December 31st 2018
The best herbal teas for a hangover
November 23rd 2017 / 0 comment
Should you go tea-total on a hangover? From turmeric to ‘BB’ teas and other herbal infusions, here are the ones we reach for when a heavy night threatens to ruin the day after
Hangover cures - we all have one and with party season fast-approaching, they’ll be needed more than ever. Whether it’s having Deliveroo on speed dial or a well stocked supply of ibuprofen on standby, each person has their own magic formula. That being said though, a poll round the office revealed a surprisingly common remedy - a cup of herbal tea.
Requiring minimal funds to buy and effort to make, they can make a world of difference to our day. “Teas play an extremely important part in the detoxification process,” explains Sebastian Pole, medical herbalist and author of Cleanse, Nurture & Restore with Herbal Tea. The heat of the water is a key reason for this. “Drinking hot water strengthens our digestion and is a fantastic cleanser,” he says. “Think of it as washing up: if you have a greasy plate and you use cold water, the fat will simply congeal. However, if you use warm water, the grease melts away.”
When combined with the right herbs, its benefits are further enhanced. “Try infusing the beneficial properties of herbs like fennel, aniseed and nettle into your tea, which are all excellent at supporting liver detoxification and repair the damage caused by alcohol,” advises Sebastian. “Alternatively, green teas (which do contain caffeine, albeit in much lower quantities than coffee) are high in antioxidants which help protect cells in your body from free radical damage from exposure to chemicals, alcohol, smoking and pollution.”
Which ones are worth stocking up on? Here are our tried and tested picks - buy these now, thank us later.
Pukka Clean Matcha Green Tea, £2.66 for 20 bags
If you’re looking for a mild caffeine boost for a painful morning after the night before, this pick’s for you. Containing matcha tea (which is higher in antioxidants than other green teas), dandelion root, nettle leaf, turmeric and lemon essential oil, it helps to stimulate digestive juices and rehydrate too. “The combination of herbs is known to increase the activity of a specific enzyme in the liver which converts toxins into non-harmful substances, including alcohol, cigarette smoke and pollution,” says Sebastian. “The name of this enzyme is GST and drinking teas made with these herbs can increase its effect by almost 15 times!”
Twinings Chamomile and Honey, £1.70 for 20 bags
A go-to of GTG’s Anna Hunter, think of this pick as a much-needed hug in a mug when your system’s about to shut down. Both chamomile and honey are great at helping settle the stomach and its delicate and soothing flavour sweetened with a hint of vanilla makes for the most calming of infusions.
Hotel Chocolat Teaolat Cacao and Ginger, £5 for 10 bags
If a hangover makes your sugar cravings skyrocket, this cacao shell infusion makes for a healthier alternative to ingesting the entire contents of your advent calendar or an entire box of Celebrations (I have done both of these things). Plus, ginger’s known for helping with nausea and while the sight of its solid form may well put your gag reflex to the test when hanging, this easier to swallow version makes for a much more palatable option.
Kusmi BB Detox Tea, from £5
Our Editor Victoria Woodhall's favourite hangover tea, this subtly grapefruit flavoured pick can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Containing green tea, maté, rooibos, guarana, and dandelion, it helps nip both nausea and sluggishness in the bud.
Pukka Turmeric Gold Tea, £1.99 for 20 bags
Beneficial for digestion, super spice turmeric can help boost hungover skin too. “One of this spice’s best-known properties is its anti-inflammatory activity, as shown in numerous research studies,” says medical herbalist, Katie Pande. Helping soothe and restore the skin from the inside out, it also supports overall gut health and helps reduce bloating too.
Teapigs Peppermint Tea, £4.15 for 15 bags
Helping to put hangover blues to bed, this refreshing minty tea helps alleviate sickness and stomach upsets. A favourite of GTG’s Judy Johnson, it’s made with whole peppermint leaves to give it a fuller-flavoured appeal to others on the market.
Do you have a favourite herbal tea for a hangover? Let us know yours in the comments section below.