By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Originally published on Advocate.com January 09 2012 4:00 AM ET
Unless you've always been a teetotaler, you've probably endured a post-party hangover. The familiar one-too-many syndrome that follows New Year's Eve, St. Patrick's Day celebrations, and every circuit party known to the LGBT crowd happens when your overburdened liver tries to clear out the toxins and chemicals from the alcohol. Headaches, dehydration, nausea, head spins, lowered blood sugar, and fatigue all kick in the morning after you've indulged. Every culture swears by its own hangover treatments (Bloody Marys, menudo, olive oil, Tiger Balm, sleeping 18 hours), but we found five remedies sure to ease your pain. Blowfish
No, not the cute little fish that blimps up when frightened, this hangover cure is a new FDA-regulated over-the-counter medication that comes with a money-back guarantee. The recommended dose of Blowfish (two tablets) contains 120 milligrams of caffeine (about the same as a cup of coffee), 1,000 milligrams of aspirin, and an antacid‚Äîa combo that, taken when you wake up, is said to cure a hangover in as little as 15 minutes. "The magic of the effervescent tablet," says the creator of Blowfish, Brenna Haysom, "is that it hits your system much faster than getting a cup of coffee, taking an antacid, and taking some aspirin separately." Blowfish creators are so sure of their product, they'll even send you the first sample free. ($2 shipping, ForHangovers.com) Wasabi
The Wasabi Hangover Bath Treatment from Body Systems offers the path of least resistance. Get into a hot tub, pour in the treatment, relax, and detox. The Wasabi Treatment contains organic ginger to ease nausea, fever, and indigestion; organic mustard to increase circulation, stimulate sweat glands, and open pores; Epsom salts for internal rebalancing and relieving muscle aches; and a specific blend of essential oils to loosen phlegm, soothe nerves, and jump-start pain relief. Even better, it's great not just for holiday hangovers but also jet lag and overindulgence of other sorts. ($5, Body-Systems.net)Bytox
For some celebrants it's all about ease, and the specially formulated Bytox hangover remedy patch lets you slap one on before, during, or after your night of boozing and then helps reduce the physical side effects of alcohol consumption. It works by replenishing the nutrients and vitamins (including B1) your body loses whenever you imbibe. It's best to put it on 45 minutes before you start drinking and wear it for eight hours after your last drink, but it's safe, natural, and calorie-free, so there's no chance you'll overdose. ($3, Bytox.com) Algae
Some say this 2.5-billion-year-old plant life is a miracle drug since studies have indicated it can lower blood pressure, cure colds, aid weight loss, balance blood sugar, provide energy, protect the brain, build the immune system, and more. It was even declared the most nutritionally dense food on earth by both NASA and the United Nations 40 years ago. Why care? It's also a natural way to prevent hangovers. But until recently, nobody paid attention. Why? "Probably because algae was missing sizzle," says NaughtyBits founder and CEO Catharine Arnston. "Substance it had. Heck, it's a nutritional rock star, but sizzle, no. Algae wasn't glamorous or packaged properly to catch anyone's attention." After Arnston's makeover, algae is now sold in the form of Naughty-Bits, algae tablets that have the highest concentration of protein in the world (60%), over 40 nutrients, and just one calorie per tab (think green, raw, vegan too). (Prices vary, NaughtyBits.com)Sexercize
Physical activity is one of the best treatments for a hangover. Exercise increases perspiration, releases endorphins, and helps moves booze-laden blood through the liver and kidneys more quickly. Yoga guru Tara Stiles offers a Hangover Yoga routine on Blip.tv, which includes headstands and a stretching, twisting pose that literally wrings your liver like a sponge. Even better, if you're not a yoga nut, sex counts as exercise, so if you didn't do it while you were drunk, now's the time to get your game on...in the name of good health.