Does Milk Thistle Work as a Natural Hangover Remedy?
Hangovers – we’ve probably all experienced at least one painful morning after the night before at some point in our lives, and despite swearing off alcohol forever, the chances are that most of use will probably find ourselves in the same position at some point in the future. That’s why so many people look for hangover remedies to help deal with the unpleasant after-effects of a great night out.
What Is A Hangover?
A hangover is a complex, painful – but happily temporary – condition, caused by drinking too much alcohol. Depending on what you were drinking, how much you consumed and – crucially – your individual tolerance to alcohol on any given day, no two hangovers are the same.
The severity of your hangover is likely to be caused by different things:
- The dreaded headache and dry mouth that is so symptomatic of a hangover is usually caused by dehydration. Alcohol contains ethanol, which is a diuretic that makes you pee more, leaving you feeling dehydrated in the morning.
- Some types of alcohol seem to cause worse hangovers than others. This is because the fermentation process produces a by-product called congeners – particularly found in wine and whiskey (or whisky, depending on your preference!) They are designed to make your drink taste and smell nice, but shockingly are actually quite poisonous to our bodies. This can give you a horrible upset stomach, sometimes leading to sickness, as our body tries to cleanse itself of those nasty toxic chemical additives.
- How you feel could affect the severity and nature of your hangover. According to the British Medical Journal, the ethanol in alchohol may “play only a minor part in producing the thirst, headache, fatigue, nausea, sweating, tremor, remorse, and anxiety that hangover sufferers report. Hangover symptoms are worst at a time when almost all ethanol and its metabolite acetaldehyde have been cleared from the blood.
How Can Natural Hangover Remedies Help?
Although there is no definitive or miracle cure for a hangover (unfortunately, the only sure-fire way to avoid a hangover is to abstain from drinking alcohol!) there are are some natural remedies that can help to speed up the recovery process and which could relieve some of the symptoms.
Sleep It Off
When you don’t get enough sleep, it’s hard to do most things effectively. A lack of sleep can inhibit your body’s recovery from a hangover, so it’s well worth trying to grab an extra couple of hours in bed if you have had a drink or two. During sleep, our body is better able to get on with the business of healing and restoring itself, so that you don’t get such severe symptoms.
The body – quite rightly – treats alcohol as a poison and tries to excrete it as quickly as possible through sweat and urine. This causes your body to become dehydrated more quickly than usual. To restore your body’s normal functioning and balance, you need to replenish the water you lose. Make sure you drink plenty of H2O before you go to sleep after a big night, and keep a big glass of water on hand to drink as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Get Some Exercise
A workout may be one of the last things on your mind when you’re feeling a little worse for wear, but in fact, it’s probably one of the best things you can do to get over your hangover quicker! The exercise helps you sweat out the toxins in your body – but do make sure you don’t exacerbate dehydration by drinking plenty of water!
Have Yourself A Hearty Breakfast
Eating something wholesome and healthy the morning after can really make a difference. Toast, porridge or something cooked are all great options. A breakfast that includes eggs is a good choice because they contain cysteine – the substance which helps to break down the hangover-causing toxin acetaldehyde in the liver.
Milk Thistle Tablets
Milk Thistle is a natural herb that has long been relied upon as a traditional hangover remedy. It’s used to relieve the upset stomach that usually accompanies a hangover so you can feel more like yourself the next morning. The easiest way to take Milk Thistle is by taking one or two easy-to-swallow tablets. Each HRI Milk Thistle tablet contains 300 mg of standardised extract from Milk Thistle fruits, known as Silybum marianum, which is the equivalent to 7200mg – 8100mg of Milk Thistle fruits.
Please do share what hangover remedies work for you, or get some more ideas by joining our HRI Facebook Community – we’d love to hear your thoughts!