9 Home Remedies for Hangovers


Man holding his head in pain after a night of drinking. Betsie Van der Meer/Getty Images

Well, you partied from sundown to sunup, and now you're paying the price. You've got the pounding headache, the queasiness, the dizziness, the sensitivity to light and sound, the muscle aches and the irritability that comes from overconsumption of alcoholic beverages. How quickly last night's fun turns into next morning's nightmare when you have a hangover!

Although we don't like to think of it as such, especially when we're having such a good time, alcohol is actually a drug. It's a depressant, and when taken in excess, it fills your body with toxins. Your body reacts as it would to any drug overdose: It tries to metabolize and get rid of the offending substances.

The best way to prevent a hangover is, of course, drinking in moderation or abstaining from alcohol. But keeping yourself well-hydrated and well-nourished when you're drinking can go a long way toward minimizing the morning-after symptoms.

The best cure for a hangover: time. Of course, people ignore prevention and don't have "time" for the cure. So, here are some remedies to ease the suffering for those who have had one drink too many.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

9

Bananas

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Bananas are your best friend! While you were drunk and peeing like a racehorse, lots of potassium drained from your body. Eating a banana bursting with potassium will give you some giddy-up and go. All you have to do is peel and eat.

8

Ginger Root

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Ginger has long been used to treat nausea and seasickness. And, since having a hangover is much like being seasick, this easy remedy works wonders. If you're really green, the best bet is to drink ginger ale (no preparation required). If you can remain vertical for 10 minutes, brew some ginger tea. Cut 10 to 12 slices of fresh ginger root and combine with 4 cups water. Boil for 10 minutes. Strain and add the juice of one orange, the juice of half a lemon, and 1/2 cup honey. Drink to your relief.

7

Honey and Lemons

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The classic hot toddy (nonalcoholic, of course) is honey, lemon and hot water. Easy to swallow, this beverage replenishes fluids and sugars lost to a hangover. It is vital, however, to use honey instead of white sugar. Honey contains fructose, which competes for the metabolism of alcohol. Some healthy competition is needed, since it prevents the rapid change in alcohol levels that results in headaches. Plain sugar contains sucrose, which isn't absorbed as quickly. To make a toddy, boil 1 cup water and mix in honey and lemon juice to taste. Enjoy a toddy several times a day.

 

 

6

Rice, Toast or Soup

Steve Woods
Steve Woods

Food is probably the last thing you want to look at while recovering, but you do need some sustenance for energy. Stay with clear liquids until you can tolerate something solid. Then start off slowly with mild, easy-to-digest foods such as plain toast, rice or clear soup.

5

Sport Drinks

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Sport drinks are a good way to replace fluids as well as electrolytes and glucose.

4

Ice

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Put an ice compress on your aching head. Place crushed iced in a plastic bag, wrap in a dry towel and apply it to where it hurts. Or just rinse a washcloth under cold water, place it on your forehead and rest.

3

Juice

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Juice, especially freshly squeezed orange juice, will help raise your blood sugar levels and help ease some of your hangover symptoms. However, if your stomach is upset, skip acidic juices such as orange juice and stick with apple juice instead.

2

Water

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Next to time, drinking water is the best cure for a hangover. Dehydration does a doozy on your body and causes much of the discomfort associated with a hangover. Stick to water, be it tap, bottled or carbonated. Drink more than eight glasses a day while recovering.

Still need more help?  Check out more do's and don'ts on the next page.

1

More Dos and Dont's

  • If you can remember one thing while intoxicated, remember this: Guzzle plenty of water before going to bed. It will help nip dehydration in the bud, and you'll feel much better in the morning.
  • Stick to one drink (or less) per hour, and sip it slowly. One hour is about the time it takes for the average adult body to process an alcoholic beverage. One drink is a 5-ounce glass of wine, a 12-ounce beer or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.
  • Rest. Pull the shades down, unplug the telephone and go to sleep.
  • Never drink and drive.
  • Try Pepto-Bismol or an antacid to relieve queasiness and settle your stomach.
  • Take a multivitamin with B vitamins to replace those lost during your night of carousing.

These natural home remedies should get you back on your feet after a night of overindulgence. With a little tender loving care, you should be all better in no time.  For more information, see How Hangovers Work. Linnea Lundgren has more than 12 years experience researching, writing, and editing for newspapers and magazines. She is the author of four books, including Living Well With Allergies.

Michele Price Mann is a freelance writer who has written for such publications as Weight Watchers and Southern Living magazines. Formerly assistant health and fitness editor at Cooking Light magazine, her professional passion is learning and writing about health.

ABOUT THE CONSULTANT:

David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at PennsylvaniaState University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.