Well, actually, that's a misstatement. You don't cure the blamed thing. You find a way to ease the agony. I love a glass of wine with my evening meal, and I stock organic ones on the rack in my pantry. One glass usually does it. But when we have friends over and we’re having a good time, I confess, I sometimes have more than one. I'm not very big, so it doesn't take much for me to get a buzz on and then it doesn't take much more to go beyond buzz to “I don't want to see morning come.” There are headaches and then there are hangover headaches and there's no comparison. Most people have a favorite treatment, and some of them are truly strange. Some I've heard of: the Assyrians crushed swallows’ beaks with myrrh (whew! I wonder if it worked?) Some have recommended Rabbit-dropping tea (ugh!). Some say club soda helps; others recommend the classic Bull's Eye: orange juice and a raw egg; I've even heard that pickle brine straight from the pickle jar helps.
What Causes a Hangover?
I know–the answer's obvious–you drank too much. However, let's go a little deeper than that. The symptoms are typically headache, nausea, diarrhea, lack of appetite, shakiness, feeling tired, and an overall feeling of being unwell, sometimes called malaise. What's happening is a number of changes in hormones, neurotransmitters, and other substances in the body. In addition to the symptoms just described, the heart beat is faster and there is an increased work load on the heart, which sometimes leads to a heart attack. About 16 hours after all the alcohol has cleared out of the body, the brain waves are slower and neuromuscular performance is impaired, according to researchers. These are all good reasons to go easy on the good old vino, no matter how much you’re enjoying the party.
Some Things that Increase Chances You’ll Get a Hangover
Even though they've been around for a very long time, hangovers are still not very well understood. There's a general consensus that the cause has many factors and that, while the amount of alcohol consumed plays a role, it's not the only one. Empty stomach, lack of sleep, physical activity while drinking, and dehydration are some other possible factors. A big male can drink more than any female. If you’re a small female, as I am, your capacity is quite limited. Do I need to say it? Not drinking enough to get drunk will significantly reduce the likelihood of a hangover. If your health is not very good, you’re more likely to get a hangover. And don't believe that old “hair of the dog” myth. Drinking more is not a solution if you wake up hung over; it's not going to help you feel better. Red wine is more likely to cause a hangover than white wine, by the way. Drink plenty of water or other fluids before going to sleep to help stave off dehydration. By all means, do not drink while in a sauna. I did this once; and on only a little wine, I was very sick. I don't think it needs to be said to an intelligent, sensible, raw-foods readership, but I'm going to say it anyway: Do not get behind the wheel of a car if you've had anything to drink.
Treating a Hangover
Following is a mostly-raw-foods recommendation that I got from answers.yahoo.com for treating a hangover:
- Take 600mg vitamin C.
- Take 1 tablet vitamin B-complex.
- Mix the following ingredients together in a blender:
1 vegetable juice
6 large strawberries
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup orange juice
¼ tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg
- Drink it all up.
I printed this just as it came from the website. I’ll probably try it if I ever get myself in these circumstances again, but I've promised myself that I would stick with my one glass. The best prevention is to go easy on volume when you’re drinking wine, even if it's organic, and even if it's really, really good, and even if the company is great. The ingredients listed above are designed to rehydrate your body and replace the vitamins and minerals you've lost. They will also help get rid of some of the toxic byproducts that come from metabolizing alcohol. You may even try an icepack, twenty minutes on your head, and ten minutes off.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids, but orange or grapefruit juice will not help. Coffee has been considered an antidote for a long time, but it's not generally recommended because its diuretic effect may make the dehydration worse. Eat light food; bananas are good. Liv52, an herbal remedy has had good reviews for relieving a hangover.
By TTS Health Consultant Gabrielle Gingras