Changing the conversation about health

Lock-down hangover? How a cocktail of fruit, leaves and herbs could help…

A concoction of natural remedies could be the key to staving off a hangover, new research has found.

Published online in BMJ Nutrition Prevention & Health, the study focused on how antioxidant compounds, vitamins, minerals and specific plant extracts could ease the common symptoms of a hangover after a heavy night of drinking.

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How to combat the morning after? Researchers at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz found that drinkers who imbibed a soluble plant-based drink before and after drinking were 34 percent less likely to have a headache the next day

Germany-based researchers found that drinking plant extracts including Barbados cherry (Acerola), prickly pear, ginkgo biloba, willow and ginger root plus vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, sodium bicarbonate, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin and folic acid had a significant effect on how people felt after drinking alcohol.

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Could Barbados cherry (Acerola) be among the natural ingredients that might help drinking alcohol less debilitating the next day?

The study saw 214 18 to 65-year-olds split at random into three groups. All participants imbibed 0.62 ml of alcohol per minute, on average.

The first group was given a soluble supplement containing the plant extracts, vitamins and minerals, and additional antioxidant compounds 45 minutes before drinking and again when they stopped drinking for the evening.

The second group enjoyed a supplement without the plant extracts while a placebo was issued to the third group.

Those given the cocktail of natural remedies reported 34 per less intense headaches and 42 per cent less nausea; both common – and temporarily debilitating – with a bad hangover.

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While natural remedies have been long suggested for easing a hangover, science on whether they actually work remains scant

Patrick Schmitt, from the Institute of Molecular Physiology at Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, told the Times that accurate research on hangovers was not easy to attain, saying: “It is always a difficult topic, and there are only a few studies. It is almost political.

“People say you shouldn’t research hangovers because the answer is people shouldn’t drink alcohol.

“They say if we find a mixture to improve the hangover, people will then drink even more.”

Dr Schmitt said a ‘hangover pill’ could one day be on the market if the specific compounds that helped ease the symptoms could be identified.