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Natural Hangover Remedies for the Holidays
The holidays are upon us! Parties, celebration, alcohol, festive food, more alcohol, and an abundance of holiday cheer. How does one navigate through these next few weeks and the inevitable increase in alcohol consumption? All that holiday cheer tends to be followed by a good amount of time being miserable in bed. The good news? It's actually possible to glide through party season without the dreaded hangover. You can continue to sparkle through the festive season, and glow all the way into the New Year with a few natural hangover remedies. Here's how:
Before heading out to the party:
Pop some prickly pear pills (also called Nopal cactus). Incorporate a product like Nopal Blood Sugar ($26) into your pre-party and post-party regimen, taking the recommended dosage 1-2 hours before starting on the cocktails, and then one hour after you finish. Nopal cactus contains amino acids, fiber, and antioxidants that help combat sluggishness and aid in a morning-after detox. If you have diabetes and/or take insulin, make sure to check with your doctor before using this or a similar product. Due to Nopal cactus' effect on blood sugar and insulin levels, the dosage may need to be adjusted.
When you get back home:
Drink fresh parsley juice. You can pick up a bottle from your local juice bar or toss these ingredients into your blender: 16 oz fresh organic coconut water (I prefer Harmless Harvest Coconut Water if fresh coconut water isn't available) 1 bunch organic flat-leaf parsley 2 organic lemons, juiced Buy or make the juice earlier in the day and store it in the fridge in a Mason jar so it's convenient to drink when you get home. Parsley is an excellent kidney cleanser and lemon stimulates digestive juices in the stomach, therefore making the liver's cleansing job easier and improving its function. The lemon also helps to alkalize your system, as alcohol is very acidic. Coconut water will replace lost electrolytes and minerals, since alcohol is very dehydrating. Having this juice in your fridge is handy for all-day rejuvenation.
Right before bed:
Before you crash, drop a dosage of concentrated, liquid milk thistle under your tongue, or sip a cup of dandelion tea. Milk thistle increases enzyme production that assists the liver in detoxing. Dandelion is a blood purifier and one of the best liver cleansers around. You can find milk thistle at a health food store (I go to Westerly Market in New York City) or buy it on Herb Pharm ($15). A dose of the milk thistle can also be combined with 2 oz of hot water for a soothing, hydrating bedtime concoction.
The morning after:
Drink 8 oz of hot water with lemon, followed by 16-24 oz of fresh green juice. Create your own or pick up a juice that is both hydrating and contains ingredients with alkalizing properties. Combining cucumber, parsley, pear, and ginger creates an ideal balance for a refreshing juice remedy. But, be sure to avoid any 100% fruit juices the day after drinking: they can actually be too cleansing, making you feel even more hungover. On the other hand, green juice's alkalizing, blood-building properties are great for replenishing your body. Also, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. And flush, flush, flush. Continue to drink filtered water with lemon throughout the day to combat the dehydrating effects of alcohol and assist the liver in flushing out unwanted toxins that you consumed the night before. And don't forget to sweat it out. Treat yourself to an infrared sauna or 15-45 minutes in a regular sauna. To increase the effectiveness of a regular sauna session, take a cold shower or plunge into cold water every 15 minutes to increase your circulation. The shock of the cold water will tighten your pores and “squeeze out” even more toxins from your system.
The next few days:
Take a break. Try your best to space out alcohol consumption throughout the holiday season. Taking breaks will save you, your skin, your dress size, and your mood. When you do indulge, follow the natural hangover remedies above. Also, try to eat clean and light the next day. Your body will thank you for it.
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