A hangover is typically experienced the next morning, after a night of heavy drinking. It refers to the unpleasant physiological consequences of excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages. The symptoms of a hangover usually include one or more of the following:
- sensitivity to light and sound
- increased heart rate and blood pressure
- sometimes, depression
An intoxicated person may lose their sense of judgement and will be unable to function normally. Intoxication can also alter emotions and moods. Some persons feel heightened excitement, anxiety or even depression. The severity of a hangover will depend on how much alcohol has been consumed by the person. Further complications will arise if the person was in poor health, hungry or tired prior to drinking, or if he / she was dehydrated before drinking.
It is always best to avoid a hangover than to have to deal with one. Drinking on an empty stomach is one sure way to run into problems. Always ensure that you have had a sufficient meal before consuming hard liquor. Foods that contain fats and carbohydrates slow down the absorption of alcohol and help in protecting the stomach from irritation. Another way to avoid getting a hangover is to keep drinking ample amounts of water (or sports drink if available) in between drinking, to keep the body hydrated and minimize the effects of the toxin.
Remedies for Hangover
The following list includes a few simple home remedies that can be used to combat the effects of having a hangover.
- Take a dose of aspirin before retiring to bed and repeat in the morning.
- Take multivitamins and eat a full breakfast, once you are awake. Keep replenishing the body with water (a natural hangover cure) and juices, especially those that are rich in vitamin C as these enzymes help in breaking down the alcohol in the body. Avoid any drink that contains caffeine.
- Asparagus is a natural remedy for a hangover. It is reported that asparagus eaten before and after drinking excess amounts of alcohol will boost key enzymes that are responsible for breaking down the alcohol in the system.
- B Vitamins play an essential role in cell metabolism and enhance the functions of the immune and nervous systems. Persons that have consumed large amounts of alcohol would have passed out essential vitamins in the urine. Replenish lost vitamins by consuming foods such as spinach and parsley and this will help in getting rid of a hangover.
- Get plenty of rest (sleep) to combat the feelings of fatigue while allowing the body to recover.
- The artichoke is a flowering plant that is said to have originated from North Africa. Artichokes improve the production of bile in the liver. Bile helps in the digestion of lipids which are used to store energy. Artichoke is said to counter-balance alcohol intake. Although controversy still surrounds this claim, there is no harm in trying this natural, home remedy to get rid of a hangover.
- Combine ripe bananas with honey and milk and drink this milkshake to cure a hangover. The mixture will help to soothe the stomach and replenish blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates the system.
- Ginger tea is a great home remedy for hangover. It helps to soothe the stomach and reduces the feeling of nausea.
- Another herbal remedy includes the use of Dandelion which can cool and calm the liver. It can be taken as a tincture, capsule or tea. Periwinkle increases blood flow to the brain (use as a tincture).
- The body looses potassium salt while drinking and so, having a nice, hot bowl of chicken soup will be an excellent option. It will replenish the lost salt and potassium and be a source of comfort, while trying to fight the effects of a hangover.
Having a hangover can be quite unpleasant and irritating. The above mentioned home remedies can easily be employed to effectively combat the aftereffects of a night of heavy drinking.