"My brain is melting into my feet."
It's that time of year again, kiddies. New Year's is just around the
corner; and you know what that means: the perpetual New Year's eve
hangover. Yes, New Year's revels have been with us since the beginning,
and so have hangovers cures. The ancient Romans recommended eating deep
fried canaries as a sure-fire cure. The ancient Libyans quaffed a
mixture of sea-water and wine. The ancient Greeks recommended eating
sheep's lungs. The ancient Chinese swore that eating horse's brains was
the cure. In the 1800s in the U.S. it was thought that soaking your feet
in mustard would do it. Among our Irish brethren it was thought that
burying the person up to the neck in moist river sand would generate a
Today in Mexico the national cure is menudo, a broth made of
boiled tripe. In Haiti, it's sticking 13 black-headed pins in the cork
of the bottle you drank from that will deliver you from the hangover. In
Puerto Rico, at one time, it was said that rubbing a lemon under your
drinking arm would be the cure. In Poland, it is still recommended that
drinking pickle juice is a good remedy (I would think twice about that
one). A more modern cure among scuba divers is taking a blast from an
oxygen tank. Some say a steam sauna is the best way to get rid of a
hangover. But what if you don't have access to a sauna?
My experience with hangovers comes from my wild and misspent youth when I
was known for more than my share of imbibing. The following remedies
are what I consider to be tried and true options, as far as the
primordial hangover is concerned.
1. Drink plenty of fluids. Booze dehydrates you. Replenish your system
with fruit juices and water. Orange juice with its vitamin C content is
2. Take a hot shower. This relaxes constricted blood vessels and tense neck muscles.
3. Avoid caffeine. It dehydrates you more. Drinking black coffee will probably make you sicker.
4. Tray good ole Alka Seltzer the next morning. Avoid aspirin, Tylenol
or Ibruprofen. Aspirin is a blood thinner, and just like alcohol it can
intensify the affects of a hangover. Tylenol (acetamoniphen) can
adversely affect the liver. Ibuprofen can cause stomach bleeding.
5. Sweat it out. Exercise the toxins out of your system. But beware that
too strenuous exercise may dehydrate you more. I do a series of
breathing exercises from our Kung-Fu Wu-Su system called 8 silk weaving
. This is marvelous for easing a hangover.
6. Pop some vitamins. B vitamins (especially B6) help the body
metabolize alcohol. B vitamin supplements also provide a boost of
energy. Vitamin C helps detoxify the body naturally, reducing the
affects of the poisons in your system.
7. Ginkgo Biloba
(ginkgo seeds) is considered a good herbal remedy since ginkgo contains
an enzyme that speed up the body's metabolism of alcohol.
8. Drink skullcap tea made from an herb (skullcap) that eases withdrawal
from the alcohol. It can be found in capsule or tablets in health food
stores. I like skullcap tea sweetened with pure, raw organic honey.
Believe me, you'll feel better in an hour or so.
9. Another good tea drink is peppermint. The mint contains antioxidants which is a natural stomach soothener and digestive aid.
10. Ginseng tea or ginseng root (steeped in hot water) soothes the
stomach and helps with stomach troubles (endemic to hangovers). I prefer
Korean Panax ginseng
tea (which contains fructose).
11. Which leads us to the next cure, fructose (or fruit sugar), which
speeds the body's metabolism of alcohol by 25%. Or try putting some raw
honey in your tea (it's more than 40% fructose). Recall that among old
time bartenders the favored hangover remedy was just honey in hot water.
If nothing works you can always try the time honored "Hair of the Dog."
That is, having a shot on booze, preferably gin or vodka. Something
about the blood stream dealing with the new alcohol and thus ignoring
the old alcohol, and the hangover in your system. For the record, I have
never tried this, and I don't think I ever will. And then there's
offering prayers to Saint Viviana, patron saints of drunkards and,
But my best hangover cure of all is simply, rest, peace, and quiet. Just sleep it off.