It's that time of the year folks, and no you can't avoid it! Christmas parties are upon us and with them come the dreaded 'morning after migraines'. You wake up with that familiar gift that keeps on giving. Your very own special blend of hangover symptoms. Let’s be real, we’ve all be there at one point or another – dehydrated, tired and can’t even think or move. Then come the little perks one after the other, like stomach ache, acid reflux and nausea. The room starts spinning and back to bed you go.
But think about this – what if you could change it all? We can sympathise with one another over coffee in the office break room during the holiday party fest, or... you can beat them! Whatever your go-to hangover remedy, traditional Chinese methods are pretty powerful, friends. And do you know why? Through herbs and teas, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) has been helping people get back into balance for thousands of years.
In Chinese medical physiology, alcohol is considered hot. Think the red faces, sweating, and easily angered nature of some drinkers. Or how a shot of whiskey can temporarily keep the cold at bay on a late, fall camping trip. The extreme heat of alcohol first aggravates the liver. All that heat has to go somewhere, so it burns up the fluids in the body, leading to dehydration. Then it starts causing problems for the stomach like vomiting, before moving up, as heat tends to do, and forms a headache. Luckily, there are many natural, effective tools you can use from herbal remedies, to food, to beverages.
Want to know how to get rid of a hangover in an hour? Read on!
How to get rid of a hangover fast
1. Kang Ning Wan or Curing Pills
Frankly, this formula is good for pretty much any GI issue that might ail you. Whether it's acid reflux, nausea, vomiting or motion sickness, Curing Pills are a great natural reliever. For a serious hangover, take a dose before bed (if you can remember!) and another first thing in the morning. You can also keep these pills around for those occasions when you eat too much at holiday meals! They can come in handy when you travel to a place with questionable water supply or even when you think you’re coming down with a cold or flu.
This amazing root relaxes the digestive tract, thanks to the effects of active substances called gingerols and shogaols. Being so versatile, ginger is a very safe go-to in reducing nausea symptoms. To help with your hangover, add slices of fresh ginger to your tea, boil slices into its own tea, or use dried ginger tea bags.
3. Long Dan Xie Gan Tang
Long Dan Xie Gan Tang clears toxic heat and fire from the liver. If you're suffering from a bitter taste in the mouth, irritability, are easy to anger, have a headache, are dizzy and have red, sore eyes, this is the one for you. This is a good, herbal formula to keep on hand and take after a night of drinking, but don’t take it for more than a day or two as it’s not for everyday use.
4. Chrysanthemum flower tea
These flowers, also known as ju hua, are frequently used in Chinese medicine to cool down the liver. Chrysanthemum flowers are among the easiest to find in tea bags at health food stores or online – win!
This root, called ge gen, is thought to generate fluids. For this reason, kudzu and its flowers have been used to treat hangovers (and the associated dehydration) since at least 600AD! If you don’t have access to a Chinese herbal apothecary to buy some flowers, you can pick up a package of powdered kudzu root at your local health food store. It’s usually found alongside the seaweeds. Keep this on hand to mix into warm water the morning after your next holiday party.
Ah, the banana. A famous go-to hangover remedy, as it should be! A banana should be kept on hand to replenish the potassium that is lost through urination when over-drinking.
Watermelon will help your body detoxify alcohol faster. It's also hydrating and anti-inflammatory, and full of antioxidants, all of which will contribute to a quicker hangover recovery.
Remember, always check with your medical provider before taking new supplements and make sure to buy from reputable sources.
So head on down to your local health food store, pharmacy or grocery store and stock up before you knock out.
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Read next: The Reasons You Need Ginger & Didn't Know It