Alternatively Speaking: Hangover healing

Alternative medicine enthusiast Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any natural remedies for a Purim hangover?

Hangover 390 (photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Hangover 390
(photo credit: Thinkstock/Imagebank)
Q. Hi Natalie, instead of filling my home made ‘hamentashen’ with chocolate, I want to try a healthier alternative. Are there any health benefits to poppy seeds?
A. Poppy seeds do indeed have several health benefits. As well as providing flavor and crunch to various dishes, modern medicine owes a great deal to poppy seeds.
Poppy seeds provide a fruit that provides the source for morphine, heroin and codeine. In the time of the Roman Empire, wine with poppy juice was occasionally given to those sentenced to execution. Poppy seeds contain phosphorus, fiber, iron and a source of vitamin B. One tablespoon of poppy seeds contains 23.9 mg of omega-3 fatty acid, and is not produced naturally in the body. Omega-3 provides the basis for hormones that help our body's immune systems that assist with blood clotting and that contribute to healthy cell and cell membrane growth. Increasing our intake of omega-3 is one of the healthiest changes we can make to our diets.
Poppy seeds are also known to reduce calcium absorption. Kidney stones are often the cause of crystallized calcium deposits. So as well as eating a diet low in salt and protein, you may include more poppy seeds into your nutritional plan to help neutralize the crystal deposits.
Q. It's a mitzvah to get drunk on Purim…do you have any natural solutions in order to prevent a hangover the next day? What can be done with a hangover? Thank you!
A. The reason we suffer from hangover symptoms after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is due to a build-up of toxins your liver cannot work fast enough to remove.
Natural remedies that act as hangover cures work by either supporting the liver's alcohol metabolizing function or by inhibiting the alcohol from building up in your bloodstream.
A simple start would be to drink plenty of water during your alcohol consumption and not to drink on an empty stomach. If you know you are going to drink a lot, do so on a full stomach. Alcohol is absorbed more quickly on an empty stomach, which intensifies its effects.
Drinking milk also slows the absorption of alcohol by coating the lining of your stomach. Drink a glass with your meal before you consume alcohol.
To prevent a hangover, you can use the juice of an aloe plant to help deter alcohol from entering the blood, thereby quickening recovery from intoxication. I suggest you drink between a quarter to half a cup prior to the consumption of alcohol.
When we drink excessively, our levels of vitamin B1 decrease. You can take one vitamin B-complex supplement before you begin drinking to help increase your vitamin B levels. When waking up the following morning take another vitamin B-Complex supplement.
You can also eat more food containing sources of the vitamin including fish, brown rice, egg yolks and whole grains.
The morning after drinking, it is important to eat foods that will heighten your lowered blood sugar levels. Begin with all bran cereals or rye toast. Finally I suggest adding a squeeze of lemon to the water you drink before, during and after alcohol consumption. Lemon juice is alkaline-forming and works to detoxify our bodies, as well as replenishing the fluids lost.
Q. Dear Natalie, for most of my life I have played the role of the ‘capable’ mother, never letting anything get me down. I have become so accustomed to wearing a mask of happiness, attempting to show that I am jovial all the time. This emotional burden is becoming too much to hold and I am afraid of hitting breakdown. Can you suggest anything?
A. There are two flower essences that come to mind. The beauty of flower essences is that they help us to clear away our "baggage" and to establish and deepen our relationship with ourselves. After having "worn a mask" for so long, it's no wonder we can sometimes forget what it is that we, ourselves, really need. The essences act as a catalyst, facilitating the raising of levels of self-awareness and removing blockages which inhibit us.
The South African Flower Essence, Water Lilly, is especially indicated for those who are good at numbing their emotions. It is particularly for those who have emotionally repressed pain and hide behind a "mask" of indifference. Water Lily is for those who handle stress by refusing to react or by denying what is happening. It allows vulnerability, contact with real, previously hidden, emotions and a feeling of being connected to others.
The other remedy comes from the Bach Flower Selection, it is called Agrimony. Those who need the Bach flower essence Agrimony are inwardly troubled by fear and anxiety. They may worry excessively about problems with their work life, yet they present a cheerful, carefree face. Agrimony people are sensitive and long for harmony, they go out of their way to be kind to others. Since they spread cheerfulness and downplay any problems in their lives, they are usually very popular people.
Unfortunately for those in need of Agrimony they are people who not only hide their feelings from the world, they hide their feelings from themselves. The remedy will work to release inner tensions, anxieties and other hidden emotions. Agrimony helps to restore a cheerful disposition and increases confidence. After treatment the person can finally feel safe in facing both sides of his or her personality.
Take either of the essences at least three times daily, especially when you wake up in the morning and when you go to sleep at night. Use either fifteen drops in water or three drop under the tongue. It is the frequency with which you take them, not the quantity taken, which is important. In times of need the essences can be taken every fifteen minutes.
This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments.

This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.

Ask Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at [email protected].
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment. Healing is achieved using homeopathy, reflexology, massage, flower remedies and nutritional wisdom.

To make an appointment please email [email protected].