by Angela Van Alten, Nutritionist and Beekeeper's Daughter
Hangovers are one of the worst acute illnesses in the world. As a result, they have caused humans all over the globe to think up some seriously wacky remedies. Thanks to recent scientific studies, I'm going to introduce you to another one: raw honey. I'll explain why honey really works for hangovers, how to use it, as well as some other tried and true hangover remedies including vitamins, antioxidants and superfoods. Not only can you minimize the damage that alcohol causes but you can protect your delicate cells, detoxify the toxins and regain your energy and vitality fast!
Using honey for your hangover might sound odd, but there is a scientific reason for doing it, unlike some of these common remedies. Here are a few weird practices desperately used by the masses (maybe even you) to try to alleviate the pain of a hangover:
· Lots of black coffee;
· A cold or hot shower;
· Greasy food in large quantities;
· Yet more alcohol in the morning;
· Different types of sodas and/or sugary drinks in the morning;
· Aspirin in large quantities;
· Sleeping the hangover off;
· Trying to take multivitamins before or after drinking for symptoms.
As alcohol begins to break down in our systems after a few hours of heavy drinking, it actually creates toxins through oxidation. Mainly, these toxins build up in your liver. There, you will find high levels of acetaldehyde. This chemical is very dangerous, so much so that your body reacts violently (in some cases) to try to rid itself of it by way of vomiting, shaking and sweating.
Contrary to popular belief, there are some things you can do before drinking in order to minimize the toxic load that causes hangovers. Can you prevent a hangover? In my experience, yes, if you do a multitude of things:
You will also want to start drinking on a stomach with a bit of food in it. Drinking on an empty stomach can cause a faster, more intense state of intoxification. Having food in your stomach can help you to better manage the amount of alcohol you drink.
Before you go to sleep at night, make yourself a hot cup of water with a few tablespoons of raw honey in it.
The other thing to do, and this is very key to minimize the hangover in the morning - take 2 or 3 capsules of Activated Charcoal. What is Activated Charcoal? This is the stuff they use in hospitals to absorb toxins if you swallow a few too many Tylenol. It absorbs toxins like nothing else and literally absorbs toxins in the gut so that they aren't absorbed into the body. Since most alcohol products are full of impurities and toxins that contribute to the hangover, this is a must do before bed.
Where do you get activated charcoal? It is sold in supplement form at most good health food stores and is quite cheap.
If you haven't followed my prevention plan above and wake up with a hangover, there are still some things you can do to help minimize the pain and suffering. This is where honey comes into use.
When you wake up, you will want to take 4 tablespoons of raw honey to start out. This is a lot of honey but you need the fructose to help metabolize the alcohol. I also recommend consuming 1 serving every half hour of a powdered electrolyte drink. This product will hydrate you while replacing lost electrolytes along with ginger, which is wonderful for nausea and calming an irritated stomach. I can personally attest to how well this product works for rehydrating rapidly.
Raw honey contains enough antioxidants to neutralize these toxins in your system. These toxins are converted into another natural substance that the body can easily get rid of. Plus, honey contains high amounts of fructose. Fructose can actually help to speed up the rate at which your body can process (and get rid of) alcohol. Research shows that fructose (found in honey) can significantly speed up the metabolism of honey.
Plenty of scientific studies have been done on the honey hangover cure. One of the most recent (and most convincing studies) was conducted by the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK. That study led Dr. John Emsley (a headache expert who conducted the study) to pronounce 'honey on toast' as a potential hangover remedy.
For years, scientists and medical professionals have officially taken a stand to say that there is no cure for hangovers. And although honey is not a cure, it is most certainly an effective treatment, one that studies show us is more effective than other methods.
If you follow the full protocol I've outlined including consuming the recommended nutrients before drinking, you will awake the next morning wondering if you actually had a drink the night before or not.
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.