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How to prevent or cure a hangover

The holiday party season is quickly approaching, which for many of us means copious amounts of alcohol at office Christmas parties, festive cocktails with friends or just a coping mechanism from too much time with family.  Jane Scrivner, detox expert and author of The Quick-Fix Hangover Detox and Detox Yourself, provides her top preventative and recovery strategies to help cure a hangover after we have had one too many.

cure a hangover



Care for your kidneys

The kidneys process fluids. They will take on the bulk of the work during and after your ‘big night out’. They also keep the PH (Positive Hydrogens – acid/alkaline) balance of your body in check, which helps to prevent the nauseous acid stomach that often comes as a result of overindulgence. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it will encourage your kidneys to process and pass much more fluid than actually goes in. Alcohol will also give you a very acidic stomach, which we all know leads to indigestion. You need to drink loads of water and eat or drink anything that is good for the kidneys to keep them toned and ready for any action that lies ahead:


  • Blackcurrant juice – fresh not cordial!
  • Cranberry juice – keeps the waterworks fresh and glowing
  • Celery and asparagus – to make you ‘p’ efficiently
  • Bananas – contain potassium to help process fluids


Include at least one of these in each meal in the run up to the fall-out.


Ginseng booster


Ginseng is a plant extract, an all-round healer and cure all. It has the ability to bring the body back into balance, to rejuvenate and to empower. It contains vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and it balances blood sugar. Ginseng can be taken as a tea or supplement, or in honey as a tincture. It:

  • Strengthens the liver
  • Protects the liver
  • Aids against toxic overload
  • Removes internal stress
  • Tones the liver
  • Feeds vitamins, minerals and amino acids to the body
  • Maintains blood sugar levels
  • Boosts the immune system

So boil the kettle and make a nice pot of ginseng tea, or take a regular supplement or a spoonful of tincture – all readily available from health-food stores. Gulp in the goodness.




Don’t go greasy
No matter how tempted you are to resort to the fry-up, just don’t. Eat more museli if you need to nibble, but don’t go greasy. Just think of the grease, oil and fats all churning up inside compared to the absorbent oats, nuts and fruits. Imagine how the fry-up would feel sliming around your stomach and through your body – a bit like a scene from a bad B movie. Fry-ups come with a label that says heavy, greasy and sluggish.


Eggs – not too bad – just don’t fry them – poached or boiled is best.
Bacon – acid forming, stomach churning.
Bread – absorbent, wholemeal: OK.
Sausages – more acid to the mix and fatty, too.
Chips – fried, fattening and greasy.
Fried bread – don’t even go there.
Bubble and squeak – potatoes, veggies and a little oil – not too bad, but not great.
Chocolates, pastries, muffins, cakes – sugar high, then shocking low.


Porridge settles the stomach and decreases its acidity. It helps to stabilize blood sugar levels and absorb the toxins. Eat porridge for breakfast and eliminate the nausea often associated with alcoholic excess. Serve it with grapefruit segments on top for cleansing and vitality and discover a low-calorie recovery recipe. You can also stir in some honey or slice up a banana. Bananas lift your mood and give you a slow-release energy boost, so you should feel better sooner and for longer.


Hot toddy for the poor body
A bedtime comforter, this one is good before you go to bed, but if you didn’t quite manage it then, now is the time. Combine: Hot water, lemon and a few slices of fresh ginger.

  • The ginger neutralises acids in the stomach
  • The honey is healing
  • The lemon is alkaline forming



 Jane Scrivner established The British School of Complementary Therapy in London’s Harley Street in 1989. It runs courses on a range of therapies including osteopathy, physiotherapy, reflexology and aromatherapy.