This has been a very social summer, with lots of gatherings and lots of drinking, which means lots of hangovers, which are God's way of punishing you for your evil deeds.
That must be why the morning after a night of excess feels like hell. Sore head, upset stomach, sluggish body, cloudy thinking. You just feel toxic. You swear you'll never touch another drop of the stuff again, but of course sooner or later you do.
If you do over-imbibe, make sure to drink lots and lots and lots of water, both before bed and when you get up in the morning. Then have some more water. Drink water until you feel like you're sloshing around. Hydrating between drinks is also a good idea. Nothing beats Gatorade.
Of course, the obvious solution to the problem is to steer clear of booze. But if God really didn't want you to drink, (s)he wouldn't have invented the mojito.
What the experts say
"Fruit juice or honey drinks, like a hot cup of tea with lots of honey, will help the alcohol move through your system more quickly. You're dehydrated, and your potassium and salt are depleted. Eating good broth soups or drinking tomato juice will help replace these things. My favourite remedy is milkthistle seeds. Drink a couple of glasses of water with some milkthistle seeds before going to bed. (I suggest buying the seeds and grinding them up in your coffee grinder.) Bitters are fabulous. Milkthistle is one. Dandelion , mugwort and barberry are others. Bitters have a cooling effect on the body. Tamarind drinks and the pulp of the tamarind are also used for hangover relief."
DANETTE STEELE , registered clinical herbalist, Toronto
"Booze is hot - it's yang - so it depletes your yin. Hence the boozy, hot sleep you get if you've had too much. There are three things foodwise that are the best for hangovers. The first is persimmons . They can be hard to get, but they're number one. They're cooling and will replenish your yin. Pears are next, then grapefruit . You can also use Canadian or American ginseng , not Korean or Chinese ginseng, which is hotter. You can get it in tea bag form or slice it up and chew on the root."
KALEB MONTGOMERY , traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, Toronto
"Eat a little bit before you go to bed - something with carbohydrates helps regulate the blood sugar. B vitamins are key in breaking down the alcohol and metabolizing the toxins. You want to take at least 1,000 mg of vitamin C as well. Homeopathic remedies are gelsemium and nux vomica . In the morning, if you feel heavy and gross, take gelsemium. If you're irritable and cranky and don't want too much light or noise around you, try nux vomica. Gatorade has a lot of sugar, so I don't usually recommend it. V8 is good even though it has a lot of salt. A protein shake is really helpful. Throw in some berries, which are full of antioxidant and vitamin/mineral qualities, and add some soy milk or juice.
MUBINA JIWA , naturopath, Toronto
"The specific acupressure point for headache is the top of the hill that forms right in the middle when you join the thumb and forefinger without bending them. You press on it for over a minute or rub it. Or find a buddy who doesn't have a hangover to help you out. Another point you can press for headache is right at the base off the skull, where your finger stops because the skull stops and there is a little dip in there. To detoxify the liver, put your finger between the first and second toe and move on the top of the foot toward the ankle. An inch from where your toes meet, your finger will stop. Press there. For nausea and vomiting, there is [a point] on the inner side of the forearm. This is two thumb-widths from the crease of the wrist between the two tendons.
DOROTHY ADAMIAK , naturopath, certified acupuncturist, Toronto
"For hangovers, I suggest pantethine , a special form of vitamin B5 that clears formaldehyde, the chemical causing most of the symptoms of a hangover, from your body. The usual effective adult dose is 1,000 to 2,000 mg after drinking. Most non-drinkers who take pantethine use it for low energy and stress."
ZOLTAN RONA , holistic MD, Toronto