With the festive party season in full swing, hands up who’s getting in the spirit of things?! Keep those hands up if you’ve been in the party spirit (quite literally) a little too much…? Overindulging is almost acceptable in December, and why not? With politics, doom and gloom dominating the headlines this year especially, we’re all allowed to let our hair down a little at the end of a busy year.
If you have a hangover right now, you’ll probably have your own go-to cure. Do you treat it with gallons of water and a paracetamol? Or do you indulge a little further with a carb loaded breakfast and fizzy drinks?
Either way, nothing truly gets rid of last night like a day in bed. But however you attempt to treat your fuzzy head, you’ll probably want it gone quickly, especially if you’re expected to be at work.
So did you know that honey could be the answer to your wine fuelled prayers?
Honey as a Hangover Cure
The science is a little complex, so bear with us if your head is already hurting.
When we drink alcohol, just like when we eat or drink anything, the body starts to break it down through the process of digestion. In the case of alcohol, our liver breaks it down into a chemical called acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is actually toxic to the human body, more so than alcohol, and according to Dr John Emsley of the Royal Society, the body needs to get rid of it as soon as possible by breaking this by product down.
(Incidentally, drinking alcohol sensibly means the body can deal with this toxic substance, albeit by giving us a hangover. Sustained, long term drinking means that acetaldehyde can build up and cause damage to the liver.)
Whilst this acetaldehyde is hanging around, we’re suffering the effects of a hangover. So if you’re feeling a bit toxic after last night’s party, then at least you know why – you’re actually full of (thankfully short term) toxins!
But the human body is a clever thing. It uses fructose to turn toxic acetaldehyde into acetic acid, a harmless substance which is then metabolised into carbon dioxide which we then breath out. When this process is completed, we start to feel better – but it takes time.
And this is where honey comes in! Honey is naturally sweet, just like sugar. But unlike sugar, which gets its sweetness from glucose, honey gets the majority of its sweetness from fructose. As we learnt above, fructose is what enables the body to break down acetaldehyde into acetic acid.
So although the greatest healer for a hangover is time, eating honey can help to minimise the effects whilst our body does the rest. Luckily, Necta & Hive Red Gum and Jarrah honeys taste delicious as well as helping to speed up the duration of your hangover. Add a heaped teaspoon to a warm herbal tea (not hot, as this will kill all the natural healing properties of these active honeys) and enjoy. You’ll also be helping to rehydrate yourself at the same time, another important step in curing a hangover. We hope you heal quickly… Until next time!