Woke up this morning with a wine glass in my hand.
What wine? Whose wine? Where the hell did I dine?

— Peter Frampton

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Oops: Happy New Year. Didn’t mean to shout. I know some of you are, er, a little  under the weather, having been overly inspired by my Champagne blog. Head pounding like you  hung with a jackhammer? Sporting sunglasses in the house? Feeling like frogs dancing in your tummy? Mouth as arid as the Negev ?

Darn. You promised yourself you wouldn’t.  Nothing hurts like a hangover, unless you count breaking your baby toe on the way to the john. Now that’s bad too. But friends … you broke the law: your body can only process, per hour, three-quarters of an ounce of alcohol. Details, details. I know.

But just to rub it in, just a little, you likely screwed up with the brown stuff. That’s right, some alcohol’s more hellish than others where hangovers are concerned (says the British Medical Journal). No consolation now, I know. Spirits from worst to, uh, best: brandy, bourbon, whiskey, red wine, white wine, gin and vodka.

But help is on the way (wasn’t that a recent campaign slogan?) There are remedies, at least for symptoms.  Not that I’ve tried them because I am in truth abstinent .

Were you hung over in Outer Mongolia you’d eat a pickled sheep’s eye with a glass of tomato juice. Puerto Rico? No problem! Rub a lemon under your drinking arm. Haitians, meanwhile, would have you stick 13 black-headed pins in the cork of offending bottle.

“Bottle.” Yeah. Don’t even mention it. Although you know, drinking MORE alcohol — hair of the dog — doesn’t make sense, right? You feel badly because your body is depleted of water and minerals caused by alcohol intake; in the long run, further imbibing would only make matters worse.  Black coffee, another popular remedy,  is also a joke: Joe is a diuretic.  And, you’ve probably heard over the years that burnt toast is helpful. Sorry, but the carbon on said bread isn’t the same as carbon used to treat alcohol poisoning.  Too many ER reruns.

Now. What you CAN do — since you failed to drink moderately, but no self-righteous crap from me today: swilling stuff like fruit smoothies provides energy and ameliorates symptoms by replenishing nutrients lost, so say docs.  By the way, fruit juice contains fructose, a form of sugar that helps the body burn alcohol faster. Try apple or tomato; orange may be too acidic for an already tender gut. Honey is a concentrated form of fructose so … honey and crackers would be a helpful snack. Another way to take honey is to have it with lemon and hot water. You’re getting lost fluids back, plus stanching alcohol levels that cause headaches (and it’s common sense to drinks lots of water, since alcohol dehydrates).

Eggs contain cysteine, a substance that breaks down acetaldehyde, the toxin that creates hangovers, you see. I’ve learned that the liver contains glutathione that’s easily depleted by acetaldehyde, so noshing on eggs helps to eliminate toxins and gives you energy.

Experts also recommend replenishing potassium lost through alcohol’s diuretic effect: bananas, yes, or even a sports drink. Perhaps broth made from bouillon cubes.

My personal cure for seasickness, ginger, works too because having a hangover is similar to that malady. How’s about cutting 10 slices and brewing it with four cups of water. Drain and add a half cup of aforementioned honey and the juice of half a lemon.

Herbs and vitamins-wise, recommended are willow bark, skullcap, ginseng, chamomile and green tea.  You’re also encouraged to down amino acids, the building blocks of protein that have been depleted.  And, perhaps you should take Vitamin B -complex vitamins. Research shows that your system turns to the vitamin when it’s under stress.

GOT ALL THAT? Oops, need to remember to keep it down. So you screwed up. Hope you had fun. You’ll be all better soon. You know not to make this a lifestyle.

Hey, the last year was rough. For all of us. Here’s to a healthy, prosperous 2011. I appreciate every one of you.



HAIR OF THE DOG? — 2 Comments

  1. Truly enjoy reading your blog. Uplifting, interesting, educating and more. Thanks for both taking the time and putting the effort in to write, Jim. Maybe one of your future blogs can be about how people say they want to do things but tend to put them off? Also want to take the time to thank you for supporting our community, Israel, ALS research and probably other unknown passions. Blessings to you, Marge and the kids in 2011.

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