Most everyone has suffered the debilitating effects of a hangover at some point in their lives. Reports show that three of four drinkers have at least one hangover a year!
Extreme guilt from unusual behavior during a night of heavy drinking and physical symptoms caused by alcohol toxicity are only part of the problem. Hangovers take an economic toll, too. Poor job performance and work absenteeism caused by hangovers cost the economy $148 billion every year!
A hangover should be gone by five o’clock the next day. If it isn’t, you probably have alcohol poisoning… a severe type of hangover with dehydration thrown in.
Do you have a toxic hangover?
Your body can’t work adequately unless you give yourself a break. There are effective natural means of reducing alcohol’s damage to your body and brain, but the real idea is to reduce alcohol consumption way below the toxicity level.
Do you have a toxic hangover? It’s more than just mental dullness, sensitivity to light, a headache or a bad taste in your mouth.
A toxic hangover means muscle cramps, all over body shakiness and weakness, and usually vomiting.
Initial withdrawal symptoms include…
- high anxiety,
- rapid pulse with tremors,
- hot flashes and drenching perspiration,
- and sometimes hallucinations.
Overcome alcohol toxicity or a hangover with herbs
Herbal Analgesics and Anti-inflammatories:
White willow: a natural source of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, but is much safer without the gastric side effects. Eases headaches and muscle aches caused by hangover.
Wintergreen: a source of salicylic acid for natural pain relief. Volatile oils in wintergreen ease headaches by clearing sinus passages.
Jamaican dogwood: induces sound sleep and relaxes the muscles. One of the strongest non-narcotic pain relievers.
Wood betony: Relieves headaches related to withdrawal. Reduces cravings and irritability.
Meadowsweet: a natural source of salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, but is much safer without the gastric side effects.
Kudzu: decreases cravings for alcohol. Evidence suggests kudzu inhibits the breakdown of an enzyme that breaks down alcohol. (This allows the compulsive drinker to feel satisfied longer.) A May 2005 study published in alcoholism reveals taking a daily extract of kudzu reduces the amount of alcohol a person drinks by 50%.
Scullcap: supports nervous system health while decreasing drug and alcohol cravings.
Wood betony: Relieves headaches related to withdrawal. Reduces alcohol cravings, agitation and irritability.
Valerian: strong nervine that promotes restful, pain-free sleep. Helpful in the withdrawal process.
Evening primrose oil: slows down brain cell damage caused by alcohol abuse. A excellent source of GLA (gamma linoleic acid), found helpful for controlling alcoholism.
Oatstraw: a high source of calcium and magnesium to calm frazzled nerves. A specific for soothing withdrawal from nicotine.
Schizandra: an energy tonic widely used in TCM to counteract mental disorders related to alcoholism.
Siberian eleuthero: helps the body adjust to the stress of withdrawal. Energizes without overstimulating and improves productivity.
American ginseng: similar in activity to eleuthero, but more cooling in nature. Increases body fluids.
Astragalus: enhances energy by restoring healthy digestion and immune defenses.
Ginkgo biloba: one of the only herbs known to cross the blood brain barrier, allowing for better circulation to the brain. The seeds of ginkgo contain an enzyme that accelerate the metabolism of alcohol.
Antioxidants to Fight Free Radical Damage:
Acerola cherry: contains highly bioavailable vitamin C to fight free radical damage related to overconsumption of alcohol. Helps eliminate toxins.
Amla: contains highly bioavailable vitamin C to fight free radical damage related to overconsumption of alcohol. Helps eliminate toxins.
White pine: potent antioxidant and antibacterial activity.
Turmeric: powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. Natural COX-2 inhibitor for pain relief.
Ginger: Animal tests reveal ginger increases antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidase
Blessed thistle: a bitters herb that support liver health for faster recovery. A digestive aid that can improve poor appetite. Mild blood purifying activity.
Milk thistle: powerful liver protector with documented benefits for alcohol-related liver damage (cirrhosis), fatty liver, hepatitis and mushroom poisoning. Can be used for a few months daily as liver tonic.
Goldenseal: best known as an herbal antibiotic, goldenseal can also help reverse liver damage and toxicity. Avoid large amounts for long periods of time.
Barberry: similar activity as goldenseal, but milder.
Lemon: stimulates bile flow and gastric juices and is a gentle tonic for the liver and pancreas.
Whole Herb Formulas:
Two effective, whole herb formulas to help overcome alcohol cravings and relieve withdrawal symptoms:
Addiction Withdrawal caps: helps suppress cravings, overcome nervous tension, fatigue and low energy. Also helps to soothe withdrawal head and backaches.
Relax caps: Calms nerves, soothes tension. Gentle and effective. Non-narcotic.
Sarah Abernathy has been a researcher, writer and herbal consultant in the field of natural health for over 12 years.
She is the managing editor of Healthy Healing Publications, and contributes regular articles to newsletters, magazines, and books. Sarah is a graduate of the East West School of Herbology.
Latest posts by Sarah Abernathy (see all)
- Preventing osteoporosis by protecting your bones - October 14, 2009
- Top 4 tips for drug-free depression relief - October 7, 2009
- Herbs to overcome anxiety disorders and panic attacks naturally - September 14, 2009