15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Hiccups

15 Natural Ways to Get Rid of Hiccups

Hiccups come and go but when you get them, and cannot stop them, it can be annoying. Especially if you are involved in something important like a business presentation or wedding ceremony. It all happens when your diaphragm (a dome shaped muscular partition just above your abdomen that helps control breathing) goes into involuntary spasms. When you inhale during these spasms your vocal cords close tight and a hiccup his produced as the air forces through. 

These 15 natural ways to get rid of hiccups will work fast without any medical side effects. If one fails, try another and you are sure to stop those hiccups in their path. 

Avoid the Cause

Before you treat hiccups, find out how to avoid getting them in the first place. Healthline offers a list of some common causes which include:  

  • Eating too much or too quickly
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Being stressed or emotionally excited
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being exposed to quick changes in temperature

Although science has not been able to determine the exact reason adults hiccup, CNN reported that, “a study led by University College London (UCL), researchers monitoring 13 newborn babies found that hiccuping triggered a large wave of brain signals which could aid their development.”

4 Breathing Techniques

Sometimes, when you are struggling with hiccups, all you need to do is stop and try some of these breathing techniques. 

  • Hold It – Breath in deep and hold your breath for twenty-seconds. Exhale and repeat.
  • Paper Bag – Breathe deep, in and out, into a paper (never plastic) bag for about thirty-seconds. Stop, breathe fresh air and start again. If you get too dizzy, immediately stop.
  • Knee Hug – Sit and hug your knees to your chest for about two minutes. This could re-set the diaphragm and stop hiccups.
  • Valsalva Maneuver – This is done by pinching your nose and gently exhaling through your nose (while remaining pinched) and keeping your mouth shut. Be sure to do this gently so as not to ‘pop’ your ear pressure too aggressively. 

5 Point Manipulations

There are many locations on your body that can simply be pressed, pulled, or rubbed to enhance healing. When it comes to hiccups, these points may do the trick.

  • Circle the Carotid – The carotid artery in your neck may respond to hiccup spasms. Gently massaging this area could help. While lying down with your head turned to the left, apply easy circular motions to your neck counterclockwise on the right side for intervals of ten-seconds.
  • Squeeze the Great Eliminator – There is a point in the skin ‘web’ between your thumb and forefinger which acupuncturists and Chinese medicine practitioners call the Great Eliminator. This is because when you squeeze this point pretty hard your body may respond by reducing a headache, stomach pain, or even hiccups. Squeeze deep on both hands for about five to ten-seconds each while breathing. Sometimes pressing the middle of your palm in the same manner can help as well. 
  • Tongue Grab – Using a clean cloth to get some grip, grab the tip of your tongue and gently stretch. This may stimulate throat nerves and muscles to calm hiccups. 
  • Water Trick – Drink a glass of water while holding your nose shut. Be careful not to choke. 
  • Press your Diaphragm – While lying flat you or a helper can gently press and hold the diaphragm to attempt to reset the spasming. Hold for about ten-seconds. You can also gently press your abdomen into the back of a solid chair but be careful not to tip it over and fall. 

6 Food and Beverage Fixes

Various foods and beverages may help relieve your hiccups. 

  • Ice It – Sip or gargle ice water or suck on an ice cube to try and stimulate the vagus nerve, one of the major nerve branches that can be taken over by hiccups.
  • Spoonful – Try a good spoonful or peanut butter or honey being sure to let it slowly dissolve in your mouth. The thickness of these foods could help calm breathing and hiccup spasms. 
  • Vinegar – A drop of vinegar on your tongue tcould reset hiccups back to normal. Careful with vinegar as for some it could be caustic. 
  • Go Spicy – Eating something spicy has shown to stop hiccups. Do this with caution as for some, too spicy a dish could cause other problems. Start with a quarter teaspoon of mild hot sauce and go from there. 
  • Go Sour – Suck on a lime or lemon. According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine (as reported by Readers Digest), this treatment cured fourteen out of sixteen people suffering with hiccups. It was especially effective when mixed with non-alcoholic bitters. 
  • Powdered Chocolate – A teaspoon of powdered chocolate will cause your mouth to go dry and then work up enough saliva to get it down your throat. This process could affect hiccups and cause them to immediately calm down. Be sure and have a glass of water nearby in case you choke on the dry powder. 

Try these 15 natural ways to get rid of hiccups and one will surely do the trick. These are great remedies to keep you firing on all cylinders when your diaphragm just won’t calm down.