One reader’s hang­over rem­edy? A dip in a pool

Orlando Sentinel - - Obituaries - By Joe Grae­don and Teresa Grae­don

Q: Many years ago, when I was a young grad­u­ate stu­dent, I was faced with a dilemma. Satur­day night had seen a great stu­dent party, at which many of us had way too much to drink. Sun­day af­ter­noon was to bring a fac­ulty-stu­dent sem­i­nar with a vis­it­ing scholar — at our house!

Af­ter crawl­ing out of bed Sun­day morn­ing with deep re­grets, I won­dered what to do. I de­cided a dip in the swim­ming pool on this very cool Al­bu­querque morn­ing in April might be just the thing.

The ini­tial plunge in the very cold wa­ter was like an elec­tric shock, but the de­sired ef­fect came quickly and was lit­tle short of mirac­u­lous.

I’ve learned it’s far bet­ter to avoid hang­overs in the first place, but short-term cold stress on the body mo­bi­lizes its de­fenses.

A: There is sur­pris­ingly lit­tle re­search on hang­over re­me­di­a­tion listed in the med­i­cal lit­er­a­ture. We are in­trigued that your method worked so well.

We imag­ine, though, that some peo­ple would rather try a so­lu­tion that was re­cently sub­jected to a dou­ble-blind place­bo­con­trolled trial in Ger­many (BMJ Nu­tri­tion, Pre­ven­tion & Health, April 30, 2020). The re­searchers found that a so­lu­tion con­tain­ing plant ex­tracts to­gether with vi­ta­mins and min­er­als worked bet­ter than the vi­ta­min-min­eral so­lu­tion or placebo alone.

The plants they used were ginger, ginkgo, wil­low, prickly pear and acerola (Bar­ba­dos cherry). Vol­un­teers who took the treat­ment be­fore and af­ter drink­ing al­co­hol had less headache, nau­sea and rest­less­ness the next day.

An­other reader wrote of a fa­vorite hang­over rem­edy: “Vi­ta­mins B (com­plex), C and D along with ginger (nau­sea), wa­ter, cof­fee, DGL and rest seem to help, along with a break­fast of PB toast and choco­late milk. And time.”

Q: I used Prepa­ra­tion H twice yes­ter­day and once today. I no­ticed a headache yes­ter­day and at­trib­uted it to a lack of sleep.

When I ap­plied the oint­ment today, my headache re­turned. I checked my blood pres­sure, and it was 16 points higher than nor­mal.

I un­der­stand that the prob­lem with Prepa­ra­tion H is the phenyle­phrine. Do I need to avoid this medicine?

A: The ac­tive in­gre­di­ents in Prepa­ra­tion H hem­or­rhoidal oint­ment in­clude min­eral oil, petro­la­tum (pe­tro­leum jelly) and phenyle­phrine. The phenyle­phrine con­stricts blood ves­sels. That is why it is also found in some de­con­ges­tant nasal sprays.

The in­struc­tions that come with Prepa­ra­tion H state: “Ask a doc­tor be­fore use if you have heart disease; high blood pres­sure; thy­roid disease; di­a­betes; dif­fi­culty in uri­na­tion due to en­large­ment of the prostate gland.” Peo­ple on blood pres­sure med­i­ca­tion should gen­er­ally avoid prod­ucts con­tain­ing vaso­con­stric­tors, such as phenyle­phrine.

Q: I have been us­ing orig­i­nal Lis­ter­ine for scalp is­sues for years.

I am no longer able to find am­ber Lis­ter­ine. Do the other types of Lis­ter­ine work as well as the orig­i­nal for other is­sues than just bad breath?

A: If the mouth­wash you put on your scalp is blue or green, you might end up with col­ored hair. One reader soaked her feet in Lis­ter­ine Fresh­burst to treat ath­letes’ foot. She found it turned her feet green.

You should be able to find house-brand am­ber mouth­wash with in­gre­di­ents sim­i­lar to those of Lis­ter­ine: eu­ca­lyp­tol, men­thol, methyl sal­i­cy­late, thy­mol and al­co­hol (26.9%). Early in the 20th cen­tury, the maker ac­tu­ally ad­ver­tised Lis­ter­ine for “in­fec­tious dan­druff.” In their col­umn, Joe and Teresa Grae­don an­swer let­ters from read­ers. Send ques­tions to them via www .peo­ple­sphar­macy.com.

RONSTIK/GETTY/IS­TOCK­PHOTO

Re­searchers found a so­lu­tion con­tain­ing plant ex­tracts with vi­ta­mins and min­er­als worked to fix a hang­over.

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