Holiday indulgence: 4 natural remedies for hangover

The holidays are fast approaching, and one of your family members will surely take you down the long road of inebriety. If you’ve had one too many drinks, then you know what it is like to have a hangover. For those of you who have never experienced it, hangovers are the varying discomforts you experience after a night of too much booze. It’s a literal pain in the neck, and will cost you a whole day of productivity if left unresolved.

So what is a hangover exactly? When drinking alcohol, your liver turns it into acetaldehyde, a toxic chemical. If your alcohol intake exceeds your body’s ability to process it, then accumulated acetaldehyde will literally intoxicate you, causing the symptoms of a hangover which include headache, thirst, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, grumpiness, and even light and sound sensitivity.

Some people tend to drink alcohol to temporarily relieve pains, but it may only make it worse by putting more alcohol in your system. Other people’s methods include going back to sleep, but might not work for everyone since the pain can be intense. Instead of popping an aspirin, there are natural ways, suggested by Dr. Emeka Okorocha, to get rid of the consequences of that night you ordered “just one more.”

  • If you’re not a vegetarian, be one, even just for a day – Veggies have vitamins and minerals that speed up the metabolism of alcohol, so juice up. Tomatoes help your body flush the alcohol out, and replenish your body’s vitamin and mineral needs. You can even make a Bloody Mary – sans the alcohol – instead of taking chomps out of a tomato. Here’s a recipe for an alcohol-free Bloody Mary: ½ glass of fresh tomato juice; 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice; a dash of Worcestershire sauce; a dash of hot pepper sauce; and 1 celery stick.
  • Go bananasBananas are great sources of potassium, which gets consumed when you drink too much alcohol. Beer, vodka, and other inebriating drinks are diuretics, which means they make you pee a lot. Urinating flushes out potassium which then causes dehydration. You can eat a healthy banana split, or make a banana smoothie if your head feels too pained to chew. Some ingredients to consider when making a healthy banana split are: 1 to 2 peeled ripe bananas, split in half; ¼ cup raspberries; ¼ cup blueberries; a dollop of fat-free whipped cream; and one maraschino cherry. If you don’t have these ingredients, you can also try a simple banana sandwich; simply slice the bananas, affix them on a piece of wholemeal toast, and drizzle some lovely honey on top.
  • Ginger up – As a historical remedy for nausea and vomiting, ginger is still one of the best hangover solutions. Ginger has a lot of vitamins and nutrients that can relieve hangover discomforts. If you can’t manage to eat a slice of ginger, you can drink it as tea, by simply sifting it through some boiling water. Add some honey to sweeten your broth, since the fructose from honey is also great for metabolizing alcohol in your body.
  • Plain and simple water – Since a hangover is dehydration in its evilest form, water is one of the best and most immediate solutions. Drinking water removes the unwanted toxins from your body, and allows your systems to function properly by re-hydrating it. Another way to avoid a painful hangover is to drink a glass of water after every bottle of beer or shot of alcohol. Don’t forget to take a shower – your skin can absorb water too, and the cool spray of water on your head can relieve even the most painful migraines.

Of course, taking that pill sounds much easier, but fighting toxicity with another form of toxicity wouldn’t really help much. By preparing natural recipes and practicing natural methods for relief, you not only rid yourself of the hangover, but give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs.

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