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A hangover is the after effect of drinking alcohol. Some people only get them after consuming an excessive amount, while others get them after consuming a much smaller amount.


Symptoms include a headache, dehydration, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and a general feeling of being unwell. Some people may also be sensitive to light or loud noises.


A hangover could be said to be a milder version of alcohol withdrawal. Alcoholics withdrawing from the effects of alcohol go through the same thing, only stronger. It is known as delirium tremens. The headache that hangovers are so famous for is caused by relaxed blood vessels. Alcohol relaxes them, opening them up. If the vessels open up too wide, pain receptors are triggered, causing a headache. The dehydration is due to the fact that alcohol is a diuretic. The fluid that is lost adds to the headache and the thirst most sufferers feel in the morning.

Alcohol also irritates the stomach, which causes nausea and vomiting. Alcohol is also a depressant, which accounts for the fatigue and overall feeling of unwellness. Acids build up in the blood after consuming alcohol, which leads to acidosis. Additives and impurities in the alcohol also contribute to the severity of the headache. In general, the darker the alcohol, the worse the effect is. While vodka and white wine have fewer of these additives and impurities, bourbon, red wine and scotch have quite a few.


Drinking alcohol to excess can lead to alcoholism. If you find yourself drinking to excess on a regular basis, you may need to seek help.

Herbal Treatments

Internal Applications

External Applications

Essential oils that may be used in a bath, burner or massage include geranium, grapefruit, lavender, lemon, peppermint and Rosemary. Remember to always use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil if you are applying directly to skin.

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