A hiccup is a reflex that cannot be controlled and it repeats several times per minute. If it lasts longer than a day or two, it is necessary to seek medical attention, but in the most cases it can be stopped by using little tricks and numerous natural remedies.
A hiccup (singultus) is an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm, a large muscle that separates the thoracic organs and abdominal cavity and participates in the regulation of breathing. When you breathe air in very quickly and it rapidly moves toward the lungs, the body reacts automatically by shrinking the vocal cords and making it stop, which produces the characteristic “hic” sound.
The hiccup attacks are characterized by a steady rhythm and regular intervals between two “hics” and they usually stop spontaneously within a few minutes, but sometimes they can last up to several hours. If they last longer than a day or two, or become chronic, medical attention is required, because in such cases it can be a serious illness. Frequent hiccups in adults rarely can cause fatigue, lack of sleep and weight loss. Fortunately there are many home remedies to treat this annoying condition, and here we list some of them.
Although they often occur for no particular reason, short-term hiccups can also be caused by a range of factors:
• drinking alcohol
• eating too quickly
• eating spicy foods
• bloated stomach
• drinking hot or fizzy drinks
• swallowing air
• a sudden change in room temperature
• a sudden change in the temperature inside your stomach
• emotions, such as stress, fear or excitement
You can try swallowing honey or sugar, to get rid of hiccups. When you swallow a tablespoon of honey, it will soothe irritated nerves that cause hiccups. Another popular way to get rid of hiccups is swallowing a tablespoonful of sugar. Take a tablespoonful of sugar and put it on the back of your tongue. Sugar granules will irritate the esophagus, which will cause the nerves to “reset”.
Drinking a glass of water is probably the most popular way to get rid of hiccups, and believe it or not if you drink it with a spoon the effect will be even better. If this does not help, then try with gurgling before swallowing. Some also believe that drinking pineapple juice can stop this annoying problem, while others think that the lemon juice is the best way for getting rid of hiccups.
Breathing into a paper bag
If food and drinks are not working, you can try this popular method with breathing into and out of a paper bag. The theory behind this method is that the carbon dioxide builds up in your body and then the body will try to release it and it will forget about the hiccups.
One of the oldest techniques for getting rid of hiccups is having someone scare you. If someone scares you when you least expect it will “trigger” your vagus nerve and stop the hiccups.
Drink water upside down
One of the most effective methods to get rid of hiccups is surely drinking water, but not as you would normally do it. Don’t worry you don’t need to do a headstand. All you have to do is lean over to simulate being upside down and just drink a bit of water. Hiccups will stop in a matter of seconds.
This is one of the best remedies in the fight against hiccups. You can chew a tablespoon of fennel seeds or just simply make a tea. Take 4 teaspoons of fennel seeds, or 2 teaspoons of dried chopped fennel, and pour 2.5 dl of boiling water over it. After the tea has been made, cover it for 3 to 5 minutes, strain it and drink it unsweetened.
Additional tips & trick
• Eat a tablespoon of sugar or cocoa powder.
• Make a mixture of equal amounts of black mustard and butter and eat 1 tablespoon of the mixture.
• Chop half a dozen of green cardamom, boil them in two cups of water and once a half of the liquid evaporates, strain it and drink hot tea.
• Eat something sour, for example slice of lemon or orange or drink a tablespoon of vinegar.
• Mix 2 tablespoons of salt with half a cup of yogurt and drink it slowly.
• Sucking the ginger root is also proved to be very effective
• Take a tablespoon of peanut butter, let it melt in your mouth for about 15 seconds and swallow it without chewing.
• Eat a little bit of chili sauce
• Take a tablespoon of honey, put it in a glass of warm water and stir. Drink it slowly to get the best effect.
• Anise tea also has a very positive effect when it comes to hiccups. To prepare this tea, put a teaspoon of anise seeds in 2 dl of boiling water and let sit for 5 minutes. Then strain it and drink it 10 minutes later.