Most of us have woken up at some time or another with that feeling of regret after a night celebrating. You feel dizzy, have a raging headache and your mouth feels like the bottom of a bird cage. You also feel nauseous and often want to be sick. Every noise feels like it is piercing your skull and you just wish some one could turn that sun shine off. You look in the mirror and your face is puffy, and your stomach is distended. Even worse your hands are shaking and trembling uncontrollably as you try to pour that strong coffee or reach for the headache tablets. How many of you know that you actually have things growing in your garden that can help with that hangover, or even partly prevent it?
HERBS AND SPICES
The main thing that you need to do when you have a hang over is start to hydrate yourself. Water is great, but you could also make a tea out of herbs and spices from the garden that will start to work on some of your symptoms. Alcohol can irritate the lining of the stomach and peppermint or lemon balm teas are great for easing that nausea, and improve concentration if you need to work. Ginger also stops you feeling sick and helps soothe that feeling that you have in the pit of your stomach. It also stimulates the metabolism which helps with flushing out the toxins. A tea made with thyme or rosemary will help reduce the feeling of tiredness as the they are natural stimulants. Too much alcohol can impact on your sleep, and even sprigs of rosemary placed in a bath and inhaled will help you feel more awake.
Eating a hand full of parsley helps clear the harmful toxins. It is also full of the minerals that you need to replace after consuming alcohol. Drinking alcohol increases urination and dehydration which stresses the liver. Turmeric helps regenerate cells in the liver and can be drunk as a tea or eaten in food. Chamomile is well known for having soothing properties, but also helps with headaches and indigestion.
After a night out drinking may I suggest that you eat some cucumber before you go to bed. It contains natural electrolytes and nutrients, and so it replaces the ones that you have lost whilst you sleep. You are less likely to wake up with a hangover the next morning. Electrolytes balance your nervous system and the water in your body and so are important for helping you rehydrate and to stop the shakes. Pickled cucumbers (or any pickles or sauerkraut) are even better as they contain potassium and sodium.
A common Russian hangover cure is peeled tomatoes with salt sprinkled on. Tomatoes are full of compounds that help fight the effects of alcohol, and protect the liver. The sodium in the salt will replace some of the electrolytes too. If you have had a really heavy drinking session a hand full of spinach is really useful. A lot of alcohol can prevent you from absorbing folic acid. Spinach is full of folic acid and vitamin C which helps with the symptoms of too much alcohol. Even better, eat a lot of spinach before you go out drinking. Any leafy greens, peas, or broccoli will help replace electrolytes and reduce the symptoms of a hangover.
Fennel helps restore the liver, and helps with releasing the toxins, but also reduces nausea when drunk as a tea. Asparagus contains enzymes that protect the liver from being damaged and break down the alcohol in your blood. A hand full of blue berries can reduce inflammation, and are a great antioxidant. Sweet potato is also an anti-inflammatory and contains potassium, magnesium and B vitamins which all help reduce a hangover. Alcohol also plays havoc with your blood sugar levels and sweet potatoes help balance this. People often crave carbs when they have been drinking. Potatoes are great for soaking up the alcohol in your digestive system, and slowing down it’s absorption into the blood stream. They also contain electrolytes and potassium which will replace those lost whilst drinking.
So, the next time you have a heavy night out, maybe look to your garden and spice cupboard for the cures to your pain, and sip a herbal tea. A meal full of leafy vegetables before you go out may also help. Your vegetable and herb garden are full of everything you need to help you feel like yourself again, and reduce the symptoms of excess alcohol.
(I first wrote this article a year ago for a company called Pure Seeds. The owner gave me permission to use the material on my own platform).