Hiccups are one problem that literally everyone and their grandmother has a cure for. But the truth is, there's not much scientific basis to most home remedies, and what works once may not work again. But when you've got the hiccups, you will try almost anything to get rid of them. So any or all of these kitchen cures may be worth a shot.
Home Remedies from the Cupboard
Honey. Try swallowing a tablespoon of honey. This overwhelms the mouth with a sweet flavor and may short-circuit the irritated nerve.
Sugar. Experts give a thumbs-up to this remedy. Simply place a spoonful of sugar in your mouth, toward the back of the tongue where sour tastes are tasted. This will enhance the sweet overload you're delivering.
Home Remedies from the Drawer
Paper bag. Breathing into a paper bag will increase the amount of carbon dioxide in your body. Since your body takes that as a signal of suffocation, your respiratory system urges the body to take deeper breaths. Those deeper breaths may stop the diaphragm spasm. This method is a favorite in hospitals.
Home Remedies from the Freezer
Ice. Drink a glass of ice water -- a cold drink is believed to shock the system. Or simply apply a piece of ice to the back of the neck. This may shock your body and cause you to take a deep breath.
Home Remedies from the Refrigerator
Lemon. Lemons are believed to overwhelm irritated nerves with a sour taste. This may divert the nerves' attention and get rid of your hiccups.
Pineapple juice. Some think the acidic content of the juice helps stop the hiccups.
Water. Bartenders swear by this hiccup-relieving trick -- quickly downing a glass of water with a spoon in it. The swallowing is probably the reason the hiccups go away, but the spoon seems to take the person's mind off their hiccups. And some people believe gargling with water relieves the hiccups.
Home Remedies from the Spice Rack
Dill seed. Swallowing a teaspoon of dill seeds is an old folk remedy that may work for you. No one is sure if it's an ingredient in the dill seeds that helps or if simply swallowing the seeds is what does the trick.
The good news is that hiccups are usually just a passing irritation. The next time your vagus nerve flares up, keep these home remedies in mind.
For more information about home remedy treatments to combat an assortment of ailments, visit the following links:
- To see all of our home remedies and the conditions they treat, go to our main Home Remedies page.
- Quench the flames of acid reflux with the kitchen cures covered in Home Remedies for Heartburn.
- Read Home Remedies for Burping to put a stop to unpleasant (and socially unacceptable) belching.
- If you're suffering from tummy troubles, Home Remedies for Upset Stomach can offer some cures.
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.