by Rebecca Word, ND

As we navigate through the winter holidays, one of the downsides of making merry is the dreaded hangover (not that I’d know about this!).

Hangovers are the symptoms experienced when the amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream has exceeded the liver’s ability to metabolize it. A combination of excess acetaldehyde (the metabolic byproduct of alcohol), dehydration, and vitamin depletion (needed for alcohol metabolism) adds up to one un-festive morning after. The following tips are purely to help manage the fallout of excess revelry as the cure would of course be to abstain or exercise moderation (but, come on, it is that time of year and I’m a realist).

• Vitamin depletion: A lot of cofactors are needed to dispose of all that booze. The main ones are vitamins A, all the Bs (especially B6), C, potassium and magnesium. Add to the problem that Christmas party foods may be sadly lacking in the above, and with the eggnog flowing this could be a double whammy. Try taking a high-potency B vitamin the night of the party with dinner and again the morning after with food (The night before is most important). Take 500 mg vitamin C at those same times as well. One trick is to try eating a banana the morning after as it is high in potassium and magnesium. Bananas are also natural antacids and may help to settle that yucky tummy. Eating a real meal, preferably
a nutritious one rich in the above vitamins, before imbibing is just good common sense.

• Hydrate: A major reason for that hangover, especially the headache, is simple dehydration. Make sure to have a glass of water with each serving of alcohol. This may be the most simple and effective “cure.”

• Soak that bathtub gin away: Try taking a nice long soak in an Epsom salts bath when feeling green in the gills. It can help pull out toxins while the body absorbs magnesium from the salts. Don’t forget to drink some ginger tea for the nausea and for hydration while in the tub. Rinse off after the soak.

• Chelidonium plex: This is a combination homeopathic that we use regularly to assist in liver and lymphatic cleansing. It can speed the process that you’ve gotten yourself into. Try this: 15 drops prior to the party, 15 drops after the party, 15 drops the morning after. This should be taken about 30 minutes away from food ideally.

• Nux vomica: A homeopathic remedy considered a classic for the after-effects of excess revelry. This is especially indicated if nausea and vomiting are prevalent, you’ve got a banging headache that is worse from light, noise, and thinking, and if you’re particularly irritable and impatient. (Easy to see why it’s the go-to remedy for a hangover.) Nux vomica 30 CH taken every half hour and up to 4 doses may really help.

All the best in staying balanced and well this holiday season!