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Orthodox Jewish woman gives tips to fight Purim alcohol hangover

By Mason White 5:36 AM February 20, 2013
Sara Chana Silverstein(right) 

By: Sara Chana Silverstein, IBCLC, RH (AHG)
(Scroll down for video) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate is the most important thing to do. Okay, you already know that. You have been around enough to know that you need to drink water, sleep, and repent for your sins.

But what if you don’t want to drink water? What if you are too agitated to sleep? What if your stomach is in knots? Well, here are a few other suggestions you can try to help get back on track! You can choose from rehydrating smoothies, herbal teas, homeopathic remedies, or perhaps hot/cold contrast water therapy.

Hydrate doesn’t just mean drink water. There are many fruits and vegetables that can help you to hydrate, or rehydrate, and also replace the important vitamins and minerals that you either used up, or threw up, as we shall soon see. But if you find yourself in the kitchen and water is not alluring enough, or within reach, you might want to grab that “empty’ pickle jar and drink the remaining pickle juice! Sound a little odd? Well, this is a popular Russian hangover cure. And it works because pickle juice is a seasoned form of brine that cucumbers have been cured in.

Brine is salt water, and the curing process not only turns the cucumbers into pickles, but it also helps absorb some of the contents of the cucumbers—which are high in water and minerals—into the salty brine. The salt helps the body to retain the mineral-laced water so that it can stay hydrated and recover quickly. But if you just can’t imagine bringing that pickle jar to your lips for a swig, you can try a vegetable or fruit smoothie instead. Of course, the vegetables and fruits that you want to choose are those that are high in water content, vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that carrots are 88% water, broccoli is 91% water, and cucumbers are a whopping 96% water? Watermelon is a hydration powerhouse and is 93% water, grapes 82%, even bananas have a lot of water in them at 73%. These vegetables and fruits are also filled with other important components that the body needs to replenish after a night-on-the-town. So, take out your blender and try a few of these combination drink and food hydration specials!

You can start with water as the base for your smoothie, but if you can substitute coconut water instead, you will also be giving your body important electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and phosphorous to super-charge your smoothie. However, you should know that coconut water differs from coconut milk because it is only found in the younger, less ripe coconuts.

Here are a few of the smoothie suggestions for managing a hangover:
Vegetable super-hydration smoothie: Take cucumber, broccoli,celery, and carrots, put them into a blender and press the liquefy button. After this blend is liquefied, add either water or coconut water.

Fruit variation super-hydration smoothie: Take grapes, watermelon, bananas, strawberries, apples or grapefruit, liquefy them in a blender and then add either water or coconut water.

Here are a few alternative suggestions for managing a hangover:
Herbal teas such as peppermint or ginger, with some honey, can help knock out that nauseas feeling. Note that peppermint is a cooling herb and is therefore suggested if you are feeling hot and sweaty with an unsettled feeling in your stomach. Ginger on the other hand is a warming herb, famous for helping to relieve nausea. Ginger is used if your nausea makes you feel cold and nauseas. By adding honey, you are giving your body fructose which is purported to help the body rid itself of alcohol at a faster rate than drinking the tea by itself.

If you want to try homeopathy, you should know that homeopathic remedies are chosen from specific symptoms, which often differ from one person to another with the same condition. And hangovers affect people differently. In general, however, the homeopathic pellets can be dissolved under your tongue and taken every hour, for four to six hours, until your symptoms begin to subside.

Here are some homeopathic remedies that I would recommend:
Coffea 6c – If everything is bothering you and you feel hyper-sensitive to noises and light, try this remedy.
Pulsatilla 6c – If you are whining and complaining and feel like you need to be comforted, try this remedy.
Nux Vomica 6c – If you generally enjoy stimulants like coffee and alcohol, you often suffer from stomach upset and you can be grumpy and controlling, try this remedy.

As a last suggestion, if you really are in a rush to get better, try hot and cold-contrast water therapy—which is simply alternating back and forth from a hot to a cold shower! This works to increase circulation and helps rid your body of toxins. When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation is directed inward toward the internal organs, and as the outside temperature gets hot, the flow of circulation goes outward toward the skin. Alternating hot and cold makes the circulation move in and out like and accordion. This has the effect of increasing circulation, helping to both detoxify and move nutrients more readily to various parts of the body.

Here is how this hot and cold-contrast water therapy is done. Begin with a warm shower, and after two to three minutes under the warm shower, switch to cold water. However, don’t switch to ice cold water immediately. Lukewarm water will seem cold after a warm shower, so just slowly change the temperature until you find a suitable cold temperature that you can endure for thirty seconds. After thirty seconds under the cold water, switch back to warm water, then increase to a hotter temperature, and then a colder temperature—at the temperature your body can tolerate. You can repeat the process as long as you are comfortable with it, and provided that it doesn’t, of course, feel worse than the hangover.

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