Feeling rough after a fun night out? Soothe your stomach with honey and ginger, absorb toxins with activated charcoal, replenish your energy with B vitamins and eliminate inflammation with turmeric. These 10 natural hangover remedies will have you feeling like yourself again in no time.
Water & Ibuprofen or Turmeric Before Bed
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Alternate your alcoholic drinks with a glass of water, and chug some more before you go to bed, along with some ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory medicine. It’s still uncertain whether dehydration causes hangovers, but drinking water helps you pace yourself, and staying hydrated certainly won’t hurt. But recent studies have shown that the true culprit might be inflammation. Just don’t overdo it on the Advil if you’re a heavy drinker, to avoid potential damage to the lining of your stomach. Want a more natural alternative? Try turmeric, a liver-protecting Indian spice with powerful anti-inflammatory effects. Add 1/4 of powdered turmeric to a cup of boiling water, let it simmer for 10 minutes and add honey to taste before drinking it like tea.
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Ginger is among the most effective natural remedies for an upset stomach. Many ginger ales don’t contain actual ginger, so using the fresh root or keeping some candied ginger in the cupboard is a better hangover relief tactic. Grate it or chop it finely and simply chew on it, or add it to the honey lemon concoction below.
Honey, Lemons & Hot Water
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Honey naturally breaks down alcohol in the body, neutralizing the toxins created when it’s consumed. The fructose raises blood sugar levels, helping the body rapidly metabolize all of that booze. Add a little lemon, which boosts liver function, but don’t overdo it – acidity can further irritate the stomach lining. Try mixing both into a cup of hot water (with ginger and turmeric, for extra hangover-busting power.)
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Freshly squeezed juice that’s light on the acidic fruits can help soothe your stomach, raise your blood sugar and replace essential nutrients. Pop Sugar has a ‘hangover juice’ recipe that’s basically a Bloody Mary without the vodka. The ‘hair of the dog’ theory of drinking a little more alcohol in the morning to help a hangover remains controversial, but have at a real Bloody Mary if that’s what makes you feel better.
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Bananas are soft, bland and packed with potassium, which is easily depleted after a night of drinking. That makes them an ideal food to eat slowly first thing in the morning when you’re feeling queasy. Once your stomach is settled, try a few of the foods that are next on this list.
Bland, Salty Foods
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There’s a reason why chicken noodle soup is so often prescribed as a remedy when you’re not feeling well. It’s easy on the stomach, comforting, and salty enough to help replenish electrolyte and sodium levels. Plain white rice, broth, bread and crackers are also good options.
Peppermint Essential Oil
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If nonstop nausea is making you miserable, try this trick. Pour a few drops of peppermint essential oil onto a handkerchief and hold it up to your nose, inhaling the scent, whenever you feel the heaves coming on. You could also mix it with some coconut oil or unscented lotion and apply it to your chest or temples.
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Incredibly absorbent and entirely safe to consume, activated charcoal can help soak up alcohol in your system if you take it at night before going to bed, and reduce excess bile in your stomach the next morning. Just don’t take it within two hours of taking any kind of medication or vitamins, as it will prevent your body from absorbing them.
B Vitamins & Milk Thistle
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Drinking alcohol depletes the levels of B vitamins like thiamine, B6 and B12 in your body, slowing down metabolism and making you feel sluggish. Try a liquid B-complex for maximum re-absorption. Likewise, milk thistle has a powerful effect on the metabolism of alcohol and is known to protect the liver. While science hasn’t put the latter to the test when it comes to helping hangovers, many people swear by popping a couple pills after a night of drinking and before going to sleep.