Top 8 Herbal Hangover Remedies

herbal hangover cures

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The throbbing head, bleary eyes, violent nausea and hideous thirst of a hangover is a common payment for a (good) night of overindulging in the pleasures of alcohol.

Most of us have had this experience at some point, and although the only way to avoid a hangover completely is not to drink in the first place, that’s not always going to happen. For the times when a hangover is likely, there are ways to minimize the hangover and to treat the symptoms once you’re dealing with it.

The more you do to minimize the effects before you get a hangover, the less painful it will be when it hits. First, make sure you eat before you start drinking, and drink a full glass of water with every drink. This will help to prevent the dehydration that is such a huge factor in hangovers, and minimize nausea as well. In addition, many herbal treatments need to be taken before you drink, as well as the next morning, to have the full effect.

There are many herbs that can help with the symptoms of a hangover, and others that should be taken before drinking to help your body handle the stresses and process the toxins more effectively.

Preventative Hangover Remedies

Take these herbal remedies before embarking on excessive alcohol intake to limit the severity of your post-drinking hangover.

Prickly Pear Extract: A 2004 study by Tulane Health Services indicated that prickly pear extract reduced nausea, dry mouth, and appetite loss. It should be taken several hours before you start drinking to have the best effect.

Milk Thistle: Milk thistle is known to protect the liver from toxins. Taking it before drinking will help protect your liver from the effects of the alcohol, and taking it again the next morning will support your immune system.

Taking a product like PreToxx for Hangovers will simplify things, since it contains both prickly pear extract and milk thistle.

Zaca Herbal Hangover Patch: with prickly pear extract and milk thistle, plus vitamin C, several B vitamins, and a few other additions, the Zaca Herbal Hangover Patch is one of the easiest hangover prevention/hangover treatments out there to use. Simply apply the patch before you start drinking, and leave it on for 24 hours. This solves the whole issue of needing to remember to take something after drinking (when you’re very likely to forget) to prevent or minimize a hangover. The additional vitamins and other ingredients are also known to ease hangover symptoms, and the patch delivery system eliminates the need to take multiple pills when you may not be able to keep them down. The reviews of this product are excellent, and IF you need a little extra help in the morning, you can still use an additional herb or two for specific symptoms.

Kudzu: Yes, the horrible weedy vine that has taken over so much of the southern US is actually good for something. Taking kudzu root extract when you start drinking speeds up the production of the chemical thought to be responsible for hangover symptoms. This doesn’t exactly stop you from getting a hangover, it’s more like the hangover starts developing while you’re still drinking, so you drink less and it’s not as bad. Some researchers think that kudzu actually increases the damage that the alcohol does to your body though, so you might want to try the other preventatives first, and only use the kudzu if they don’t work for you.

Ginko Biloba Seeds: A bit more difficult to find in the US than the other remedies listed, ginko seeds contain an enzyme that speeds up alcohol metabolism. They have been served at cocktail parties in Japan for years, and even though they aren’t approved as a food by the FDA, they are available in the US. Commonly available ginko extracts are NOT effective, however, because they are normally made from the leaves, which do not contain the necessary enzyme.

Post-Drinking Herbal Hangover Cures

If you have forgotten to take preventative measures, there are things you can do the next morning to help ease your symptoms as well.

ginger for hangoverGinger: Ginger has several helpful properties that can help you get through the worst of a hangover. It reduces nausea and eases pain, from both headaches and muscle inflammation. A cup of ginger tea, generously sweetened with honey (fructose is another helpful addition to a hangover treatment, either from honey or fruit juices,) will help you get through the worst of the symptoms.

Further Reading: The Incredible Health Benefits Of Ginger

Angostura: Found in the small paper-wrapped bottles of Angostura Bitters found behind most bars, this is known as the “bartender’s friend.” Many bartenders swear by a few drops of bitters in a cup of warm water as the only hangover cure you’ll ever need.

A VIRGIN Mary: although one of the most common recommendations for hangover treatment is a little “hair of the dog that bit you,” more alcohol will only delay the payback of the hangover. Having just the tomato juice, with as much hot sauce as you can stand, will help much more. The tomato juice provides fructose, antioxidants, and necessary vitamins; as well as helping you to rehydrate your body. The hot sauce contains capsaisin, which eases pain and nausea; soothing both your head and your stomach. (A big glass of orange juice will work to provide fructose, antioxidants and vitamins; but won’t help the pain and nausea.)

Getting hangovers are a part of life. We can’t all be angels all of the time, but the next time you plan on having one too many Mojitos try one of these hangover preventative measures. And if you forget to do that, then try our post-drinking herbal hangover cures.

If you’re feeling brave, share your most embarrassing alcohol-infused incident by leaving a comment below. If you aren’t feeling so brave, then share your favorite tipple :)

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This post has been shared at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways, Your Green Resource and Wildcrafting Wednesday


  1. Thanks Daisey…

    These were all great tips. I especially liked the one where we could use Kudzu as a hangover relief treatment. Who would have thought of that!

    The hangover treatment I know best is the Angostura bitters…. my friends have been using that one for years.

    I really appreciate these posts… my other favorite was you one on the 5 best natural sunscreens…. I hate putting chemicals on my body…


  2. The two very best cures I have ever found are umeboshi plums and dill pickle juice.

  3. The Japanese consider ionized alkaline water to be a hangover remedy. It is microclustered which means it super hydrates and is full of antioxidants, exactly what your body needs after a night of drinking! I now dilute my wine with ionized alkaline water and drink it in place of regular water.

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