Best effective home remedies and natural treatments for hiccups

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hiccups

What is a hiccup?

This symptom is also called singultus or SDF (synchronous diaphragmatic flutter). The hiccup is an uncontrollable contraction of the diaphragm which can repeat several times per minute.

We know that the diaphragm is a muscle which separates the chest from the abdomen. As your diaphragm contracts, it causes you to breathe air in very quickly which is followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords. This is producing the characteristic sound of a hiccup.

Hiccups can happen individually or in bouts. For most people, bouts of hiccups last for a few minutes. There are very rare cases when hiccups can last for hours. In most cases, a hiccup is the only sign. But also at times, you can experience a slight tightening sensation in your abdomen, throat, or chest.

Hiccup common causes

The most common causes for hiccups are swallowing air while chewing or eating something, sudden change in the room temperature, smoking, some kind of excitement or emotional stress, eating very spicy foods, eating too quickly, overeating, drinking carbonated beverages or excessive alcoholic beverages. Long–term hiccups which last for hours can be due to certain medications, metabolic disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, central nervous system disorders due to a tumor or infection, respiratory conditions, and nerve damage or irritation.

Hiccups can be also triggered by tranquilizers, steroids, kidney failure, electrolyte imbalance, diabetes, barbiturates, anesthesia, and alcoholism. When hiccups happen in public, then they can be embarrassing and annoying. In most cases, hiccups will go away on their own without using treatment. But also there are many home remedies that can help to stop the hiccups. Talk with your doctor before you start taking some of the below-mentioned home remedies for hiccups. [1]

16 Home remedies for hiccups

Peanut butter

This is an age-old home remedy which can help to keep hiccups at bay. This home remedy has a sticky and goosey consistency which can interrupt the breathing pattern when you try to swallow it and also it can help to stop the continuous hiccups. You should put one teaspoon of peanut butter in your mouth. You should hold it for a few seconds and then swallow it without chewing. If it is required, you can drink a glass of water. If you do not have peanut butter, then you can use almond butter.

Hot sauce

You should sip some hot sauce. This home remedy works because the heat and burn are distracting enough to turn the focus of your body on the burn instead of hiccups. Also, the hot sauce can be a very effective home remedy for sore treatment. [2]

Vinegar

This is also a very effective home remedy which can help to stop the hiccups. It has a sour taste which can help to distract the mind and this can help to stop hiccups. The best types of vinegar which can help to stop the hiccups are apple cider vinegar, malt vinegar, and white vinegar. You should swallow ½ teaspoon of vinegar followed by one glass of water.

Also, there is another option and that is to mix one teaspoon of vinegar with a little water. You should swallow it slowly and you will notice that the hiccups will stop. [3]

Sugar

This is one of the best home remedies for hiccups, especially for small children who cannot do some of the mentioned home remedies. Swallowing sugar can stimulate the vagus nerve and it can make your body forget all about the hiccups [1].

You should fill one teaspoon with brown or white sugar. You should hold this spoon in your mouth for five seconds. You should allow the sugar to dissolve slowly without chewing it. You should take a sip of water and you will notice that the hiccups will stop. Adults can also use this home remedy. People who suffer from diabetes must avoid it.

Hold your breath

This is an age–old natural treatment for hiccups. It can increase the amount of carbon dioxide which is in your bloodstream and we know that it can distract the mind and it will help to stop the cycle of hiccups. You should take a deep breath and you should hold it as long as you can without letting any air out. You should exhale gently in a controlled manner. You should inhale and hold your breath again. You should do this natural treatment several times per day until the hiccups stop. [1]

hiccups

Drink upside down

When you drink a cup of cold water, then it can shock your body and you will notice that hiccups will stop. But this home remedy can be more effective if you drink the water upside down. You should fill a glass of cold water. You should bend down at the waist and you should put your head down. You should drink the water from the opposite side of the glass than you would normally do. If it is required, you can repeat this natural treatment again.

Cold water

Cold water can help to shock your system and you will notice that hiccup will stop. Any kind of a shock to your body will cause distraction and it can help you to stop hiccups. You should quickly drink a glass of cold water with honey and you will notice that your hiccups will go away immediately. Also, you can gargle with cold water for one minute to keep the hiccups at bay.

Also, there is another option and that is to suck on a small piece of ice for a few seconds. [1]

Lemon

This is a very sure natural way which can help you to stop the hiccups [1]. Lemon has a sour taste which can overwhelm the irritated nerves and it will make the hiccups disappear. You should put ½ teaspoon of undiluted lemon juice in your mouth. This overpowering taste will compel you and you will swallow it hard and you will notice that hiccups will stop immediately. Also, there is another option and that is to mix the juice of one lemon into half a glass of water. You should drink this home remedy quickly to stop the hiccups. Also, there is another option and that is to put a little salt on a small piece of lemon and you should suck the juice out of the lemon slowly.

Breathe into a paper bag

This is also a time–tested trick that can help to stop hiccups. This can increase the amount of carbon dioxide in your body which is making the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen. Also, it can help to stop the hiccups. You should tightly press a small paper bag around your mouth. You should breathe slowly and deeply into it. You should repeat this natural treatment several times per day while you are keeping the brown paper bag in place. Stroke and heart patients should not use this home treatment. Also, it is very important to follow this method at someone’s comfort level. [4]

Sticking fingers in the ears

It was reported that this natural treatment for hiccups can stimulate the branches of the vagus nerve and it can distract it with this other sensation. The Vagus nerve is connecting the brain to the abdomen and it plays an important role in controlling the diaphragm which means it is important for hiccups.

Chamomile

This can be a very effective home remedy for hiccups. It has muscle–relaxant properties which can help to ease the contractions in your diaphragm that cause hiccups [5]. You should steep one teaspoon of dried chamomile herb in one cup of water for five to ten minutes. You should drink it slowly and you will notice that hiccups will stop soon. Also, there is another option and that is to put one or two drops of chamomile essential oil in a brown paper bag. You should hold the bag over your nose and mouth and take slow and deep breaths into the bag until your hiccups stop.

Honey

You should put one teaspoon of honey stirred in warm water on the back of your tongue and swallow it. Honey can tickle the vagus nerve and it can make the hiccup stop.

Uvula lift

This is a potential hiccup cure. You should lift the uvula which is the hanging sack at the back of your throat with a sturdy object like a Popsicle stick or dinner spoon.

Cardamom

This is also a very effective home remedy for hiccups. It has muscle relaxant properties and it can help to stop hiccups. You should mix one teaspoon of cardamom powder in one glass of water. You should set it aside for fifteen minutes and then you should strain it. You should drink this home remedy slowly.

Dill

You should slowly chew a teaspoon of dill seeds. This home remedy can work because when you are swallowing seeds, then it is stimulating the vagus nerve to make the hiccups stop.

Cotton swab remedy

People who suffer from hiccup spasms should take a cotton swab and tickle the roof of their mouth where the soft and hard palates meet.

References:

[1] Chang F-Y, Lu C-L. Hiccup: mystery, nature and treatment. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2012;18(2):123-130.

[2] Steger M, Schneemann M, Fox M. Systemic review: the pathogenesis and pharmacological treatment of hiccups. Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics. 2015;42(9):1037-50.

[3] Gonella S, Gonella F. Use of vinegar to relieve persistent hiccups in an advanced cancer patient. 2015;18(5).

[4] Woelk CJ. Managing hiccups. Canadian Family Physician. 2011;57(6):672-75.

[5] Srivastava JK, Shankar E, Gupta S. Chamomile: A herbal medicine of the past with bright future. Molecular Medicine Reports. 2010;3(6):895-901.

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