A hiccup occurs when the diaphragm involuntary contracts. The diaphragm is the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen. The “hic” sound is produced by the sudden closure of the vocal chords. Hiccups can happen several times in a minute. It is often experienced as a result of a large meal, drinking alcoholic beverages or extreme excitement. For most people, hiccups last for only a few minutes. But for rare cases, it can last for weeks or even months.
Hiccups affect people from all walks of life but are more prevalent in male than female. Hiccups are also experienced by both babies and adults. Most hiccup cases will stop after several minutes. There are various natural ways to stop hiccups including drinking a glass of cold water, consuming a spoonful of honey or sugar, or holding your breath for 10 seconds. However, for cases that last for weeks or months, seeking proper professional treatment is highly recommended.
• A full stomach
• Eating excessive amounts of food in a very fast manner
• Excessive alcohol intake
• Swallowing air
• Change of temperature
The primary symptom of hiccups is the “hic sound”, which is often the only sign. Sometimes, other symptoms such as tightening of the chest and discomfort in the abdomen and throat are also experienced.
8 Natural Home Remedies for Hiccups
Hiccups usually go away on its own after several minutes. However, you can speed up the elimination process by using some of these natural remedies that you can do from the comfort of your home.
1. Cold Water
The sudden shock delivered to the body can effectively stop hiccups. One of the safest ways to achieve
this is by drinking a glass of cold water. A sudden intake of cold water will distract the body and immediately eliminate the constrictions.
Drink a glass of cold water and finish it as quickly as you can. The most important factor when doing this is to maintain the shock effect so drinking it in a continuous manner is the most effective way to stop hiccups. You can also get one glass of lukewarm water and add several ice cubes. Wait for the cubes to entirely dissolve to get maximum effects. Drink in a fast manner and wait for the effect.
Another way to further maximize the effects of this method is by drinking a glass of water in an upside down manner. Bend down at waist level and put your head down while drinking the entire glass of water.
2. Hold your Breath
An old aged trick that has been used for years in stopping hiccups is holding the breath for several seconds. The scientific explanation behind this method is that holding the breath increases the flow of carbon dioxide in the blood stream, which then distracts the mind from the hiccup cycle.
The first step is to take deep breaths and slowly hold your breath as long as you can. It is best if you can hold for about ten seconds, but the longer the better. Make sure that you don’t let any air in or out from your body while holding your breath. Then, exhale gently in a relaxed and controlled manner. Take some more deep breaths and repeat the whole process. Do these steps until the hiccups are gone.
Another old trick is to consume vinegar, which effectively distracts the mind and stops the urge to hiccup due to its very sour taste. In fact, you can use more sour food ingredients such apple cider or malt vinegar.
Take one spoon of vinegar and consume it entirely. Drink a glass of cold water to add more shocking power. Wait a few seconds while taking normal breaths. You can repeat the steps after a few hours if hiccups are still experienced. Another option is to mix a teaspoon of vinegar with half a spoon of water. Take it directly and wait for seconds to see if the hiccups are gone.
Tea effectively relaxes and soothes stressed and tensed muscles, which can contribute to contraction. Tea also provides calming properties to fight off muscle spasms that are associated with hiccups.
Steep one chamomile tea bag in a cup of hot water for a few minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey and few drops of lemon. Stir well. Drink every time you experience hiccups. You can also use other teas such as green tea or oolong tea.
Aside from providing relaxing effects, the sweetness of honey can immediately distract the brain from the urge to hiccup. Make sure to use natural raw honey to maximize the soothing and sweet effects.
Take one spoonful of raw honey and consume in one motion. Wait for a few seconds before drinking water. If the hiccups are still persistent, repeat these steps after a few hours.
If vinegar is too sour or smelly for your liking, opt for lemon instead. Lemon effectively minimizes the effects of muscle spasms, which makes it another perfect natural treatment for hiccups. In addition, the sour taste that lemon gives will also distract the mind from hiccups when consumed.
Take one large lemon and squeeze all its juices into a glass. Consume entirely and drink water after a few seconds. If the sourness is too much to bear, mix the lemon juice with some honey and half a cup of cold water. Stir well and drink quickly. Repeat these steps after a few hours if hiccups are still experienced.
7. Ice Cube
Aside from drinking cold water, using an ice cube to deliver shock and distract the mind is also another effective way to eliminate hiccups. This trick will work best when you are not aware that your body will be shocked by ice cubes.
Get several pieces of ice cubes and put them in a thin piece of cloth. Place the ice cubes in the mouth area or at the nape area of the neck. Let it stay for a few seconds or until you can tolerate the coldness. Be careful not to leave too long to avoid damaging the skin. Do these steps as many times as you can or until hiccups are gone.
Aside from the neck and mouth, you can also place the ice cubes in any part of the body where you can feel the maximum effects of the cold shock.
8. Brown paper bag
In addition to holding the breath to get more carbon dioxide in the blood, brown paper bags can also assist in having better blood flow.
Get one medium sized brown paper bag and put the opening in your mouth. Make sure to place properly while preventing air from entering or exiting the bag. Take a long and deep inhale. Then, exhale carefully and slowly. Do these steps several times or as many times as you can while avoiding air from exiting or entering the bag. Remove the bag and breathe normally. If hiccups are still bothering you, repeat these steps after a few hours.
Do not do this method if you are suffering from any heart-related issue or sickness. Also, immediately stop if you feel any shortness of breath or difficulty to breath.
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