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COLUMN: How to cure a hangover

COLUMN: How to cure a hangover

There are some great products on the market that will help you feel less lousy after a boozy outing, writes MiNDFOOD Wine Editor Joelle Thomson.

COLUMN: How to cure a hangover

I’m feeling surprisingly alert considering how tired, toxic and hungover I was first thing this morning. I didn’t intend to drink much yesterday. But one thing led to another and by 4pm I remember thinking a cup of tea and a lie down wouldn’t go amiss.

Instead, somebody poured me a large glass of southern Hawke’s Bay pinot noir, and it would have been rude to decline the hospitality. Even if I do have a few misgivings about southern Hawke’s Bay pinot noir.

After 14 years of writing about wine, I’ve made it my business not to drink it in the middle of the day, however every now and then greed gets the better of me.

It’s not as if I do it every day.

Alright, that’s not entirely true, I do taste and drink wine about seven days a week, but not usually for brunch with a line up of eight tempranillos after an early morning flight.

Although the real reason for my hangover is not the tasting but the socialising with one group of friends after another when I returned home. 

But thanks to some foul tasting Comvita olive leaf complex, and fish oil and vitamin B tablets from a new company called Go Healthy, I feel better than I would otherwise. (I’m not getting any kickbacks from this, either.)

I’ve had new-found energy since I began taking the Go Healthy vitamins a month ago.

In the last fortnight, I’ve been sent two hangover cure potions. Ever the cynic, I can’t help but doubt the veracity of any potion that claims I will feel better after taking it, but these ones do seem to work because I don’t feel as bad as I should, considering my indulgent alcohol consumption.

I have taken the recommended dose of Hydrodol hangover cure which, coupled with the olive leaf complex and Go Healthy B vitamin tablet, has made me feel alert, cleansed and even perky.

I’m not saying it’s definitely due to any of these pills and potions, but joining the dots of past hangover experiences, my energy levels in general (even without a hangover) and the vitamins, I think they are having a positive effect.

Hydrodol’s magic ingredient is kudzu, a wild plant known as both a weed in warm climates and a hangover cure in China. Kudzu starch contains a high amount of iron as well as plenty of calcium, phosphorus and some sodium.

It has more calories per gram than honey and is a rich source of energy in living organisms. Researchers at Harvard Medical School say that those who consume kudzu have a reduced craving for alcohol by up to 90 per cent compared to those who have not had any. Its effects are subtle but certainly noticeable.

The other hangover cure I received is Sprayology Party Relief. It landed on my hotel bed on a recent trip to Pasadena, west of Los Angeles, where my hosts, the Langham Huntington Hotel, seemed to have thought of everything.

There is no kudzu in the homeopathic Sprayology Party Relief. It contains 12 natural ingredients, of which I have been able to pinpoint the following: carbo animalis (activated charcoal) for headaches; teraxacum officinale (dandelion plant) for upset stomachs and nausea, carduus marianus (aka St Mary’s thistle) which apparently helps to protect the liver.

It also contains capsicum annum (red or chilli pepper) whcih assists sluggish digestion and Avena sativa (oats), which also assists with sluggishness and is said to relieve “sexual incapacity from excessive alcohol intake”.

My favourite part was the delicate description of the product on the label: “Prevents and relieves alcohol related discomfort”.

I hate alcohol related discomfort, but I love wine and every now and then I do consume more than I should, making the risk of such discomfort relatively high.

Most days, though, I stick to my mantra: If all else fails, drink less. It works a treat to prevent alcohol related discomfort.

Hangover Cures

Comvita Olive Leaf Complex

High strength olive (Olea europaea) leaf extract health liquid made from the largest specialised olive leaf estate in the world, in Australia. High in antioxidants and contains 30 times the equivalent amount of polyphenolic antioxidant activity as an equivalent amount of extra virgin olive oil

Go Healthy

New range of high dose New Zealand vitamins, anti-viral tablets, high omega 3 fish oil tablets and other healthy daily doses of goodness in pill form. If you’ve been feeling sluggish in general, any of these works a treat on raising your energy levels and feelings of wellbeing, both physically and psychologically.


Available in small packs from pharmacies in New Zealand and Australia; two doses to a pack, which includes eight tablets (a standard dose is four tablets to be taken at once either during drinking or the morning after). Relief seems to kick in within an hour of taking the tablets.

Sprayology Party Relief

North American homeopathic spray relief from alcohol related discomfort. Made from a combination of 12 natural ingredients to relieve headaches, dehydration, upset stomach, nausea, sluggish feeling and liver toxicity.

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