Lying in bed with the cocktail flu is the last thing you want to do with a precious weekend day. Follow these tips, and maybe that doesn’t need to be an option. 

PREVENTATIVE 

Of course, the best prevention of all is to avoid being over served to begin with, but here are a few other things you can do ahead of time. 

Prickly pear extract
The fruit of the prickly pear cactus has some general health benefits and can also help head off common hangover symptoms like dry mouth and nausea. For best results, take a supplement with prickly pear extract five hours before your first alcoholic beverage.   

Alternate cocktails with water
Alcohol is a diuretic, and dehydration is a major cause of headaches. Watching how much alcohol you consume, and alternating water with your cocktails, can be important steps in heading off headache pain.  

Eat before you drink
Drinking on an empty stomach is never a good idea. But that doesn’t mean you should load up on greasy, fatty foods  instead, eat slow-releasing carbohydrates like brown rice, quinoa, and non-starchy vegetables.   

ONGOING 

Keeping your liver in tip-top shape is important—whether you choose to drink or not—and these supplements are great to add to your daily routine. 

Milk thistle
Milk thistle has been used for over 2000 years to prevent liver damage. The flowering herb can be ingested as a tea, tincture or supplement. Avoid milk thistle if you have sensitivities to daisies, artichokes, common thistle and kiwi, as it is part of the same plant family.  

Turmeric
Known for preventing toxic damage to the liver, turmeric is said to even regenerate damaged liver cells. (You should not take turmeric if you are currently taking blood-sugar-lowering medications.)  

Magnesium
People who suffer from cirrhosis or fatty liver syndrome—whether induced by alcohol or not—often have low magnesium levels. Excessive alcohol can further reduce magnesium and other minerals.  Supplementing with magnesium and taking regular Epsom salt baths can help.  

AFTER THE FACT 

So you fell off the wagon and it ran over you (or you got hit by the Budweiser truck)…these natural remedies may undo some of the damage. 

Peppermint
Drink peppermint tea to ease stomach pain and nausea. Rub a few drops of essential oil on your temples to stop a headache or press a few drops into the roof of your mouth to lessen mental fuzziness.   

Bananas, kiwi, spinach and honey
Alcohol intake depletes important electrolytes, which leaves you dehydrated the morning after. One of those electrolytes is potassium, and bananas, kiwi, spinach and honey are just a few potassium-packed foods. (Hmmm…sounds like an ingredient list for a pretty tasty smoothie.)  

White willow bark  
Also known as “nature’s aspirin,” white willow bark contains salicin, an anti-inflammatory similar to aspirin. You can ingest white willow bark—as people have done for thousands of years—or apply it topically to the back of the neck and temples via a cream.  

The use of herbs does not replace traditional medical treatment. It is important to consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements.