Herbal Cure for a Hangover?

While it’s never a good idea to drink too much, it’s good to know that there may be herbal help if you do.

Your body’s response to alcohol is to enlist the liver to break the ethanol into acetaldehyde. But acetaldehyde is more toxic than ethanol, and the result is a hangover. In moderation, the body can more or less handle further breaking down the acetaldehyde, but if you drink too much, you overwhelm your body and suffer the toxic hangover.

But a recent double-blind study found that a single dose of noni extract may help your body to rescue you. In the small study, 30 people were given either a placebo or 1 gram of noni extract before drinking alcohol.

The ones who took the noni reached peak alcohol concentration significantly faster, meaning that they were more efficiently processing the alcohol. Their blood acetaldehyde levels were also significantly lower 40 minutes after drinking and 12 hours after drinking. That’s good news, since its the acetaldehyde that causes the hangover.

The study found that noni extract significantly lowered acetaldehyde levels and the severity of hangover symptoms in people who were 36 years old or less, who drank more than 15 drinks a week and who had higher total hangover scores.

According to the researchers, this study suggests that noni extract “has the potential to improve hangover symptoms by decreasing alcohol and acetaldehyde levels.”

Food & Function. 2023;14(3):1750–60.

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