9 Natural Hangover Cures

Scientists don’t know what causes hangover symptoms—nausea, aches, and that general hit-by-a-falling-dumpster feeling—but these plants can help.

December 28, 2015
umeboshi
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Umeboshi

How It Works
A traditional remedy in Japan, the pickled plums contain electrolytes that help replenish your depleted supply and are thought to help the liver process alcohol.

Related: Soothe Colds + More With These Healing Herbs

How To Take It
Soak dried umeboshi (available in Asian markets) in hot water for at least 5 minutes, then chop and mix into rice.

borage
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Borage Oil

How It Works
This Mediterranean herb is believed to have an anti-inflammatory effect, which may ease general hangover symptoms.

How To Take It
Try a capsule or a few drops of liquid tincture when you wake up feeling lousy.

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prickly pear
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Prickly Pear Extract

How It Works
Compounds in this desert cactus quiet the body’s inflammatory response to alcohol, researchers found, cutting hangover risk by half.

How To Take It
Pop a few capsules or squirt a few drops of liquid extract into your mouth (follow instructions on the bottle) 4 to 5 hours before your first drink.

milk thistle
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Milk Thistle Tincture

How It Works
This herb helps the liver process alcohol, moving it out of your system more quickly and reducing the risk of a hangover.

How To Take It
Add several drops to a glass of water before partying (follow instructions on the bottle). Milk thistle can also ease symptoms the next day.

ginger
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Ginger

How It Works
Got that seasick feeling? Ginger root has long been celebrated for its stomach-settling, anti-nausea properties.

How To Take It
Brew a cup of ginger root tea, such as the one by Swanson Organic, or make it from scratch. (Thinly slice a 1inch segment of fresh ginger and steep in boiling water 5 minutes.)

 

 
 
turmeric
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Turmeric
How It Works
This common kitchen staple in many Asian cuisines also packs a helpful anti-inflammatory punch.

How To Take It
Stir a spoonful of turmeric into warm milk with cinnamon.

hovenia
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Hovenia

How It Works
In studies on mice, researchers at UCLA showed that a compound in the herb hovenia blocks a receptor in the brain related to intoxication and withdrawal.

How To Take It
Source it via an acupuncturist or a practitioner of Chinese medicine. The supplement BluCetin also contains its active ingredient.

korean pear
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Korean Pear Juice

How It Works
Australian researchers found that downing this before alcohol significantly reduces symptoms, perhaps because of a substance that helps enzymes metabolize alcohol.

How To Take It
Sip at least 7½ ounces of Korean pear juice (also known as Asian pear juice) before going out. Look for it, canned or bottled, at Asian groceries.

 
 
peppermint
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Peppermint Oil

How It Works
Herbalists prize peppermint for its headache-fighting powers—it affects blood flow by regulating blood-vessel dilation.

How To Take It
Rub a bit of the oil on your temples.