At sixteen, on holidays in Jamaica, my cousins and I would hitch a ride from the villa our family had rented and make our way up the road to Duncans, a small rural town sandwiched between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Skateland was the place to be and be seen. We were clearly the only 'tourists' in the joint (no pun intended) and even through we had long ago given up the requisite tourist braids, roller skating with the Jamaican girls was just not going to happen. We watched the girls and guys go around and around grinding and winding to reggae, ska and dance hall that blasted from the 12 foot high stacks of speakers.
Because we didn't want to stick out like lame-oid vacationers, instead our sixteen year-old brains decided we would be better off hoisting ourselves up onto the stage to dance in front of these ginormous stacks of speakers. Invariably, guys would come up very (very!) close behind us and dance right along- one hand on us, and the other clutching a bottle of rum cream.
Rum Cream was to the Jamaican teenage boy what Mike's Hard Lemonade was to the Canadian teenage girl. We wanted our alcohol sweet. There is nothing worse than a hangover after drinking sugar doused alcohol all night- and rum cream being something like a Bailey's or Amarula is just creamy sickness.
It has been a long long time since I drank. On the rare occasion that I do, I stick to the cleanest alcohol and only in very moderate amounts. Having been off drinking for close to seven years, it doesn't take much alcohol, likely none at all, for me to do the equivalent of getting up on a public stage to dance in front of speakers. Either way- with the Caribana festivities peaking this weekend the Red Stripe and Rum Cream will surely be flowing and I am here to help. I will shake my head, tell you to remember how this feels, and will ask whether it was worth it, but I will also offer some helpful advice beyond Tylenol and a Coke, a bacon and eggs breakfast, or the worst of the worst, hair of the dog.
Holistic Hangover Remedies
- B-Complex Vitamin: Before bed, helps get the cells active and increases energy production helping eliminate the alcohol faster
- Milk Thistle: Before bed, helps clear the liver.
- Magnesium: Before bed, it is believed that some of the hangover related symptoms are in part due to magnesium depletion.
- Ginger Tea: Settles the stomach
- Lemon in the armpits (you read that right): Helps reduce sweating and so decreases dehydration headaches.
- Coconut water: Amazing for re-hydration, nature's sport's drink.
- WATER!!! Lots and lots of water! (and throw in some sea salt too to replenish electrolyte minerals)
- Nux Vomica: It has the 'vom' in it so you know it's good. This homeopathic, available at most health food stores is believed to be the best hangover cure ever. Symptoms helped by Nux Vomica include headaches, nausea and oversensitivity to noise, light and drafts.
And are you ready for the best one of all? Check your binge drinking at the door of your high school prom, or perhaps your university homecoming and get on with your life. Really? Is it ever worth it?
And a few more songs. The best of the best and the best of the worst.