hangoverWe’ve all been there… Waking up with a pounding headache, feeling nauseous, and desperately searching for the nearest cup of water. And while we obviously try to avoid these mornings, sometimes they just happen. Over the years, I’ve heard of various hangover cures: greasy food, hair of the dog, sports drinks, an ice-cold Coca-Cola, Pedialyte, coffee, pain medication, and the list goes on. A couple of weeks ago, I was at my friend’s house and after a couple of margaritas I started worrying about the potential hangover in my near future. She then looked at me and said “Charcoal!” I was puzzled and asked her what she meant and she handed me a few charcoal supplements and swore by their magical powers to prevent that morning-after dread. I looked it up, and learned that activated charcoal capsules work as a digestive aid and essentially absorb dissolved chemicals (i.e. alcohol) as they pass through the body. I woke up the next morning feeling like a million bucks. It was a miracle cure, and an easy one at that! Beware though, activated charcoal can cause constipation—that’s one thing my friend didn’t mention. ;)

You can read more about activated charcoal and other hangover cures here, and feel free to share any of your personal remedies below.

Footnote: I am speaking from personal experience. I am not a doctor, nor is my friend. It’s always a good idea to check with your care provider before taking supplements.

Image above via Getty.


  • chelsea w

    I’ve never used it for hangovers, but I have used it here and there for medical reasons that go along with my Lyme disease, actually. I know it has various uses in the medical field, but I’ve never heard of it being a hangover cure. Don’t know if I would ever use it that way but definitely interesting!!

  • Heather

    Activated charcoal worked wonders for me when I developed copper toxicity from my IUD! It’s amazing and the only thing I found that essentially cured me.

    Another side effect, though, is that it can also absorb medications and make them ineffective (for example, antidepressants). Just FYI for anyone taking anything essential!

  • Jennifer

    I’ve used activated charcoal for years for a variety of reasons…including a hangover cure for my wine nights in college. It’s also my go-to for younger coworkers when they head out at night to watch/play a show in our college town. :)

    Nowadays I use it to help with my digestive issues after emergency gallbladder removal. It’s a great supplement for a variety of issues! I always have a bottle on hand…

  • Leeloo

    I’m originally from the state of New Jersey and we have this meat product called Taylor Ham or Pork Roll if you’re from South Jersey. It’s a tangy delicious pork product filled with nitrates and probably terrible for you…but I say fight ugly with ugly. Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a roll is the hangover elixir from the state of New Jersey. If you can’t get that, and outside the state of NJ it is very difficult to find, then you get your hands on a Mexican Coca-Cola. The key there is it’s made with cane sugar and not high fructose corn syrup.

  • Jessica

    I had previously heard of this before and once mentioned it to a friend of mine who is an herbalist and she strongly advised against ingesting charcoal for a multitude of reasons. I completely trust her judgement and will never try it (I’ll stick to water, gatorade, and nux vomica!) but to each their own! :)

  • Jessica

    When I remember, I take an Emergen-C packet and a B-complex BEFORE going out for the night.
    Works like a charm.

    But even an emergen-c before bed can help. Happy drinking!

  • Madeline

    My favorite hangover cure is to wash my hair with shampoo that contains lavender and tea tree oil. The oils work together to reduce inflammation and soothes the pain of dreadful hangover headaches!

  • Jennifer

    I’ve successfully taken activated charcoal when both of my daughters had the stomach virus- I started taking it as soon as they came down with it & it’s the first time ever that I didn’t get it. You’re not supposed to take it a lot b/c it absorbs good and bad things- but I swear it helped me not stomach virus. WIN

  • Adrienne

    Still searching, here. I tried activated charcoal once and yakked it back up. But I didn’t think about taking it the night of drinking. Maybe I’ll give it another shot. My cure? Hydrate hydrate hydrate before, during and after drinking. Basically I try to have a glass of water for every drink. Plus know your body. I can’t seem to handle more than three. Thanks for addressing! I’m going to try some of these tips.

  • Adrienne

    btw I love that picture! I want to know her story.

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