Had too much to drink last night? You might wake up with the dreaded hangover. Hangovers can cause havoc on the body, leading to diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, body aches, or a headache. While these conditions are mostly harmless and go away in 24 hours, a hangover can ruin the flow of your day and make your body feel “out of sorts.” There is also no shortage of remedies to cure your hangover.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), overconsumption of alcohol causes an excess of heat in the body and damage to certain organs, resulting in symptoms such as headaches and nausea. To prevent or relieve a hangover, TCM remedies reduce and clear excessive heat in the body.
Below, we share some common hangover symptoms to be aware of and simple hangover remedies.
Common Hangover Symptoms
Hangover symptoms can be varied depending on a person’s body weight and composition and how many drinks they consumed. In general, these are some symptoms to be aware of:
- feeling of dizziness
- sensitivity to light and sound
- disturbed mood
- feelings of being thirsty
- muscle or body aches
- stomach pain
- increased blood pressure or rapid heartbeat
Natural Hangover Cure Ideas, According to TCM
While there are many many to get rid of a hangover. The first thing is to start with is to drink water. The consumption of alcohol suppresses the release of vasopressin. According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, this hormone sends signals to the kidneys to help them to retain fluid. The hangover will likely cause thirst, fatigue, and a headache so it is important to replenish your body as soon as you can. TCM also offers many ways to find relief to help you feel like yourself in no time.
1. Mung beans and licorice root
Mung bean (green beans) and licorice root (gancao, 甘草) can help remove heat and toxins from the body. In addition, mung beans also encourage diuresis or increased urine discharge.
Preparation: Cook mung bean with licorice root. Add some brown sugar to taste.
2. Vinegar drink
This drink can help neutralize any alcohol in the body. Additionally, it aids in helping you to sober up quickly.
Preparation: Mix cooking vinegar with white sugar. Add water to taste.
3. Fruit remedies
Try any of these remedies to help detoxify your body.
- Grind dried orange skin, add a pinch of salt and mix with water. Consume when ready.
- Add unprocessed or fresh olive, dark plum and sugar (to taste) into water and boil together. Consume when ready.
- Add some honey and lemon juice (to taste) into hot green tea and consume accordingly.
Note: The following fruits and vegetables also have detoxifying functions: celery, lotus, white radish, sugarcane, watermelon, and pear. One can also turn one or two of the above into juice to consume after drinking alcohol.
4. Chicken essense
Chicken essence or chicken soup is a great way to restore your body, not only when you are hungover. It can work to tonify your qi, replenish your body, strengthen your immunity and help with fatigue. A comforting bowl of chicken essence is also nice on the body after an indulgent night of drinking.
Another comforting way to restore your body is to enjoy a cup of ginseng tea. A nourishing cup of tea can also help to calm and soothe the mind and body. It can also soothe the stomach, especially if you are dealing with nausea. Sip a few cups during the day
One of the best things you can do for your body when you have a hangover is to slow down and rest. While alcohol can make you sleepy, this sleep is often fragmented where you wake up exhausted. Some people even feel as if they are still hungover when they wake up because they had such a bad night’s rest. If you are able to, take a nap during the day and go to bed early.
Other Hangover Cures
In addition to these natural methods, some people find relief in drinking sports drinks to restore electrolytes. Over-the-counter pain relievers and antacid tablets are also the remedies many people use to find relief from a hangover. However, these relievers can also irritate the stomach and the liver. Consult with your doctor before you take any medication.
The best medicine for a hangover is time. If you don’t drink every day, your body will restore itself and you will feel like “new” in no time. The best remedy for a hangover is not to drink at all or drink sparingly. With any treatment option, it is important to note that everyone has different conditions and body constitutions that require individualized plans. Thus, it is advisable that one always receive a personal course of treatment to use TCM herbals or over-the-counter medications.
This article was adapted from, “Chase Away Hangover Cure Blues with TCM” on Eu Yan Sang.
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