I just came across this study, admittedly several years old now, which has linked eating asparagus to a better recovery following a night on tiles. Well, yes ok, the researchers didn’t quite look at it that way… but we can extrapolate (and have).
According to researchers at the Institute of Medical Science, and Jeju National University in South Korea, amino acids and minerals found in asparagus shoots and leaves may alleviate hangover symptoms by protecting liver cells against toxins.
“Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots,” said lead researcher B.Y. Kim. “These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells.”
Unfortunately for us in the Southern hemisphere, asparagus is not in season for too much longer (it’s a warm weather crop). However, there are a few other strategies you can use to help with hangovers. The best one being moderation. I KNOW. Shocking.
On a sort-of related note, one of my all time favourite herbal medicines is in fact a member of the asparagus family. Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) is a traditional Ayurvedic herb and an excellent lady tonic. Shatavari is the herb’s Sanskrit name and translates as ‘she who has 100 husbands’ – ooh lala – yes my friends, it is indeed used as an aphrodisiac. Shatavari is also used for hormonal balance, to improve energy and may be put in a mix for new mums to support breastfeeding and reduce anxiety.
Have you tried asparagus for a hangover? Do you love the green spears like I do? What about Shatavari? Tried it? Loved it or loathed it?
REF: B.Y. Kim, et al. Effects of Asparagus officinalis Extracts on Liver Cell Toxicity and Ethanol Metabolism. Journal of Food Science, 2009; 74(7): H204-8.