Over the years I’ve amassed so many useful tools for dealing naturally with unnatural states of mind and body—even, god forbid, hangovers.
The most obvious way to avoid a hangover is don’t drink. If you do drink then choose only the best—be it wine, whiskey, or whatever, and never overdo it. The best always has fewer unpleasant chemicals—known as congeners— to upset the system. King of all the alcohols when it comes to purity and low levels of congeners is tequila. However, if you make yourself a margarita, make it from real tequila. So much of the stuff they sell as tequila is filled with a lot of insidious junk you don’t want to put into your body.
Agave, which is called cactus, is actually a succulent that belongs to the lily family. The finest blue agave comes from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico. It must be harvested at the peak of its sweetness. My brother, whom I adoringly call Toto, is a connoisseur of Tequilas. He insists—I have checked out his recommendations and come to trust them implicitly—that the finest tequila is made by Patron. Anejo Patron is his favorite. Silver Patron is mine.
My son Aaron has developed a fabulous recipe for Margaritas. It’s very simple: To a handful of ice in our Vita Mix he adds four jiggers of freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 4 jiggers of Silver Patron, 2 jiggers of Cointreau or Grand Marnier, a couple of jiggers of water and the crème de la crème, a dropper or two of the most delicious stevia in the world: English Toffee Sweet Leaf Liquid stevia from iherb,com (so much more delicious than the usual sugar or syrup, which is really rather revolting).
He turns on the Vita Mix for 30 seconds while he rubs the rim of each glass with one of the lemon or lime skins, then plunges it into a saucer of Maldon salt to coat the rim. This makes Margaritas for 4 people. A perfect hangover-free treat to share with friends.
Hangover Cure - WORST CASE SCENARIOS
Now let’s get back to hangovers, should they happen from drinking stuff that’s not so pure or far too much of even a good thing. Drinking lots of fluids along with alcohol helps to prevent the dehydration that comes with an over-indulgent evening. There are also a couple of things you can do the morning after to help feel better.
First thing, make yourself a cup of peppermint tea. Put 2 teaspoons of the dried leaves (or 4 teaspoons of fresh) into a tea pot and pour a cup of boiling water over it. Steep for 5-10 minutes and sip it gently. The peppermint will settle your stomach. Breathing in the steam from your tea will also help to ease your headache.
When your stomach is settled enough to handle more, take a couple of grams of vitamin C and 2-3 grams of evening primrose oil, or star flower or borage oil. The vitamin C’s antioxidant properties help the liver clear the toxic wastes from too much alcohol. The GLA in these oils is turned into prostaglandin E1—an important regulator of mood which alcohol depletes. When it is low you can feel depressed and very tired.
Hangover Cure - SAINT MARY’S THISTLE
Also known as milk thistle is a wonderful liver cleanser and supporter. Take 2 capsules or 1 teaspoon of tincture in a little water every 3-4 hours until you are feeling better.
If you can remember where you last saw it in your current state, reach for some dried borage as well. Open the jar, or put it in a paper bag, hold your nose over the bag and take a deep breath. No one has ever explained to me how it does it, but this clears your head wonderfully. I have heard that taking ginkgo before you go out for the evening can also help to prevent hangovers by enhancing your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol swiftly. However, I’ve never heard anyone say how much you should take, or how long before drinking alcohol you should take it. If you are taking ginkgo for other reasons, pay attention to how you feel after a glass or two of wine and see if this makes a difference.