The Ginger Tea Reviews: Hangover Cure!
Yes, you read that right. A how-to guide to beat your worst hangovers!
Welcome back, everyone, to another exciting installment of the Ginger Tea Reviews! Tea is my passion, and I am making it my goal to share my passion with the world! After my last two blog posts about boozy teas, I felt it was time to drop some knowledge on the best ways to beat your hangover, with tea!
So I have nursed myself, my friends, and my boyfriend through many hangovers in the past. I have experienced the worst hangovers, and the not so bad hangovers, and there is always one thing that remains constant: tea helps. Every. Single. Time.
Now, usually, I'd just throw together a couple of my best quality teas, chock full of antioxidants, and that would be my typical hangover "cure." However, for this article, I decided to get scientific with it, with a lot of help from my loving boyfriend. (Thanks, babe!)
So before we get into the cure itself, let's talk about what actually causes a hangover.
What Causes a Hangover?
A hangover is a group of unpleasant symptoms that usually develop after drinking way too much alcohol.
Typically, we blame dehydration as the primary cause of a hangover. This is because alcohol (ethanol) is a diuretic; it makes you pee a lot. So with the constant loss of fluids, while you take in more alcohol, you quickly find you wake up in the morning with a serious case of cotton mouth, lightheadedness, and a pounding headache. This is because while we are too busy drinking and having a blast, we forget that we actually need water too. However, based off of multiple studies, dehydration is likely not the primary cause behind a hangover.
Alcohol irritates your stomach lining, as well. It increases the level of stomach acid produced in your belly, which typically results in a sour stomach the next morning. This could also easily be rectified if we could just remember to eat before, or during, a drinking session. However, as stated before, drunk people don't always think about eating when we're too busy having fun and cutting loose.
Another big contributor to your hangover symptoms is a compound called acetaldehyde. When your body goes to break down the alcohol in your system, it turns the alcohol into acetaldehyde. In small amounts, this usually does not do too much harm to your body. However, acetaldehyde is considered 30x more toxic than alcohol, so when you drink A LOT of booze, you will end up with A LOT of acetaldehyde in your body. Acetaldehyde, in many studies, was found to have a hand in hangover symptoms.
Cytokines can play a big part in hangovers as well. Cytokines are a signaling chemical produced by the body when dealing with infections or fevers. When you drink a bunch, and you start to feel sick as your hangover falls over you, your body will produce much more of these cytokines as an attempt to handle the hangover. This typically results in you feeling stiff and sore, and can contribute to the memory loss and nausea.
Oh, but that's not all! Certain types of alcohols can cause worse hangovers because of compounds called "congeners." Many studies have found that alcohols with higher levels of congeners, like in red wine or brandy, and other dark liquors, are much more likely to cause hangovers. However, alcohols with lower levels of congeners, like gin and vodka, and other clear liquors, are less likely to produce hangovers. That being said, yes you can still get a hangover from gin and vodka, it just may not be as bad.
So, now that we know what causes a hangover, I'm going to tell you, first, about the best way to avoid a hangover all together, if you want to go party hard. First things first, EAT SOMETHING and DRINK SOME WATER. Like, this is obvious, guys, and I don't want to waste too much time explaining again why this is important. Get food in your belly before, or while, you drink. Also, keep water on hand; it's necessary. But here is a special trick you may not have known: fill your body with antioxidants before you drink. Why? Those antioxidants will fight off the hangover!
Antioxidants protect your cells from damaging effects from toxins (ie. alcohol). So, before you go drinking, drink a couple of cups of white or green tea. These two types of teas are best known for their antioxidants; drinking a couple cups will give your body the extra boost. But fair warning; tea can also act as a diuretic, so it is very important that you drink water in addition to drinking the tea. Got it? Good.
Now, I will tell you about the different components I used for the cure and why, as there is a reason for each and every ingredient I used.
Moroccan Mint Tea
So the first thing I had to decide was on what type of tea to use. Antioxidants are super important in this tea, as it will help kick the hangover out and get you feeling better. I picked Moroccan Mint Tea for a couple of reasons:
First, the tea has Gunpowder Green Tea in it. If you remember my first article, Gunpowder GT is rich in antioxidants and has multiple vitamins that your body needs.
Second, the second ingredient of this tea is peppermint leaves. Peppermint leaves are a common and popular remedy for nausea, diarrhea, and sore muscles.
By itself, Moroccan Mint would actually be an excellent cure, if you don't want to get too crazy with it. However, I said I was going for extra scientific, so...
Dandelion Root Tea
I added some Dandelion Root to the mix. Now, y'all, I was super frustrated; it is apparently very difficult for me to find fresh herbs where I live. So I had to make due with a bagged tea. So if you want to recreate the blend, I highly recommend finding the fresh herbs to use, as the tea in the bags are usually so ground up, they are like dust. That being said, Traditional Medicinals Organic Dandelion Root herbal tea worked just fine.
Now, you might be wondering at this point, "Dandelion Root? Is she crazy? That's a weed!"
Yes; it is a weed. However, this weed has a plethora of benefits that you may not have known about. Dandelion Root acts as a diuretic, which is good for your liver because it helps you eliminate those toxins from the hangover faster. Plus, it can soothe digestive issues, cleanse your kidneys, and can help with heartburn! If you're anything like my boyfriend, after a night of drinking, he can have some terrible heartburn. The Dandelion Root eases the stomach, and helps with the stomach acids that can give you heartburn. So all in all, Dandelion Root tea rocks, and makes an excellent addition to the blend.
Again, I was forced to use a bagged tea, because finding the herbs was difficult for me. Choice Organic Chamomile Tea did the trick, however if you can find dried chamomile flowers, the blend will be much better.
Chamomile is one of the more ancient remedies and is used for so many ailments. It soothes aches and pains, relaxes you, can aid with stomach troubles, and is also rich in antioxidants.
Chamomile, by itself, is a great tea to help you when you feel sick, or hungover. But in this blend, it adds more benefits to aid in kicking the hangover right out of your system.
This was recommended by my boyfriend, as bananas will add to the flavor of the blend, but provide much needed potassium as well.
As we discussed earlier, hangovers can leave you feeling sore and stiff. The potassium found in bananas helps with the ache. For this blend, I used Karen's Naturals Just Organic Bananas. Now, I know I've used a lot of organic stuff in this blend; I assure you, how organic your ingredients are does not matter. I just happened to be at an organic grocery store.
The bananas add a touch of sweetness to the tea, as well as adding a plethora of other vitamins and minerals. After all, you can't go wrong with a super fruit in your tea blend.
Now, you don't necessarily have to used crystallized ginger in your blend. If you can dry out your own ginger pieces, or if you can find dried ginger, that will work just fine as well. I used the crystallized because I thought the sugars used would add a sweetness, while also providing all the health benefits of ginger.
Ginger is typically used to relieve nausea, loss of appetite, and pain. Ginger is also extremely potent in antioxidants and can act as an anti-inflammatory. Used in this hangover cure, it adds more benefits and flavor.
If you are not particularly a fan of ginger (D:), then it is not a necessary ingredient to the tea. After all, this blend is already hitting the motherload of health benefits required to knock a hangover cure out. If you still want to add the benefits of the ginger to the tea, but you're not big on the flavor, you can add the ginger in lesser amounts.
So this is how I made the blend:
- 3 cups (or more, depending on your preference) of Moroccan Mint Tea
- 4 bags, or 1 cup of Dandelion Root Tea
- 4 bags, or 1 cup of Chamomile Tea
- 1 cup of dried bananas
- 1/2 cup of crystallized (or dried) ginger
- (OPTIONAL) 1/2 teaspoon of matcha powder
- (OPTIONAL) Splash of cream or milk
Shake it really well in an air tight container. So, since this tea has green tea in it, you have to be careful of the sensitivity of the tea leaves. Brew this tea at 175° Fahrenheit, for 3 1/2 minutes, and no longer, otherwise you will get bitter tea. Now, if you want to get real froggy, this part is optional. I added matcha to my first cup, and here's why:
Surprise Ingredient: Matcha!
Matcha is another green tea that comes as a powder. It is super rich in multiple vitamins (such as Vitamin C) and minerals, plus it is rich in antioxidants as well. So adding the matcha powder just added extra benefits to an already strong hangover cure.
But there's another reason I added it, too:
Matcha is next to coffee in caffeine levels.
Have you ever woken up with a bad hangover, and coffee seems to help a bit? This could be because your body may have a small caffeine addiction, if you drink coffee regularly. So, having some caffeine during a hangover can assist with that headache, as caffeine withdrawals make the hangover headache worse. But does coffee actually help your hangover? Not really, no.
But matcha, however, has the same caffeine content as coffee, but goes into your blood in a different way, preventing the caffeine jitters. Not to mention, the health benefits in matcha, alone, make it an excellent addition to the cure; it helps wake you up, and is better for you than coffee. You can't go wrong when you add matcha to your drinks, especially your hangover cure.
The Finished Product
So, the flavors of the tea, without cream or milk, is mild and lightly sweet. You don't really need to add sugar or honey to this mix, as the bananas and crystallized ginger already do that for you.
You can taste the banana, with an undertone of ginger, and the peppermint brings it together for a fresh finish that is sure to soothe your pounding head.
If you want to add cream or milk, it adds a nice smoothness to the flavors, which is always nice. Plus, the milk helps to hydrate as well. Unless, of course, you are having sinus or allergy problems (which is common with Spring approaching), in which case, avoid the dairy; it's a congestant (you're welcome).
All in all, when battling a hangover, be sure you have a big glass of ice water on hand, even when drinking this hangover cure. It's very important to make sure you re-hydrate your body. The cure, however, will fill you with essential antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that you need to kick the hangover out, and start feeling better.
Drinking and partying with your friends can be a blast; you just have to remember to take care of yourself, as well, so you don't feel like death the next day. However, if you follow my advice, you should be right as rain; if not, the cure should fix you right up.
Try it for yourself, or create a concoction of your own! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know how you like it! I love to hear back from you all!
I hope you enjoyed reading this! And remember: There is a great big world of tea out there, and together we can explore every last inch of it!
Until next time! Stay tuned for more fun and exciting entries on the Ginger Tea Reviews!
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