If your Phuza Wednesday has turned into a phuza long weekend, chances are that you’re in desperate need for natural solutions that can get rid of that dreaded hangover.
After all, it is no secret that Mzansi drinks a lot more during the December holidays. However, Free State’s Dr Retlametswe Losaba, warns, “Alcohol isn’t a guava juice. So, drink it with respect.”
Many people flock to doctors and chemists over the festive for help with their awful hangovers. Losaba describes a babalaas as “a cluster of symptoms due to excessive alcohol consumption.”
From headaches, nausea and vomiting to thirst, fatigue, sensitivity to light and muscle aches, anything is possible after excessive alcohol use. Losaba says, “Drink responsibly. The moment you find yourself talking to yourself in the bathroom mirror is probably the time to stop drinking.”
Hangovers are the unpleasant result of a night on the town, adds Mpumalanga’s Dr Hamilton Phiri, a medical doctor at the Themba Hospital in Kabokweni, Mpumalanga.
“This [hangovers] occurs because of the direct effect of alcohol on blood vessels. Ethanol [the ingredient in alcoholic beverages that make you drunk] is a vasodilator. [That means] it expands the blood vessels, which leads to pressure headaches and migraines.”
Where there is party there is babalaas
Makhosazane Twala (24) from Maboneng in Johannesburg tells Health For Mzansi her hangovers are determined by what and how much she drinks.
“So, I am usually self-aware of my intake to avoid a hangover. Lastly, shots are the worst! Every time I take shots, hangover is a definite the next morning.”
Motlotlo Kwalane from Johannesburg agrees.
“I either drink lots of water before bed or I take charcoal pills before bedtime, or the next morning. Or I drink again, they all work magic. I once had vodka and I had a major hangover which lasted me the whole day. I tried all the remedies I could think of, but nothing worked,” he says.
Mzansi’s babalaas remedies
Mpho Moloi (35) from Fleurhof, Johannesburg gets hungover about once in three months. His go-to remedy is apparently another cold beer.
“I would like to believe that I am an experienced partygoer. Drinking cold water and having a greasy meal helps me from time to time, but a cold beer is definitely the best way.
Meanwhile, Tshego Khumbane (29) from Roodepoort, Johannesburg explains that tequila shots are usually the source of his hangover. He also hardly drinks water between drinks.
“I’ll have a blue energy drink and salt and vinegar chips. The cause is the cure, and the cure is the cause. Tonnes of water also helps. My hangover usually lasts about three hours, nothing more than that, and my side effects ranges from nausea, extreme fatigue, feeling lethargic and sensitivity to noise,” he says.
Hydrate and sleep, babes
Phiri describes honey as a miracle cure for hangovers.
“Honey contains potassium, enzymes, and fructose which helps the body metabolise the ethanol. Turmeric is a spice very often used in Asian cuisine. Its active ingredient is curcumin, which can help reduce the effects of ethanol toxicity and hangover,” he explains.
Losabo suggests that Mzansi drinkers hydrate in-between festive drinks. “Having something to eat as well may help settle your stomach. Taking paracetamol for the headache and simply resting should do the trick.”
Dr Olivia-Joan Iiyambo, a senior medical officer at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, echoes Losabo’s sentiments. She says it is important that you hydrate after a night of hard partying.
Also, always make sure your cupboards are stocked up on painkillers, antidiarrheals and anti-nausea tablets, vitamin B and zinc supplements. “Ginger, bananas, oranges and bread are also said to be helpful. Rehydration, nutrition, and rest,” says Iiyambo.
“Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water between every alcoholic drink. Avoid binge drinking and stay within the safe drinking limit. One to two drinks are generally advised. One drink translates to: 330ml of a cider or beer, 150ml of wine, 50 ml of spirits or whiskey.”