7 Natural Hangover Cures that Work

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Stockbyte/Getty Images
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When suffering "the day after" it's pretty common to question "the night before." Was it really worth feeling this awful?! And then there's the "I'm never drinking again" that you utter, feeling sick to your stomach just imagining the taste of alcohol ever touching your tongue again. Worse than feeling awful, hangovers can actually wreak havoc on your immune system, digestive track and organ function.

Hangovers happen when our already overburdened livers struggle to clear out the excessive amount of toxins and chemicals ingested from too much alcohol. Our blood sugar dips. Our bodies are dehydrated, and overall fatigue takes over. Basically, you are creating a toxic internal environment and your body is letting you know.

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While over the counter pain relievers are common practice for the hangover-inclined, you might want to think again before reaching for your aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen, all of which can come with some serious side-effects that are amplified by alcohol.

- Aspirin: Like alcohol, aspirin is a blood thinner. Mix two together and you have a potentially dangerous combo in the off chance that you actually need your blood to coagulate (like if you cut yourself).

- Acetaminophen: Acetaminophen can cause even more damage to your liver.

- Ibuprofen: Ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding. And we haven't even addressed the fact that popping pills is so not green! Thankfully, there are other better and greener ways to help avoid the next a.m. aches without flooding our livers with even more chemicals to fend off (and no side effects to be fearful of).

Instead, try one of the seven natural ways that follow to help "the day after" hangover not hurt so much.

7: Hydrate to Clear Out Toxins

To help the detoxification process along, it's always a good idea to drink plenty of water before, during and after imbibing of your favorite spirit. Before going to bed, try to down two big cups. In the a.m., as awful as it may seem, hydrate again. Water is great, but tomato juice with cayenne pepper, sugar, and lime should also be added to the hydration options as the concoction helps replenish electrolytes and get blood sugar back on track. No tomato juice in the house? Try a glass of water with a dash of salt and sugar both before bed and immediately upon waking up.

6: Try Tiger Balm to Help the Headache

Tiger Balm, a popular topical used traditionally in Asia as a multi-purpose remedy, is blended from camphor, menthol, cajuput oil and clove oil and known for its analgesic and blood flow promoting properties. It may not be made to mitigate hangovers, but it is one of the best topical headache cures around. Dab the potent, eye-stinging salve on the back of your neck and temples, massage it in, and wait a few minutes until your headache seemingly melts away.

5: Soak in Wasabi to Stimulate Detoxification

As much as a third of toxic body waste is cleared through the skin. So doesn't it suddenly make complete sense to soak in a tub of toxin-purging wasabi? Don?t dismiss the hot stuff as a mere smear on your sustainable sushi! Turns out that at the root of this go-to miracle tonic?s power, wasabi (which is actually a member of the cabbage family) has the ability to increase blood circulation through the organs and promote oxygenation of the cellular tissue, helping to clear cells of metabolic waste. When infused into the bath, wasabi?s stimulating nature has been known to help ease a hangover.

Try Body System's Wasabi Hangover Bath Treatment to help purge pollutants from the system.

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4: Make a Mustard Bath to Flush out Alcohol

You slather it on a hot dog for added oomph, dab it on Chinese food for its guaranteed kick, pour some in your bath to detox...right? Well, we do. Because of its noted ability to increase circulation and draw toxins out from the organs, mustard has become a little-known hangover-healing health secret. Once the organs are flushed, they naturally are replenished with clean and vital blood.

While you could soak in a tub filled with the goopy yellow stuff, we suggest a mustard bath powder like Kalahari Detox Mustard Bath with added mineral salts, eucalyptus and camphor to even further amp up the detox-ability. You can also make your own mustard bath by pouring 2 tbsp of pure mustard powder into warm running bath water. Steep for 20 minutes. Dry off. Take a nap and let the mustard take effect.

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3: Rub Your Hangover Out of Your Feet

Reflexology is a known remedy for a slew of ailments?hangovers included. To rub your aches and pains away (while assisting to speed up liver detoxification) stimulate the outer edge area on the right foot, about halfway between the middle of the foot and the little toe. This is the reflex to the liver. You may notice some "crunchy" texture—which is a sign that there is some congestion in the area associated with that spot.

2: Try this Hangover-Helper Yoga Pose

Perfect as a post-party liver purge, twisting yoga poses help to squeeze the alcohol out of the organs (imagine twisting a towel to squeeze out water).

- The Seated Twist

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- Get out of bed and sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you.

- Bend your left knee and cross your leg over your right, placing your left foot on the floor beside the outside of your right knee.

- Rotate your torso to the left so you are twisting your body.

- Bring your right arm across your body and place your right hand on the floor beside your left butt cheek. Use this arm to help you twist even more.

- Inhale big belly breaths. Hold the pose for 30 seconds. Switch sides.

1: Finish your Night with a different type of Shot...Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a natural detoxifier. It is said to cleanse the body's blood and water, hydrating and energizing the cells. Considered a "life sustaining food," the chlorophyll in wheatgrass helps clear your insides out, naturally deodorizing, enhancing wound healing, maintaining pH balance, healing the intestines, and delivering powerful antioxidants and enzymes to support the body both inside and out. Drink a glass at the end of the night for instant detoxifying and hydration, then again the morning after to further detox and energize.

Got a tip or a post idea for us to write about on Planet Green? Email pgtips (at) treehugger (dot) com.

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