Natural hangover cures

Andy Hamilton with a natural hungover

My book, Booze for free is now the estimated cause of over one million hangovers*. So, to pay back my karmic debt I thought it time I shared how I deal with my momentous hangovers, naturally.

The best natural hangover cure should really start the night before by drinking a glass of water for every unit of alcohol consumed as a preventative anti hangover measure. Alcohol acts as a diuretic increasing the flow of urine from the kidneys leading to dehydration. It’s this dehydration that causes some of the tell tale signs of a hangover such as dizziness, dry mouth and nausea. What’s more increased bladder flow can deplete valuable vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin C and various B vitamins. To further these feelings an increase in REM (rapid eye movement/dream) sleep means your brain has been falsely excited and this can lead to depression.

These vitamins and minerals have to be replaced in order for you to start feeling human again. Potassium can be reintroduced by eating bananas and I like to have two the morning after. Vitamin C can be found in pine needles so a pine needle tea or cordial will help. Pick the greenest looking pine needles from any species of pine. Place a large handful into a bowl and pour hot water over them. When the water has cooled strain through muslin cloth and drink. Equally and if you have it to hand a few mouthfuls of rosehip syrup will help.

The loss of B12 when drinking can bring on feelings of guilt which sometimes plays a part in the psychological side of a hangover. B12 can be found in eggs, bacon and black pudding which is why, if you can get it down you, a fry up always helps. Or if you want to try an ancient Greeks hangover cure, how about fried sheep lungs?

If even the thought of sheep lungs are causing your stomach to churn then a dose of ginger and cardamom tea will help. If you can’t even get that down you then pour the tea onto a flannel, let it cool and place it directly onto your stomach.

Each of these remedies will work on different types of hangovers, but for an all round general hangover cure all I have devised the following tea.


  • Thumb sized piece of bruised root gingerAndy Hamilton natural hungover
  • 10g Rosemary
  • 10g  Nettle leaves
  • Handful of pine needles
  • 3 Green cardamom pods
  • 500ml hot water


Boil kettle. Put all the ingredients into a tea-pot and cover with hot water. Allow to infuse for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, hold head and say, “never, ever again”.

Pour and sip. This will make two cups and you can also keep topping up the tea-pot and drinking all day until you start to feel a bit more human. Couple it with drinking plenty of water.

If nothing seems to work then go back to sleep for a bit and try to get some normal sleep. Of course if any of my sensible suggestions don’t sound like your bag you could always try a hair of the dog method; my favourite is a Roman one which consists of 5 liters of wine infused with 16 bulbs of garlic.

Andy is the author of Booze for Free published by Eden Project Books with a cover price of £9.99. Or much cheaper if bought online.

*Estimated by me and I tend to exagerate.