The Honey Hangover Remedy

How to use raw honey, superfoods and antioxidants to stop the headache, minimize cellular damage and restore energy after alcohol intake 

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!

Common Hangover Remedies

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.

Why Do We Get Hangovers?

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.

Things to Do Before Drinking

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:

  1. Consume NAC (N'acetyl-cysteine) BEFORE drinking.  200 mg's is usually enough.  NAC is a potent anti-oxidant and boosts your livers ability to detoxify.   
  2.  Consume anti-oxidants.   I use an anti-oxidant formula but a good, high potency multi-vitamin will also work.   Make sure it is high in B vitamins and minerals/electrolytes.
  3. Hydrate.   Drink several cups of water.

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.

What to do Once You Start Drinking

  1. Take 500 mg of Vitamin C with each drink you have.   This prevents the conversion of alcohol into aldehyde, the most hangover-causing metabolite.   This tip works very, very well, especially when combined with NAC.  I recommend this Vitamin C.
  2. Drink one glass of water in between each drink.   This can be hard for some to remember to do, especially once you're several drinks in.  The key is to try to stay as hydrated as possible while you're consuming alcohol.   I recommend setting your phone on a countdown timer so that you have a loud reminder to consume water no matter how many drinks you've had.

Before You Go To Bed: Important

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.  

For a Hangover, Try Electrolytes

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.


  1. Immediately upon wake up, consume 2 - 4 tablespoons of raw honey
  2. Begin rehydrating with an electrolyte drink, 1 serving every half hour

Why Does Honey Work for Hangovers?

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.  

Scientific Proof?

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.

Explore More Benefits of Raw Honey:

  • Honey and Allergies

    How to use local honey for allergies by Angela, RNCP and daughter of a beekeeper!

  • Benefits of Raw Honey

    Learn all of the benefits of raw honey from Angela, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and raw honey expert.

  • Raw Honey for Diabetes?

    Using raw honey for diabetes improves the effectiveness of medications according to this study!

†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.

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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. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using this product.

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