Unless you’re an alcohol virgin (and congrats if you are), you’ve probably endured a post-party hangover. The famed one-too-many syndrome that typifies New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, or Mardi Gras celebrations, and every party you attended in your 20s happens when your overburdened liver tries to clear out the toxins and chemicals left by the alcohol. Headaches, dehydration, nausea, head spins, lowered blood sugar, and fatigue all kick in the morning after you’ve indulged—responses that are even worse for folks with HIV. Every culture swears by its own hangover treatments (Bloody Marys, menudo, olive oil, Tiger Balm, sleeping 18 hours), but we found four natural remedies that might ease your pain.
Sexercise: Physical activity is one of the best treatments for a hangover. Exercise increases sweat, releases endorphins, and helps moves booze-laden blood through the liver and kidneys more quickly. Yoga guru Tara Stiles offers a Hangover Yoga routine on Blip.tv, which includes headstands and a stretching, twisting pose that literally wrings your liver like a sponge. Even better if you’re not a yoga nut: Sex counts as exercise, so if you didn’t do it while you were drunk, now’s the time to get your game on in the name of good health. Don’t forget to keep it safe, though!
Blowfish: No, not the cute little fish that blimps up when frightened, this hangover cure is a new FDA-regulated over-the-counter medication that comes with a money-back guarantee. The recommended dose of Blowfish (two tablets) contains 120 milligrams of caffeine (about the same as a cup of coffee), 1,000 milligrams of aspirin, and an antacid—a combo that, taken when you wake up, is said to cure a hangover in as little as 15 minutes. “The magic of the effervescent tablet,” says Blowfish creator Brenna Haysom, “is that it hits your system much faster than getting a cup of coffee, taking an antacid, and taking some aspirin separately.” The folks behind Blowfish are so sure of their product, they’ll even send you the first sample free. ($2 shipping, ForHangovers.com)
Wasabi: Yes, this time we do mean to conjure sushi images. The Wasabi Hangover Bath Treatment from Body Systems offers the path of least resistance. Get into a hot tub, pour in the treatment, relax, and detox. The Wasabi Treatment contains organic ginger to ease nausea, fever, and indigestion; organic mustard to increase circulation, stimulate sweat glands, and open pores; Epsom salts for internal rebalancing and relieving muscle aches; and a specific blend of essential oils to loosen phlegm, soothe nerves, and jump-start pain relief. Even better: It’s great not just for holiday hangovers but also jet lag and overindulgence of other sorts. ($5, Body-Systems.net)
Bytox: For some celebrants it’s all about ease, and the specially formulated Bytox hangover remedy patch lets you slap one on before, during, or after your night of boozing and then helps reduce the physical side effects of alcohol consumption. It works by replenishing the nutrients and vitamins (like B1) your body loses whenever you imbibe. It’s best to put it on 45 minutes before you start drinking and wear it for eight hours after your last drink, but it’s safe, natural, and calorie-free, and there’s no chance you’ll overdose. ($14.99 for a five-pack, Bytox.com)