Archive for September, 2009

17
Sep
09

Nursing a Hangover?

“I will never do that again”

Even so, here is some good information on the dreaded T.B.  (Terrible Babbalaas)

Apart from the obvious toxic effects of alcohol, you should realise you’re suffering the effects of a mild overdose of a depressant drug and your nerves are reacting accordingly.  You have also flushed a significant quantity of vitamins and nutrients from your system causing a degree of metabolic shock that your body is struggling to compensate for.

A hangover is caused by:

1             The  toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism notably acetaldehyde.

2             Dehydration.

3             Vitamin depletion caused by the chemical action of alcohol on your system.  The vitamins that are the quickest to deplete the water soluble vitamins B (particularly B6) and C.

4             Electrolyte depletion. Alcohol inhibits antiduretic hormone which allows your kidneys to excrete too much fluids.  This flushes away electrolytes too.

Congeners

Some drinks give you worse hangovers than others due to the actions of impurities called congeners. While it’s the ethyl alcohol (ethanol) that gets you drunk, amyl alcohol, butyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol is also found in most drinks to varying degrees, and the concentration of these congeners influences the severity of the hangover.

Red wine and dark liquors such as brandy, whiskey and tequila contain the largest amounts of these toxins. White wine and clear liquors have less congeners, causing less frequent and less severe hangovers.

Painkillers

While painkillers will provide immediate relief, they can cause problems for the kidneys and liver with long-term use.  Aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil, Ibuprin, Motrin IB, Nuprin) are hard on your stomach, while acetaminophen (Excedrin, Panadol, Tylenol) is hard on your kidneys and liver, too, which will already be working overtime processing the alcohol.

Helpful natural remedies

Vitamin C

One of Nature’s most powerful detoxifyers. Acetaldehyde is formed during the breakdown process of alcohol and is further metabolised in the liver. Acetaldehyde is the nasty substance that causes organ and brain damage, so the quicker it is out of your system the better. Vitamin C hastens this breakdown significantly.

Take 2-10 gm per day in divided doses. Start at 1,000 mg an hour and built up to bowel tolerance. An excess of vitamin C can cause diarrhoea and since you probably have stomach distress already too much C may cause a problem.

B-vitamins Take the vitamins before you go to bed and let them work their magic while you sleep. If you forget, take them immediately upon arising. You will need to take a high-potency B-complex supplement for this remedy to work (50-75 mg of B-complex twice a day, hopefully once before bed after indulging). Reduce the amount of sugar you consume with your alcohol. The forced metabolism of sugar AND alcohol by your body will accelerate the depletion of B vitamins and make the hangover worse.

The most important B vitamins for your hangover are:

Vitamin B1: supports the natural metabolism of alcohol.

Vitamin B2: studies have shown that riboflavin reduces headaches and inflammation of the brain.

Vitamin B3: converts carbohydrates into glucose to produce energy, as do all the B vitamins, and rids the body of toxic and harmful chemicals.

Vitamin B6: maintains blood glucose within a normal range after being depleted by alcohol consumption.

Magnesium helps relax those pounding blood vessels causing that hangover headache

Banana Milkshake

One of the quickest ways to cure a hangover is to make a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. The banana helps calm the stomach, and with the honey, builds up the depleted blood sugar levels. The milk soothes the stomach and rehydrates your system. Bananas are also rich in the important electrolytes, magnesium and potassium, which are severely depleted during heavy drinking. Bananas are also a natural antacid to help with the nausea. Add some honey.
Eggs contain large amounts of cysteine, the substance that breaks down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver. Mix a raw one into your banana milkshake if you are brave enough.

.Peppermint The herb peppermint, either in tea form or chewing the leaves, will relax the intestines. Peppermint is a carminative, which is a substance that removes accumulated gas from the stomach and intestines. Make a tea by pouring one cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of the dried herb; cover; steep for fifteen minutes; strain. Drink 1-2 cups as soon as you can.

Scalp stimulation Pull your hair in clumps so that your full scalp is stimulated. This  brings blood to the scalp and relieves the headache.  Have and Indian head massage.

 

 

 

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