Natural Home Remedies for Hangovers
Getting hangovers is so fun…until you have one. Then, it’s just hell. Here are the best natural home remedies for that pounding head, queasy stomach, wretching gut, blurry vision, and ears that just won’t…stop…ringing!
There are some common elements to a hangover, whether it comes from too much beer, too much whiskey, too much wine, or, most likely, tequila. Or some combination of these that you can’t…quite…remember. A hangover is your body’s reaction to abuse. The symptoms are almost universally caused by dehydration and the imbalances that places on your system. A few years ago while working at Anheuser-Busch, my HR manager spotted the signs of a hangover and handed me some painkillers with high dosage of caffeine and a coke to wash it down with. I felt better for a few hours, then FAR worse afterwards (as in, “wanted to die” kind of worse). You can do better–natural treatments will soothe your pain without causing massive crashing later as well.
Here I try to give you real life examples of natural hangover therapies that actually work. Having searched for exactly this advice in the past and been disgusted with the results. If you find any articles that tell you to eat bananas because you’re missing potassium, you know that author has never had a hangover, for instance…bananas are perhaps the most revolting food (for some unknown reason) when you’re hungover. I mean, like, instant vomit upon the thought entering your mind kind of revolting.
So take it from a guy who’s had his fair share of “Irish Flu”, and who also lives a pretty natural lifestyle. Here’s what actually works.
Miso soup is a wonder drug if ever there was one. It’s really simple to make: just some miso, vegetables, tofu, and water. The miso is salty, and the resulting miso broth is liquid therapy for the truly hung-over among us.
When I’ve got a serious hangover, I put the pot of water on the stove and chop some veggies and tofu and toss ’em in, then go lay on the couch for 15 minutes (set an alarm), then come back and put in the miso and some nutritional yeast to create a beautiful and delicious (and salty!) broth. I will make a gallon or more and literally eat miso soup the entire day when I’m hungover. It works miracles. Here’s a delicious recipe for miso soup if you need one.
Available at most health food stores, Kombucha is fermented beverage (gah! why would you recommend something fermented right now??) made from black tea. It’s very very very mildly alcoholic (gah! there you go again! wreeettccchhh!!!), somewhere in the neighborhood of less than half a percent alcohol (blooooorrrchhtt!!) by volume. The beauty of Kombucha as a hangover cure is that it does have some hair of the dog element to it, but it also hydrates, helps to rebalance your salinity levels, and gives you a very very mild caffeine boost. Plus, it’ll ease your stomach by facilitating eructation (i.e., burping your a$$ off), relieving some pressure and bloating with its very slight amount of carbonation. Plus, it’s delicious.
My advice on Kombucha–just go slow. If you chug one as soon as you wake up hungover, it’s all coming back. Take a few sips, relax, take a few more…..
Homemade Natural Sports Drink
Super easy to make, without all the crazy additives and preservatives in most plastic-bottle sports drinks you can buy at the store. All you really need is some citrus, some salt, some water, and some sweetener. You’re basically replacing a lot of the stuff you lost the night before–fluids, salts, micronutrients like Magnesium, Zinc and potassium. Here’s a recipe for homemade natural sports drink, if you need one.
Ginger tea and/or natural ginger ale
If you have a lot of queasiness, recall that ginger was the miracle drug of choice before Dramamine came along for seafarers plundering their way across the open seas. The trick is…most Ginger Ales don’t actually have any ginger in them. It’s artificially flavored to taste somewhat gingery, but it ain’t ginger, and it’s not likely to do much good for your upset stomach (besides that eructation/burping we talked about earlier).
Better bet is to slice up some fresh ginger root and just put it on to simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add some honey or agave, and squeeze some lemon and/or lime in there, and voila…you’re on your way to a non-barfy stomach. Here’s a ginger tea recipe that’s pretty awesome.
Well, this one goes without saying–the best remedy in life is often to give yourself some time to recoup. Your body will heal from most abuses, including hangovers, if you just let it happen. If you can lay flat and sip miso soup, kombucha, natural sports drink or ginger tea, you’re on your way.
Karaoke guy photo from Shutterstock