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Hangover

What is it?

A hangover, medically known as veisalgia, is in other words headache, exhaustion, dizziness and nausea you “enjoy” the morning after you have enjoyed heavy drinking.
Drinking some red wine with your dinner is suppose to be good for the heart but it is fairly easy to overdo it when it comes to alcohol.
It is generally related with the after-effects of large consumption of alcohol.

Tolerance to Alcohol

The popular advice is to moderate your alcohol intake, but unfortunately some people are more susceptive than others and even an occasional one drink can be too much.
Tolerance to alcohol varies widely between one person to another, between types of drinks and type of occasion. Statistically, the average person will experience hang over after four to five alcoholic drinks. In most cases weight is related to tolerance and heavier person will have higher tolerance to alcohol.

Effects of hangover

The most common effects of a hangover are dizziness, dehydration, irritability, fatigue, headaches, sensitivity to light, lack of concentration and sensitivity to sound. In the extremes, a hangover can cause diarrhea, vomiting, flatulence and nausea.

Metabolism of Alcohol

There are special enzymes that metabolize alcohol in the human body. Bodies of regular drinkers produce more enzymes that make them more tolerant to the effects of alcohol.
This is not a justification to drink more, but an explanation why some people are more susceptive.
The alcohol you drink is metabolizing in your liver. It is effectively decreases the livers functionality and its capacity to produce glutathione which acts as a detoxifier in the body. This effect generates more toxic by-products that circulate through the body. The kidneys will filter these waste products out of the blood, but at the same time they must remove water. That will cause dehydration where hangover is one of the major symptoms.

The body also uses nutrients and many vitamins to break down alcohol, especially the B vitamins.
Consuming lots of sugar or foods with high sugar content can worsen the hangover as well as mixing different types of alcoholic drinks. Due to these actions the liver works harder. As a thumb rule, light-colored alcoholic beverages, such as white wine or vodka, are less likely to produce a hangover than, red wine or whisky.

Counter measures

It is recommended to drink lots of water and eat a good balanced meal before you go out on a night of alcoholic indulgence. Try also to eat starchy foods to slow down the alcohol absorption.
There is no proven remedy to cure a hangover, the only thing that will get rid of the hangover is time.

After a night out and before you go to sleep:

  • Take vitamin-B-complex supplement that supplies at least 50 milligrams of niacin and drink two glasses of water.
  • Take a liquid bitters preparation (use products containing dandelion, gentian, mugwort or Angostura bitters) in water with a little honey

These steps may reduce the hangover pain you may feel the next day.

Painkillers are not the answer!

If you think to yourself that taking a painkiller with the last drink for the night will kill the hangover , you are very wrong! It may cause damage to your body before killing the pain.
To find out more Read our section about Safety with Medicines.
Paracetamol and ibuprofen mixed with alcohol will overload your liver and may even damage it!

HERBAL REMEDIES

Fenugreek Seeds

The use of fenugreek seeds is one of the most used remedies in the treatment of dandruff.
Soak in water two tablespoons of these seeds overnight and in the morning ground it into a fine paste. This paste should be applied all over the scalp and left for half an hour. The hair should then be washed thoroughly with soap-nut (ritha) solution or acacia concinna solution

Honey for your head

Fructose is a form of sugar that may increase the metabolism of alcohol and decrease the effects of a hangover. Honey contains up to 40 per cent fructose.
You can add it to your tea or toast.
High amounts of fructose can also be found in Most fruits but not with so high concentration as with honey.

Dandelion

This herb's root is bitter but it relieves constipation and stomach aches related to hangovers. It has a beneficial effect on alcohol metabolism by stimulating the liver.
The Dandelion helps in repairing some of the damage done by the “festivities” by supplying the body with antioxidants.
The tea: Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried root in one cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes.

Typical dosage:
Option 1: 2 cups of tea per day, morning and evening
Option 1: 30 to 60 drops of tincture three times per day for the day or two that symptoms persist.

Ginkgo

In Japan, the seeds of this tree are served at parties where alcohol is served to prevent drunkenness and hangovers.

Typical dosage: three capsules per day of 40 milligrm extract.

Red or chilli Peppers

Capsaicin is a pain killer compound and it is contained in hot peppers.
Mix glass of tomato juice with ground peppers or powdered cayenne when you wake up the next morning after over drinking.
DO NOT mix alcohol with this “Bloody Mary” drink! You can’t fight hangover with more alcohol!

Typical dosage:
a dash of the hot spice in the food.