Holiday Hangover Remedy – Milk Thistle
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on December 3, 2009 by Paulina Nelega, RH
As you must know by now, I am one naturally sweet babe. I am chemical, additive, preservative-free. If I allow myself indulgences of any kind, they must be as close to their source as possible: organic potato vodka martini with raw cerignola olives (dirty), sprouted chick pea hummus with sundried tomato chips.
You must also know by now that I am mother to Jake, an almost-vegan preschooler whose first food love was broccoli.
Yet somehow, last night our fruit-sourced sugar shack became the land of conventional holiday candy – courtesy of Auntie Lilly’s annual gingerbread house decorating. She brought the house, we chose the deco.
At my local health food store I did my best to pick the most natural candies: organic chocolate covered sunflower seeds, fruit juice gummies, natural peppermints. We couldn’t choose between the chocolate rocks and the haystacks, so we bought them both. Having sequestered ourselves in the bulk section, we ended up bagging 11 candied items (not including the candied ginger, which I thought would be my sweet alternative to the others. It wasn’t). We hauled our trove home.
After a speedy ride back, breezing through the front door and barely removing one arm from my coat sleeve, I casually but swiftly ripped open the bag of choco-sun seeds.
They had been cut with conventional mini-M&M;’s. I lost no time in sampling the rogue invaders, and, finding them much to my organic liking, I inhaled half of the bag.
And so began a lustful evening of me falling off of my sugar-free raw-organic-vegan wagon.
Later, with a migraine weighing me down like a 35 pound bag of candy, I dragged my sorry sugar-shot butt into bed. There I lapsed into my candy coma, though not before downing the recommended dosage of milk thistle (I had proofed my puppy Buster’s post on the herb, and was well versed in its virtues).
8 hours later, I woke to inform you dear readers that my hangover was not nearly as painful as I had anticipated. All thanks to the amazing milk thistle! An herb native to the Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa, humans have been using it for over 2,000 years to cure and treat ailments of the liver. Effective to combat everything from acne to cirrhosis of the liver, milk thistle contains the active ingredient silymarin. It acts to remove and block toxins, safely allowing the body to release them – and it has even shown in research to stimulate cell regeneration!
Sounds like the perfect hangover herb! Even though I wasn`t hung over per se, my system is so darn clean that even the slightest no-no (read: refined sugar, artificial colors and flavors) sends me into over done. Milk thistle helped my system detoxify at warp speed, helping me move that stuff so I would suffer far less than I coulda–shoulda–woulda. Milk DOES do a body good!
Take note, holiday party people: this is one kind of milk that you should be stocking at the bar!
Hanging Ten, Sage
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan