Waking up with a pounding headache feeling like you’re still drunk from the night before is not something anyone looks forward to. No matter where you are in the world, at or traveling abroad, there are hangover remedies that can relieve your pain and suffering. Countries that consume a lot of alcohol tend to have the best cure for hangovers. Here are a few ways people in China, Japan, Korea, India, Ireland, and Russia deal with the morning after.
What is a hangover?
Basically, a hangover is how the body deals with the after-effects of consuming too much alcohol. Alcohol is processed by the liver after it leaves the stomach, but it affects the brain, stomach lining, blood vessels, and heart. The body is not meant to consume alcohol which can be toxic in large amounts (alcohol poisoning) and the hangover is the body’s natural response to a toxic substance. Consumed in small quantities or infrequently, the results are often less intense.
Symptoms of a hangover:
- Red eyes
- Light or noise sensitivity
Hangover Remedies from Countries that Consume a Lot of Alcohol
China and Japan drink a lot of green tea. It can be served hot or cold with honey and a little ginger. A hot, steamy cup of green tea will hydrate you and soothe your stomach. If you feel a little daring, you can add umeboshi, a salted pickled plum, to your cup of tea for some added antioxidants and electrolytes. May not taste like Gatorade, but it’ll do the trick.
Many people in Eastern countries swear by Ginger Tea as the best cure for a hangover. Ginger is a root and contains antioxidants and properties that help heal the body. It is very easy to make, just add a teaspoon of ginger paste to a cup of hot water and add a little honey to sweeten.
Turmeric is a spice used in many Asian dishes to add color and flavor. It is also a powerful antioxidant and helps purify the liver. Turmeric and ginger are a good combination for fighting off colds and other illnesses. Add a little to a cup of ginger tea or have a plate of Indian food to reap the benefits of this herb.
Coconut water is a favorite beverage in Thailand, nearly every street corner has a vendor selling coconut water. It is also used in India as a hangover remedy because of the high water content and nutrients. It is a great way to rehydrate yourself and restore your electrolyte balance because it is high in sodium and potassium. It’s refreshing and it tastes good. You can find coconut water in many grocery stores and online retailers.
Although many do not drink every day, there are a lot of celebrations that call for food and beer or sake. People in China swear by a dish called Congee. It is basically a rice porridge made with rice, and broth made from simmering beef bones. This is often consumed with added vegetables, salted duck eggs, and green onions. It is very rich and soothes an upset stomach which is probably why you feel better after eating it. It is available at any Chinese restaurant.
Thai people also have a version of hot rice porridge called Khao Tom Kui. It includes braised beef and sides you can add to the soup such as salted, pickled plums.
Eradicate a Hangover with Heat
Many countries add heat in the form of spice to everything, including their remedies for a hangover. Soups and stews with spicy condiments are eaten in Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Vietnam.
Spicy Noodle Soup
Another favorite hangover remedy in Thailand is Spicy Noodle Soup or Pad Kee Mao. It is spicy from red chili paste and has fish balls, pork, beef, chicken, duck and pigs blood. But according to people who eat this spicy dish, you’re supposed to eat this while drinking, and not after.
This remedy for a hangover is popular in Korea. It is called Haejangguk, which means “stew to cure a hangover.” It is a hearty bowl of piping hot soup made with beef broth, sliced cabbage, bean sprouts, radish, a raw egg, and congealed oxblood. It is deeply satisfying and Koreans swear by it.
Ramyun, or ramen, is another food that is popular as a hangover cure. Many people eat this on the train to work because there are vendors that sell instant noodles everywhere. They often include fish balls, rice cakes, sausages, green onions, and spices ranging from mild to hot!! The noodles may be udon, egg noodles, glass noodles, or spaghetti noodles cooked in beef or chicken broth with vegetables, meat, and a sliced egg.
Eat Some Indian Food
This Indian comfort food is made with fried potatoes, onions, green chili, and fresh coriander. Add some condiments like mint chutney, or tamarind with a squeeze of lime.
Potato and Pea Samosa
These little fried pockets of dough are filled with potatoes, sweet peas, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and other spices. The potatoes are mashed and the peas added to the mix. The dough is made like chapati or roti and folded around the filling into a triangle shape and deep fried. This is a wonderful example of comfort food and a favorite of many cultures.
Eggs may not be your first choice in the morning after a long night of drinking but are great as a hangover cure because they contain cysteine, a substance that helps the body break down and eliminate alcohol. Chopped onions, red or green chilies and spices like ginger and turmeric, add flavor and kick to scrambled eggs. Serve with rotis (or tortillas) with butter or ghee and other flavorful condiments (chutney, etc).
Ireland is a country known to have a lot of beer drinkers. According to IrishCentral, their favorite way to cure a hangover is with an Irish breakfast of sausages, bacon, black and white pudding, fried eggs, fried tomato, baked beans, and soda bread. The carb-heavy meal helps the body stabilize blood sugar levels. Fatty meat and bread seem to be a favorite of the Irish and Scottish people as the best cure for hangover. The Scots favorite cure for a hangover is a beef sausage on a light roll with a can of Irn Bru.
Pickles and sauerkraut are a couple of hangover remedies from Russia, Poland, and Germany. These countries are known for their excessive alcohol consumption and their love of food. Pickles are fermented like cabbage for sauerkraut and the juice has a lot of sodium and potassium which help restore electrolytes. Other fermented foods like kefir and yogurt help soothe the stomach and alleviate nausea. If you wake up with a hangover just take a swig of pickle juice right out of the jar. The vinegar in the pickle juice neutralizes acid in the stomach.
Non-Food Hangover Remedies
While food and beverages are often the first choices when it comes to remedies for a hangover, there are some non-food ways to deal with a night of overindulgence. After having a hot cup of tea or a hot meal, opt for one of these suggestions:
Get a Massage
A nice relaxing massage does wonders for the boy and the mind. It increases circulation which means more blood flow to the brain to relieve headaches and helps the whole body to feel refreshed and renewed.
Sweat It Out- Sauna Soak
Many Koreans take a sauna to sweat out their hangover. There are spas open 24 hours just for this purpose. The heat helps open the pores and allow the body to remove toxins through the sweat glands.
A Cold Dip in the Ocean
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it sure will wake you up. A morning swim in the ocean will get your circulation going and it’s a healthy way to get your daily exercise. If you don’t live near the ocean you can still get the benefits of a cold dip by taking a swim in a pool or splashing ice-cold water on your face.
Prevent a Hangover from Happening
Perhaps the best cure for hangover is to prevent it from happening in the first place. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” - Benjamin Franklin
Preventing or minimizing the effects of alcohol in the body may be a better way to deal with a hangover. But how to cure the hangover with prevention? By taking a few steps before beginning a night of celebrations. Dehydration is one reason you get a headache after 2 or 3 drinks so drinking extra water or fluids before drinking is a good way to prevent a morning headache.
Try to consume less alcohol if possible by maintaining a 1:1 ratio - drinking one glass of water to one glass of alcohol. This strategy will cause you to drink slower meaning you’ll feel the effects of the alcohol before it hits you all at once. You may consume less by drinking slower and drinking more fluids in between.
Try ILUNA - the Best Herbal Supplement For a Hangover.
Natural hangover remedies that have ingredients like ginger, turmeric, Goji berries, and Kudzu root are very effective at suppressing the body’s response to alcohol. One product that helps is Iluna, it is taken before drinking and may be one of the best remedies for a hangover. It contains all-natural herbs and has no side effects or cautions for consuming with food or beverages.
Still wondering how to cure the hangover you woke up with? Go back and read this again and share it with a friend who may be in the same boat (hungover and feeling lousy).