Hangover

Hangovers occur in the morning following a night of heavy drinking. A persistent headache and fatigue characterizes hangovers in general and the dreaded condition is directly attributable to an accumulation of toxins within the body, detoxification organs like the liver and the kidneys take time to eliminate these compounds from the system-while they linger in the body, these toxins cause the various symptoms. Physical symptoms felt during a hangover are numerous and varied from one person to another-in general they include persistent headaches and mental fogginess, dehydration is also always present and thirst is extreme enough to awaken the person, in addition there is also weakness and trembling in the body, the person also suffers from irritability, the person will also feel extremely miserable. Taking aspirin in any form available is suggested as there is immense queasiness in the stomach along with a nauseous sensation, this occurs because the leftover alcohol irritates the lining in the stomach lining-the person will also have a very sour breath. The body must be supported and given enough time to heal as some time will need to pass before the body succeeds in eliminating all the accumulated toxins from the system.

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Physiologically the incidence of a hangover can be defined as a kind of withdrawal symptom from drug use, it arises as a direct result of sinking blood-alcohol levels, and this directly affects the brain after high levels of alcohol accumulate in the body. One result of this is that, drinking alcohol during a hangover will temporarily bring relief from the symptoms and even delay the incidence of the hangover and-this is not a good idea as in the end, it worsens the situation and the hangover affects the person anyway. Taking a light meal and plenty of fluids is a good preventive measure as symptoms are generated due to extreme dehydration and low blood sugar levels in the person, prevention or correction of the hangover will therefore depend on the amount of fluids that the person consumes and the food that he or she ingests.

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A number of other factors can severely aggravate the symptoms during an incidence of a hangover even though the direct cause of a hangover is usually an overuse of alcohol. For example, drinking a mixture of different types of alcoholic drinks is one well known cause of a hangover. As the presence of food in the stomach bring about a slow absorption of alcohol into the bloodstream, it is advisable to eat something when drinking-drinking on an empty stomach is known to cause extreme hangovers. Hangovers are intensified if the person was smoking while drinking, cigarette smoke adds many additional toxins and furthers the processes of dehydration already developing in the person. People who do not take adequate rest and relaxation or not sleep enough after drinking also raise their vulnerability to developing a hangover. All individuals who suffer from repeated hangovers following a continuous drinking spree must be made aware of the fact, that there are many serious and long-term consequences of alcohol abuse. Some of these serious illnesses to the body which can result from alcohol abuse include cirrhosis of the liver, disorders like pancreatitis and pathological personality changes along with emotional dependency on alcohol-leading to alcoholism. There are various ways to defeat a persistent desire for alcohol.

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Supplements and herbs

The toxic effects of accumulated alcohol within the body as well as alcohol withdrawal symptoms bring about the symptoms so typical of a hangover. Supplements can be used both in the remedial and preventive roles to combat hangovers, if a person intends to continue taking part in alcoholic binges then he or she should use these supplements as on a regular basis to preclude the occurrence of hangovers and to alleviate them if they occur. The effects of alcoholic toxicity in the body can be alleviated by supplements of the vitamin C if they are taken on a regular basis-this supplementation will reduce the intensity of the symptoms felt by the person. The nervousness, shaking and tension can be alleviated by supplements of depleted magnesium; this mineral will reduce the intensity of these symptoms if they are present during a hangover.

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Supplementation with the B vitamins will help reduce the alcoholic cravings felt by a person, these complex of vitamins can also induce calmness while strengthening the nervous system of the individual, furthermore these vitamins will help reduce the toxic effects of alcohol that causes the hangover. Use supplemental mixtures of the gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) in some evening primrose oil to help in the mornings during a hangover especially if the inebriating effects of alcohol persist.

Hangovers that are accompanied by upset stomachs and headaches can be effectively dealt with using the following herbs and herbal remedies.

Nausea during a hangover can be alleviated through drinks made using ginger-this herb will also soothe the stomach and prevent retching. The ginger drink used must be thoroughly stirred, to remove the carbonation from natural ginger ale-drink the ale slowly after it has been stirred. Another great remedy during a hangover is the oil of the Japanese mint, a drop of this oil on the tongue can help relieve the worst symptoms of a hangover. Once the oil droplet has been placed in the tongue, breathe in deeply through the mouth and exhale through the nose for relief. This treatment can be repeated several times during the course of a single morning. An upset stomach can be helped by drinking the herbal tea made from leaves of herbs like the gentian, the peppermint or the centaury; these teas will ease the stomach greatly. To bring relief to a painful stomach and to soothe stomach upsets use a combination of the peppermint and a fennel emulsions which has been diluted in half a cup of water, drink this herbal mixture slowly in the morning. Use only fennel emulsions if you also suffer from ulcers in the stomach. Relieve migraines by drinking equal amounts of agrimony and wormwood and centaury herbs. This herbal mixture tea can be prepared by boiling the herbs in water, using about 2 tbsp. of this mix, let the herbal mixture steep in the hot water for about five minutes, carefully strain the mixture and then drink the liquid herbal tea in small quantities without sweetening it.

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Additional things you may do

If you wake up with a hangover, immediately drink a lot of water to oxygenate the blood, sleep immediately again after this is done to avoid other symptoms and to give the body a chance to rejuvenate itself. Fresh air is extremely good during a hangover and make sure you go for a brisk walk out of doors-this relieves the worst effects of a hangover. Use both cold and hot water showers as remedy, alternating showers lasting about five minutes each with hot water and a few seconds with cold water is a great topical relief measure from hangovers.

Usual dosage

  • Evening primrose oil, 4x 500 mg capsules in the morning.
  • Magnesium, 250 mg, hourly for 3 doses.
  • Vitamin B complex, 100 mg in the morning.
  • Vitamin C, with bioflavonoids, 1,000 mg to 5,000 mg.

Other beneficial herbs

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Comments

From Mary
This is an excellent article. Thank you for not over-emphasizing dehydration like so many people are fond of doing. And yes, going for a walk helps immensely. I can deal with a headache or tiredness, but the nausea and emotional bashes kill me. It is amazing how much getting outside and getting fresh air can lift you up.
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