Home Remedies for Hangovers

Home Remedies for Hangovers can help you get rid of that pounding headache and queasy stomach with some natural home remedies.

What is a Hangover?

A hangover, medically known as veisalgia, is caused due to the consumption of large amounts of alcohol or some other drug. Common symptoms/effects of hangovers include: dizziness, dehydration, fatigue, sensitivity to light, lack of concentration, irritability, headaches and sensitivity to sound. In worst cases, hangovers can cause vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea and erratic motor functions. Some people may even experience physiological side effects like depression and anxiety.

What causes Hangovers?

Because alcohol is a diuretic, it can increase the frequency of urination, ridding your body of it's fluids thereby causing dehydration - the main culprit of hangovers. Ethanol is the major intoxicating agent used in alcoholic drinks. When Ethanol is introduced into the body and urination increases, the body loses essential fluids, including water and blood sugar (along with nutrients and minerals), causing headaches and lethargy.

Home Remedies

The best thing to do when you have a hangover is rest - sleep it off. Like anything, time heals all :) But to help expedite that process, here are some home remedies for hangovers.

  • Hydrate! The major cause of a hangover is dehydration, so the best thing you can do is drink lots of liquids. This will help to flush out the toxins in your system.
    • Water is your best friend. Drink lots of it. If you can drink some before going to bed (ie passing out), this will help you feel a million times better when you wake up.
    • Sports drinks can help replace fluids, plus electrolytes and glucose - like Gatorade or Powerade.
    • Juices will help replenish the essential nutrients and minerals you likely lost while consuming alcohol. It can help raise your blood sugar levels to ease some of your symptoms. Just avoid acidic juices if you have an upset stomach.
    • Tea with lemon can also help flush out the toxins in your body and provide relief from a hangover.
    • A spoonful of honey and a slice of lemon in 1 cup of hot water can replenish the body with fluids and sugars. The fructose in honey can help prevent rapid changes in your body's alcohol level (which can cause headaches). If you don't want to create this drink, try eating a few spoonfuls of honey every hour to counteract the alcohol.
  • Fruits and Vegetables. Like the effect of juices, fresh fruits can help replenish essential nutrients and minerals to your body.
    • Bananas can help replace the body's potassium (which you may have lost while peeing). It'll give you a boost of energy too.
    • Try munching on apples to get some food in your stomach. Apples are high in vitamins A, C, E, K, and many B vitamins.
    • Chewing on raw cabbage can help give relief from a hangover headache. You can even drink a glass of tomato juice with it.
    • Brewing a cup of tea or hot water with 2-3 slices of ginger root can help soothe the stomach and digest the alcohol. If you aren't averse to ginger, you can also try chewing on a small piece of it. Many people often find that simply drinking ginger ale can help provide relief.
  • Easy-to-digest foods. Foods like plain toast, rice (high in starch) or clear soup can help absorb some of the toxins and reduce the rate at which alcohol enters your blood.
  • Pepto-Bismol. Gotta love the pink stuff! It can help relieve a queasy or upset stomach. You could also try one of the most popular home remedies for hangovers - Antacids.

How to Prevent Hangovers

The effects of a hangover can be different for different people. There are multiple factors including body weight, amount of liquid consumed, food eaten before and after drinking, etc. The best thing to do is drink at a slow pace. The average adult body needs about 1 hour to process 1 alcoholic beverage. So monitoring yourself and drinking no more than 1 alcoholic drink per hour and sipping it slowly, can help prevent hangovers. Note: 1 drink is a a 12-ounce beer, 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.

Alcoholic drinks with a higher alcohol content can cause worse effects like white wine, red wine, vodka, gin, rum, whiskey and brandy.

Don't drink on an empty stomach. Food can help the body absorb some of the alochol and digest it faster. Foods high in starch are best.

Fun Fact: author Ernest Hemingway swore on tomato juice and beer as being the cure for his hangovers.

Drinking can be fun BUT don't ever drink and drive! That's what sober friends are for... go find one.

If you have other home remedies for hangovers you've tried that worked, please share with us in the below form. Thanks!

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