Hair Of The Dog: How Cactus Juice Cures Hangovers And More
Posted by Kate W on Thursday, July 12th, 2012
I discovered tequila in Greece, of all places. When I was a senior in high school, I was lucky enough to take a school-sponsored educational trip throughout Italy which culminated in a cruise of the Greek Isles. My classmates and I had youth and exuberance on our sides, so despite the best efforts of our chaperones, we would often sneak out to bars once they had gone to sleep. We weren’t really breaking any European laws; most of us were eighteen, which is well over the legal drinking age in many European countries. But the chaperones knew our parents wouldn’t approve, so they performed random bed checks until midnight, when they just couldn’t stay awake any longer.
Sneaking out became even easier when we were on a cruise ship. We just had to go down the hall to find a bar that was open until 4am. My classmates and I were often there until last call, sampling everything under the sun. It was there I had my first taste of tequila. I liked it so much, I bought a bottle for my dad at a duty-free shop; then, the last night of the cruise, the bar closed before we were ready to end our party and we cracked it open. Luckily my dad has a great sense of humor, and found it funny that his teenage daughter was presenting him with a half-consumed bottle of tequila purchased in Greece instead of a more standard souvenir.
Now that I am older, my tequila days are long behind me. You’re far more likely to find me sipping on a glass of cactus juice than on a margarita. Contrary to popular belief, tequila is not made from the cactus plant; it is actually from the agave plant which looks like a cactus but is unrelated. Cactus juice in some ways is the opposite of tequila; for one thing, it is a great hangover cure.
Cactus juice has many benefits. It is loaded with antioxidants, and some research indicates that regular consumption may prevent some types of cancer. It has been known to lower blood sugar in people with Type 2 Diabetes, it reduces bad cholesterol without negatively impacting good cholesterol, and it may even have antiviral properties. In addition, it is loaded with nutrients, and its high fiber content may assist in weight loss. Whether you sip it straight, blend it with fruit juice, or skip the juice altogether and take it in capsule form, cactus will provide you with a wide-range of health benefits. And once you’re past your teenage years, that’s a lot more fun than a half a bottle of tequila.
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