol. And you
promise yourself that you won’t ever indulgence in this sin
again—until the next time.

After a rough night out on the town, you experience the
mouth, the headaches, and the fatigue that accompany the
inevitable hangover. Because alcohol is essential a drug and
a poison that you are willfully consuming into your body,
there are immediate negative consequences—besides
impairment of judgment and physical ability.

Even after the intoxication has ceased, you will experience a
myriad of different physical and mental symptoms that occur
after heavy drinking: headaches,
sensitivity to light and
sound, redness in the eyes, muscle aches, thirst, among
other signs.

And the occurrences of these miserable symptoms after a
bout of drinking are rather frequent.

Causes of Hangovers

While the causes have yet to be scientifically proven, we can
point to several reasons why you might be feeling the way
you day after a long night of hitting the bars. After a heavy
night of drinking more alcohol than your body can
metabolize, you will have additional toxins, such as the
alcohol by-product "acetaldehyde", building up in your body.
Moreover, the dehydrating effect of alcohol, if unaddressed,
can result in a mind-numbing headache, dry mouth,
and fatigue.

The type of alcohol consumed can also play a role in the
severity of your hangover. Darker spirits like wine, brandy,
and whiskey have a higher content of congeners, which are
alcohol fermentation by-products, and can result in a more
intense hangover. Also, cheaper alcohol can cause a worse
hangover as well because the impurities have not been
filtered. Lastly, the mixing of different drinks is a definite
way to become heavily intoxicated and thereby, subjecting
yourself to a rough hangover the next morning.

Top 10 Natural Remedies for Hangovers

While the best cure for hangovers is to abstain or restrict the
intake of your alcohol, this is simply impossible for certain
individuals. It might sound great on paper; however, the
reality is that you will engage in these activities regardless.
And given the statistics on the frequency of individuals
experiencing hangovers, it is likely that at some point in your
life, you will need to find a way to treat that throbbing
headache the morning after.

You might be inclined to pop a few aspirins or an ibruprofen
to rid yourself of that discomfort and nausea. However,
while these over-the-counter pills might temporarily relieve
your hangover symptoms in the interim, they pose a
significant health risk that your alcohol-exposed body should
not be enduring. These various painkillers can thin your
blood, damage your liver, and cause stomach bleeding—and
pairing it off with alcohol consumption, which also increases
the risk of these symptoms, is a dangerous combination.

Rather, you should try some other ways to nip that
hangover. First, time and sleep are the best remedies for
getting over a hangover. Also, ensuring that your body is
properly hydrated is another way to ward off the symptoms
of dry mouth, dizziness, and nausea. Because alcohol
dehydrates your body, it is vital that you consume a lot of
water before, while, and after consumption of alcohol.
Before heading off to bed, drink a large glass of water so
you reduce the chances of an intense hangover the next
morning due to dehydration. (Read more about the
importance of
drinking enough water for your health.)

However, if you are still suffering from the migraines, try
some of these natural remedies and cures that will alleviate
the miserable feelings that you are experiencing.

Replenish the Lost Potassium by Eating Some Bananas

Because alcohol is a diuretic, it depletes your body of many
vital electrolytes, including potassium.

According to a 2007 The Royal Society of Chemistry study,
consuming potassium and sodium will give you the burst that
you need after the rough night you had. Perhaps the best
source of potassium that can be found is bananas. After all
the potassium has been drained from your body due to your
alcohol binge, you will want to replenish the lost electrolytes.
Moreover, this beloved fruit also contains significant
amounts of
magnesium, which can help you relax your blood
vessels, and vitamin B6, which can help subdue other
hangover symptoms. So, the next time you feel that
throbbing headache after waking up the next morning, try
peeling banana.

Try Some Ginger Root Tea or Ginger Ale to Quell Nausea

When young children complain about tummy aches, mothers
tend to give them some ginger ale to settle their stomachs. It
is, thus, no wonder that ginger may help quell some of those
feelings of nausea that you experience when hung over.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, a
2009 study found that as minimal as one-quarter of a
teaspoon of ginger may cut nausea symptoms by 40 percent.

Ginger ale can do that trick. However, if you are able to brew
some ginger tea, it will even alleviate your hangover
symptoms even more.

Boil a few strips of fresh ginger root, add some lemon or
orange juice and some honey. Drink up and you should feel
your nausea diminish in no time.

Consuming Fructose-Heavy Foods and Beverages to Burn
Alcohol Faster

Fructose, which is the sugar that comes from fruit, can be a
great way to help ease the symptoms of a hangover.

This type of carbohydrate is absorbed much faster than
sucrose, which comes from processed sugars, and get better
help you fight those symptoms of alcohol.

This improves your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, so
by sipping on some fruit juice, particularly freshly squeezed
orange juice, you can raise blood sugar levels to burn that
remnant alcohol.  While a 1976 study published in the
European Journal of Clinical Investigation did not have any
conclusive data on the effects of fructose on hangover
symptoms, it did find that fructose expedites the body’s
metabolism of alcohol, which can alleviate some hangover

In addition to fruit juice, other great source of fructose can
be found in the ginseng root, a Korean herb that contains
around 0.5 percent fructose. However, using this as a
hangover treatment can get pricey because this herb can
cost quite a bit.

Fight Your Hangovers with Some Honey

According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, honey is the
best hangover cure.

Because alcohol depletes the potassium and sodium from
your body, consuming
honey the next morning might be the
best thing for your ailing body. A good source of both
potassium and sodium to fight the alcohol toxins, honey can
be used in a hot toddy (honey, lemon, and hot water) that
will alleviate your hangover symptoms.

Moreover, because honey contains fructose, rather than
sucrose, it can be better absorbed by the body. Fructose will
help you burn the alcohol faster so that you might not as
heavily feel the effects of hangovers. (Read more about the
mind-blowing health benefits of honey.)

Take Some B-complex Vitamins to Lessen Your Hangover

Because the body turns to reserves of vitamins when the
body is placed under stress, depletion of essential vitamins
occurs from heavy drinking. One of the biggest reserves hit
hardest by alcohol consumption is B-vitamins. So, add B-
complex vitamins to your list of hangover remedies.

According to a 1974 Thomas Jefferson University study,
vitamin B6, also known as pyritinol, can reduce your
hangover symptoms by about 50 percent. Perhaps, the next
time you are experiencing the pounding headaches and
nausea associated with hangovers, taking a B-complex
vitamin or eating some B-vitamin rich foods such as
potatoes, fish, or garbanzo beans, might cut your hangover

Re-hydrate Your Body with Coconut Water

As previously mentioned, alcohol acts as a diuretic and
dehydrates the body, which a major contributor to the
hangover you experience the next day.

Coconut water can be a great way to re-hydrate your body
and fight your hangover symptoms. Refreshing, delicious,
and healthy, it also provides you many necessary minerals,
such as potassium and sodium, and electrolytes. Excessive
alcohol consumption has a negative impact on your body, for
instance, resulting in electrolyte imbalances. The need to
immediately restore these for optimal recover can be fulfilled
by coconut water. In addition to re-hydrating your body and
to replenishing the necessary minerals, coconut water also
has many cleansing effects on the body.  

Taking Wintergreen—an Herbal Alternative to Aspirin—to
Ease Headache

Because over-the-counter pain medication, such as aspirin,
can be at worst, damaging to your body, and at best, the
cause of an aggravated stomach, it is best to avoid these pills
as the cure for your hangovers. It might actually do more
ham than good. However, there are some herbal forms of
aspirin, such as the aromatic wintergreen, that have the
same properties as aspirin, but is much gentler on the
stomach. It is a source of salicylic acid for natural pain relief,
which can help clear up the headache associated with the
morning after. If you are unable to locate the herb fresh in
your area, you can find wintergreen in dried form at a local
health store.

Using Kudzu Herbs to Reduce Chances of a Hangover

Another herbal treatment for hangovers is the kudzu root.
Drinking kudzu tea can help relief some of the symptoms of a
hangover the next morning. However, how it really helps
you combat your hangovers is to ensure that you either
experience it while consuming your beverages the night of
or that you don’t drink enough to even get a hangover.

Because kudzu helps you feel more satiated with how much
are drinking with less alcohol, it will reduce the likelihood of
your hangover the next morning. The herb causes the
chemical acetaldehyde, which scientists blame for hangovers,
to accumulate faster in your bloodstream.

When you take a few capsules with your first drink, it will
reduce the cravings for more alcohol. It might also cause
you to get your hangover—if you get one—while you are
drinking, rather than the morning after. According to a 2005
Behavioral Psychopharmacology Research Laboratory study,
taking a daily extract of kudzu reduces the amount of alcohol
a person drinks by nearly 50 percent.

Ease Your Hangover with Some Eggs the Morning After

After waking up from a night of drinking, many people crave
some scrambled eggs, bacon, and pancakes—an All-American
breakfast. This isn’t too far off from treating your hangover
symptoms. Eggs can be a great remedy for your hangover
woes because they contain huge quantities of cysteine,
which has been shown to break down acetaldehyde, the
suspected culprit of causing hangovers. If you imagine your
body as a car, the cysteine will take the smog, which in this
case, would be the acetaldehyde, and convert it into clean
air. So, next time you feel the consequences of your
decisions the night before, eating some eggs can cut your
hangover time significantly.

Drinking Sports Drinks Can Calm Your Hangover

As previously mentioned, excessive alcoholic consumption
causes dehydration, which then, in turn, results in the
hangover the next morning. Moreover, drinking also results
in the depletion of many electrolytes, causing an imbalance.
Sports drinks address both of these issues that may result in
hangovers; thus, by sipping on your sports drinks, whether
it is Gatorade or Powerade, you can better fight that
headache and nausea and restore yourself back to normal.
Ensure that the sports drink does not contain caffeine
though because it will act a diuretic and dehydrate your
body even more.

Alcohol and Diabetes -Do They Mix?

Does Beer Raise Blood Pressure?

Feeling Drunk for No Reason? -Causes and Top 10 Remedies

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Salmon Health Benefits

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bananas lower blood pressure
Eating bananas can help you get over a hangover.
Bananas restore your body's potassium levels which are
depleted by alcohol.