Alternatively Speaking: Purim day-after remedies

With Purim just around the corner, I wanted to know if there are any natural remedies you can suggest for curing a hangover?

People dressed up as super heroes at Hadassa Hospital on Purim, March 1, 2018 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
People dressed up as super heroes at Hadassa Hospital on Purim, March 1, 2018
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Dear Natalie, With Purim just around the corner, I wanted to know if there are any natural remedies you can suggest for curing a hangover? I usually suffer very badly the following day and apart from drinking water is there anything else you recommend?
D. Berman, Jerusalem
No one particularly enjoys the morning after the night before. When lying in bed, or even worse on the floor, after a heavy night, the last thing you feel like doing is searching for a hangover cure. Surprisingly, a dose of your daily vitamin is just what you need. The right vitamin will help to replenish the essential nutrients and electrolytes that your body may have lost after drinking alcohol excessively. There are three top vitamins I suggest to lessen the morning-after pain. If you can manage, first things first, drink at least one large glass of water before you go to bed. That same evening take a Vitamin B-Complex. This includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), folic acid, B6 and B12 which not only help to reduce feelings of tiredness by enhancing energy metabolism but also assist your body to flush the toxins from the alcohol. Since you may have realized from your frequent visits to the bathroom, alcohol is a powerful diuretic.
Therefore, my next recommended vitamin is magnesium, which will help you to rehydrate. It is almost always the dehydration which contributes to the banging headache and dry mouth which many often experience. In both of these cases, magnesium will help to rebalance the electrolytes, making you feel a little more revitalized. Last but not least, make sure you pull out two vitamin C tablets the morning after. Drinking alcohol depletes vitamin C levels within the body, so replenishing your body with vitamin C after drinking will not only help cleanse your liver, but will also protect the body against oxidative stress caused by the toxins in alcohol.
If you don’t have any vitamins at home and the thought of heading out to the local pharmacy/health food store makes you feel even dizzier, then a very simple and effective way to get rid of a hangover is to whip up a simple banana and honey milkshake. Bananas are rich in the magnesium and potassium and also help to calm the stomach or any nausea you may be feeling. The honey will help restore your depleted blood sugar levels. If possible, use only certified raw organic honey from your local produce. Another way to soothe your hangover is to sit in a warm bath with added Epsom salts. As well as helping you to relax, the magnesium from the salts will relieve aches and pains and restore any lost magnesium.
Remember that after drinking, the body becomes dehydrated, therefore even if your head hit the pillow before you were able to pour yourself a glass of water that same night – whatever you do – although you might feel the need to reach for a cup of coffee in the morning – it’s best to avoid it since caffeine is a diuretic and will not help that sore head! Rather, go with a big glass or two of water with a squeeze of lemon to boost your energy levels and liver cleanse at the same time. What we really want and need to do after excessive drinking is to clean and protect our liver. The best way we can do this is by keeping a bottle of milk thistle tincture close to hand. Milk thistle contains powerful antioxidants which clean our cells, removing toxins and is an excellent liver tonic. The active ingredient in milk thistle is silymarin, which is a flavonoid containing excellent antioxidant properties. Milk thistle can be taken as an oral capsule, powder or liquid extract. Many use this supplement to treat liver conditions. You can find high quality medicinal herbs including milk thistle from Bara Herbs. Their headquarters and shop are in Yokne’am and orders can be made online (Tel: 04-9899051). If you are planning on drinking significantly this year on Purim – perhaps note a few of these tips down and stock up before your foggy mind and sore limbs get the better of you!
Dear Natalie, I am a mother of six children and every Purim holiday I spend hours painting (and then cleaning off!) their makeup for each costume. I am always concerned about the toxins that are in heavy makeup products. Can you suggest any natural makeup ideas that I can use which will not be damaging, Thank you.
M. Leiber, Rehovot
I get a lot of questions about natural makeup options. The more I have researched the makeup industry the more I understand just how many industrial chemicals are used in our personal care products. These ingredients include plasticizers, pesticides, surfactants, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors, all of which are compounds that can interfere with the role of hormones in the body. Imagine not only what this does to the environment but also to your skin!
While there are some good natural alternatives that you can buy, the cheapest and most natural way is to just make your own, and you may well have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already! It may also be a great activity for you and your kids to do together in run up to the dressing up. For a simple yet gorgeous natural lipstick, you can use one tablespoon of coconut oil and mix it well with one tablespoon of shea butter (or cocoa butter). Add one teaspoon of sweet almond oil to the mix. Heat all ingredients together on a low heat.
For a red color lipstick; try adding one quarter of a teaspoon of beetroot powder, and for a more brown color you can add a quarter of a teaspoon of cinnamon with a quarter of a teaspoon of cocoa powder (depending on the shade you want).
For a natural homemade eye shadow; to begin making your base, start by mixing half a teaspoon of arrowroot starch and bentonite clay in a bowl. Both these ingredients are wonderful at pulling out toxins in the skin and help remove any excess oil. Then choose any color you desire; for darker colors try activated charcoal powder or ground nutmeg.
For yellow, try adding turmeric and for a glittery green, try spirulina powder! Mix in your chosen powder to reach the color you like and then add a few drops of either jojoba oil or almond oil to ensure the mixture is not too powdery so that it stays more firmly on the skin. Apply to skin and there you have your own homemade eye shadow! Another benefit of creating makeup at home is that since you control the ingredients, you can make the perfect shade for your skin tone. If you are feeling a little lazy then I can recommend the Israeli natural mineral organic make up company called Faran. Their factory and store are based in Har Ardon 12, Mitzpe Ramon. Tours of their permaculture garden and factory can be arranged and orders can be made online; Telephone: 08-6539333