Most of us have experienced the dreaded feeling of a hangover. As the distinctive headache, nausea, and muscle aches set in, you can see clearly that you have not treated your body kindly with your overindulgence. Now it is time to apologize to your body by providing it with what it needs to heal and get you back in tip top shape as soon as possible.
Excessive drinking effects the body in a number of negative ways leading to what is experienced as a hangover. Perhaps the most well known effect on the body is dehydration. It also increases the acidity in the digestive system, causes the loss of potassium and vitamins, makes the liver work very hard, adds toxins to the body, and affects the nervous system (1). Many herbs and spices can help relieve the symptoms of a hangover by addressing these underlying causes of your suffering.
Cumin For The Digestive System
Cumin is a common spice that most of us already have in our cupboards, and if not, it can be purchased at just about any grocery store. This spice is useful as a hangover cure because it is soothing for the digestive system. It even helps with flatulence, which can come after a night of drinking, especially if beer is your drink of choice. (2)
Ginger For The Whole Body
Ginger is readily available in grocery stores in both fresh or powdered forms. Consuming ginger, fresh or powdered, provides many health benefits to help with healing from a hangover. Ginger helps relieve headaches and reduces nausea, taking care of the two main symptoms of a hangover. It also has cleansing properties for the whole body, and stimulates blood flow to the digestive system. So it helps clean out the toxins that have accumulated and absorb the nutrients that you are working hard to replenish. (3)
Chamomile For The Stomach And To Relax
Chamomile has two main benefits for sufferers of a hangover. It is a mild pain reliever and it settles the stomach. Chamomile tea is readily available in grocery stores, but alternatively, fresh or dried flowers could be consumed for the same benefits. The flowers are often available at health food stores or online. (3)
Lavender For The Nervous System and Digestive Tract
Lavender is a great herb to cure a hangover. It is a nervous system tonic and a circulatory stimulant helping with the digestive tract. Lavender is available fresh is some stores or more commonly as a tea. It is also easy to grow and makes a great addition to any flower garden. (4)
Slippery Elm Bark Powder
Slippery elm bark powder is far from a common ingredient for most of us. Yet it is extremely useful to coat the stomach after excessive drinking to protect the stomach from the increased acidity. Symptoms of indigestion and diarrhea are both helped from the soothing effect of this powder. It can be purchased at alternative health food stores or online. (5)
After a hard night of drinking, rehydrate, replenish nutrients, cleanse the body, and soothe the digestive system with this smoothie.
- 1/2 cup chamomile tea
- 1 lemon peeled and seeded
- 1 apple
- 1 banana
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger root
- 1/2 tsp slippery elm bark
- 1/2 tsp of lavender flowers or cumin (optional)
Brew chamomile tea and let cool. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in mindfulness practice, health fitness, and health nutrition. She is contributing author for Parenting, Health, Happiness, a blog covering topics of health, education and mindfulness. She also contributes to the nutrition newsletter at RawFoods.xyz. Read Antonia’s health files here, and SUBSCRIBE!
Sources for this article include:
(1) Mayo Clinic: Diseases and Conditions Hangovers
(2) Crocker, P. (2003). The Smoothies Bible. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose Inc., page 98
(3) Crocker, P. (2003). The Smoothies Bible. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose Inc., page 103
(4) Crocker, P. (2003). The Smoothies Bible. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose Inc., page 108
(5) Crocker, P. (2003). The Smoothies Bible. Toronto, Ontario: Robert Rose Inc., page 119
Image Credits: Flickr