Volume 90, Issue 67

Thursday, January 23, 1997



Just a spoonful of herbal tea will help you come down

The Hangover Pack: For the Morning After the Night Before
By Christine Falvey
Lansdowne Publishing
Paperback, 63 pages

By now, most of us are familiar with that oft-used, all-too-real, jovial drinking song by Spirit of the West that exclaims, "I'm so sick from the drink I need home for a rest." Where the resting begins after having knocked one too many back after an exam, The Hangover Pack by Christine Falvey comes in handy with some fun, alternative herbal relief.

While this book gives general information and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, it does provide quick herbal remedies, aroma-therapy relief, recipes for hangover eating and cosmetic tips for bloodshot eyes. The Hangover Pack comes complete with a remedy book, two pure essential oils, massage oil, historical cures and quotes on drinking from P.J. O'Rourke to Shakespeare, Lord Byron and even the New Testament.

Of course, one cannot simply review a book that comes with material without actually trying a few simple, unharmful ones out. In order to give a fair review, the herbal teas have been consumed, the oils applied and the scented baths taken. While the splitting headache seemed to subside with the application of the lavender oil rubbed into the temples and the food advice such as eating an apple to settle an upset stomach seemed to have worked, it could of course have been a state of mind or a complete willingness and desperation to enforce the remedy.

The helpful food tips and recipes such as ginger couscous and drunkard's soup ‡ la Clement Freud may have natural validity, but definitely have hangover humour. The advice it offers, such as staying in bed and consuming liquids and adding oil drops to a burning vaporizer, are effective and elementary. As for making your own massage oils in order to relieve an alcoholic headache and making odd foods, it is a bit tedious and time-consuming.

But it is no news that natural remedies can be effective – they've been around longer than modern science and are the source of a new wave of herbal relief. The Hangover Pack also includes a definition of a hangover and its effects, an explanation of men's higher alcohol tolerance and many recipes for alcoholic beverages and cures. Although most tips are for external use and are relatively safe, consult a physician and read the instructions before adopting any practice the book offers. But remember, next time "you're feeling truly dreadful, darling, add a twist of lemon."

–Emily Ruffell

To Contact The Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997