Hangovers seem to be the body’s way of reminding us about the hazards of overindulgence.
The hangover seems unending. The feeling of nausea, vomiting and headache is making your life worse. But some simple home remedies can lessen the pain of the previous night’s heavy drinking.
Diwali, Christmas and New Year are just around the corner and the party mood has set in! It’s that time of the year when even those who usually don’t indulge in heavy drinking tend to go overboard. And the repercussions of the overindulgence can be anything from a pounding headache, queasiness, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, muscle ache or irritability.
Well, do not fret, as we bring you some effective home remedies, from experts to overcome hangover and save you from turning your night’s fun into next morning’s nightmare!
1.Apples and Bananas
Eating raw fruits or having a fresh and crunchy fruit salad is an effective way of treating hangovers. Apples and bananas in particular work as effective hangover cures.
How to do: In case of a headache, having an apple on an empty stomach lends fast relief. A banana shake with a tablespoon of honey is a good option. It not only relaxes your stomach and nerves but the honey present in the fruit shake resumes the lost blood-sugar, while the banana helps in regaining essential minerals like potassium, which the body loses due to alcohol.
Honey is one of the simplest and easily available home remedies. It has potent powers to neutralise the harmful effects of alcohol, thanks to the presence of fructose, which competes with the metabolism of alcohol. Honey also helps in the digestion of alcohol inside a person’s body.
How to do: Taking 3-4 teaspoons of honey after one hour helps in digesting alcohol. However, the quantity of honey may be increased if the hangover is acute and severe. You can also prepare a classic ‘hot-toddy’ with honey. Just boil one cup of water, add honey and lemon juice to taste and it’s ready! This hot toddy works well to treat a hangover. At the same time, it is easy to make and tasty. You can enjoy the toddy several times in a day as it replenishes fluids and sugar lost in a hangover.
Ginger is a tried and tested treatment for nausea and seasickness. And that’s why it is considered as one of the best home remedies for a hangover. Ginger gives fast relief by assisting in the digestion of alcohol, thus soothing the stomach.
How to do: Chewing 2-3 small pieces of ginger or taking a cup of ginger tea lends fast relief. Besides, you can prepare a brew by boiling 10 to 12 slices of fresh ginger root in 4 cups of water for ten minutes. Now, add the juice of one orange, 1/2 lemon and 1/2 cup of honey to it. This concoction helps stabilise blood sugar, which is usually low after alcohol consumption.
Peppermint is a very helpful herb. Consume with your tea or chew it as this relaxes the intestines. Peppermint is a carminative, which is a substance that removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines.
How to do: Patients suffering from a hangover should be given 3-5 leaves of peppermint. You can also use it as a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb or 5-10 leaves of peppermint. One or two cups of this preparation will do the trick.
5.Lemon & Lime
Lemon juice or lemon tea is a popular home remedy for hangovers. It helps to assimilate alcohol and provides instant relief. The best trait of lemon is that it makes a gentle medicine that can be taken on a possible upset stomach. On the other hand, Lime is the answer to queasiness, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound and all kinds of muscle aches caused due to excessive alcohol intake. It offers vitamin C which stabilises your blood sugar levels.
How to do: Prepare lemon-tea, but do not add sugar to it. Lemon -rich tea detoxifies the stomach of unwanted materials. On the other hand, fresh lemon juice prepared in cold water with little sugar also gives fast relief. This drink controls the sugar level in the blood after an excess intake of alcohol.
Another way can be, prepare a mixture of two teaspoons of lime water, a teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 cup of water. Drink it slowly and it will stabilise the blood sugar.
Tomato juice contains fructose, a type of sugar that helps your body metabolise alcohol faster. This is why dehydration caused due to a hangover can be compensated by taking freshly prepared tomato juice or soup.
How to do: The sour taste of tomato has a great effect in curing a hangover. You can prepare tomato juice and add fresh lemon juice to it for fast relief.
The ancient Greeks and Romans placed great importance on the healing powers of cabbage. They would eat large quantities of cabbage at night before drinking, as this would allow them to drink more alcoholic beverages without feeling the side effects. Perhaps this is why many consider cabbage with vinegar a good hangover remedy.
How to do: Chewing raw cabbage helps treat headaches and disturbance in the nerves caused due to a hangover. Cabbage juice taken with tomato juice works wonders as it reduces the craving for alcohol and also helps in metabolism.
8. Sleep, sleep, sleep!
Getting a lot of sleep is the body’s way to treat a hangover. So staying sleep-deficient is not advisable. The following tips can help you with your hangover but the mother of all advice is to stay away from alcohol or consume it responsibly.
A powerhouse of all essential electrolytes, Coconut-water is refreshingly good.
Alcohol intake makes you lose essential electrolytes by way of urination, thus depleting your energy, and giving way to hangovers. That’s exactly when coconut water comes into the scene as it contains five major electrolytes found in our body viz. potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium, and is great for re-hydration.
Also, unlike most energy/sports drinks, it is considerably low in sugar and one cup of this refreshing liquid contains more electrolytes than most sports drinks—and more potassium than a banana.
Herbal teas are packed with antioxidants, which keep your body’s cells—and therefore organs—healthy. This means a healthier liver, which will help you recover faster. If you’re feeling nauseous, add rosemary or lavender to your tea—they’ll calm your stomach fast.
BONUS: Do’s and Don’ts of Drinking Alcohol
1.Make sure you never take alcohol on an empty stomach. Always eat something before or while you are enjoying your drinks as this will not only slow down the rate at which alcohol enters your blood, but will also reduce the after-effects.
2.Try to alternate between an alcoholic drink and a non-alcoholic beverage. This will lead to an overall reduction in the quantity of alcohol you consume.
3.Prefer clear alcohol, such as white wine, vodka, gin etc. It is believed that the darker the alcoholic drink, the more likely it is to cause hangovers, thanks to the presence of more congeners (a substance in alcohol that is supposed to cause headaches).
4.Avoid sweet and sugary foods after or while you drink. The sweet taste makes it tough for the drinker to judge how much alcohol he/she is consuming. It also believed that sugar makes the drink hit you harder.
5.Try not to have a carbonated drink with alcohol as carbonation speeds up the alcohol absorption.
6.Drinking water is the best cure for a hangover. So try to drink as much water as you can while you are drinking.
7.Food is probably the last thing you want to look at while recovering, but your body needs energy. Energise your body with clear liquids till you can tolerate solid food. Start eating slowly with easy-to-digest foods such as plain toast, rice or clear soup.
8.The morning after the alcoholic binge, have an omelette with bread. Eggs provide energy to the body, build up the protein content and remove the accumulated toxins in the body.
9.Juice, especially freshly squeezed orange juice, helps to raise your blood sugar levels together with easing some of the hangover symptoms. However, if your stomach is upset, skip acidic juices such as orange juice and stick to apple juice instead.
10.Pepto-Bismol or an antacid is taken to relieve queasiness and settle your stomach. You can even take a multi-vitamin or vitamin B capsules that help to restore the energy lost during your night of carousing.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar