Heal hangover nasties with coriander, chrysanthemum and H2O
Ah, sweet booze, "the cause of and solution to all of life's problems," as Homer Simpson says.
Alcohol is a social lubricant, it's relaxing, it's delicious. What's not to love? I mean besides waking up the next morning with a foggy memory, splitting headache and the nagging feeling you did something really stupid the night before.
I find a blanket apology to everyone you might have come in contact with works for the latter. As for the hangover, well, just like the secret to permanent weight loss, if a surefire cure is ever found, whoever discovered it would be a kajillionaire.
There are a lot of suggestions out there dating way back, of course, because we've been tying one on since the first fermentation. Pliny the Elder was partial to a couple of owl's eggs in the morning. Great if you've got an owl handy.
Folk remedies include Japanese pickled plums, bananas, artichokes, tomato juice, pickle juice, prickly pear and, bien sûr, a hair of the dog.
What the experts say
"Mix 5 to 6 parts satavari, 2 to 3 parts ground cumin seed, 2 parts ground coriander seed and 1⁄8 part shankh bhasma. Take ½ teaspoon of that mixture with warm water twice a day. A few drops in the nostril of Bhringaraj oil is really effective, as is taking ½ teaspoon tikta powder three times during the day. To relieve nausea and dehydration, mix 1 teaspoon lime juice, ½ teaspoon sugar or honey, a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda in a glass of water."
SONAL BHATT, Ayurvedic practitioner, Toronto
"The herb chrysanthemum, in traditional Chinese medicine called juhua, helps regulate the liver and relieve heat. Chrysanthemum tea will help with nasty, puffy, red eyes. Green tea is a little cooling. Avoid spicy foods and milk products. According to TCM, when the sun comes up your body should be awake. So even if you've had a late night, you're better off waking up in the morning. You'll have a bad day but get over it quicker."
JESSE LOWN, Chinese medicine practitioner, Toronto
"The interesting thing is, believe it or not, we're not sure exactly what a hangover is. We can't explain all of the symptoms, so the hunt for effective treatment can be frustrating. Good hydration before and after seems to work as well as anything. Recent evidence, though it doesn't rise to the level of good science yet, suggests that some compounds high in antioxidants may offer a benefit. As a medical specialist, I have to remind you that this is a preventable condition. The strategy of simply alternating drinks, one alcoholic with one non-alcoholic, will slow down your intake and increase the likelihood you'll be well hydrated."
DAVID KATZ, director, Yale Griffin Prevention Research Center, Derby, Connecticut
"Place a yellow calcite or dolomite crystal over the stomach to return balance. Rotate a piece of malachite over the liver to remove toxins. To get rid of a headache, place amethyst or sugilite on top of the head and concentrate on a spot 2 to 4 inches above the crystal for a few minutes to release tension. If you were naughty, place a rose quartz over your heart chakra to forgive yourself for any recklessness."
KAREN RYAN, the Crystal Tiger, Toronto
"Drink a few drops of bitters in a small glass of water, or put a few drops on the tongue. Take dandelion root, burdock root, globe artichoke
leaf or gentian root tinctures."
CELINA AINSWORTH, herbalist, Toronto
"Complex carbs and protein slow alcohol and sugar absorption. Drink lots of water throughout the night. Take homeopathic Nux Vomica 30C before drinking. Keep drinking water during the hangover. Continue Nux Vomica every half-hour until symptoms subside. Unda #243 reduces symptoms. For headache, press the acupuncture point large intestine 4 (0.5 to 1.5 centimetres from the web of the thumb and index finger). Ginger tea is good for nausea, and vitamin B complex provides energy. An alternating hot and cold shower gets the circulation going."
VANESSA LEE, naturopathic doctor, Toronto