We’ve all experienced hiccups many times throughout our lives and they affect all ages equally. They’re those spontaneous muscle movements that we have very little control over. Hiccups are caused by involuntary diaphragm contractions — with each contraction being followed by the classic hic sound when the windpipe closes.
There can be a number of triggers that cause hiccups: acid reflux, certain medications, sudden temperature changes, drinking carbonated beverages, overeating, excitement, alcohol, swallowing air and several more. Each hiccup will leave us feeling a tightness in our abdomen, chest and throat. Sometimes they can last for several minutes to several hours. If hiccups last longer than 48 hours, they can impair our daily function from conversation to eating and drinking to sleeping. This is the time to see your doctor before serious complications arise.
We’ve probably heard of several old school ways of getting rid of hiccups like holding your breath, breathing into a paper bag, gargling with ice water, sticking our your tongue and so forth. Some swear by these actions because they’ve worked for them. Here are a few more suggestions that may work for you when hiccups show up and you need to get rid of them quickly.
You can use Peppermint essential oil two different ways to address hiccups. First, put a drop or two in the palm of your hands, rub lightly and inhaled deeply. It works almost immediately. The second way is to put one drop of peppermint oil that has been diluted with coconut oil, on the roof of your mouth. This stimulates the vagus nerve which can stop the contractions that cause hiccups.
Bring Your Knees to Your Chest
Sit comfortably on the floor and leaning against a wall. Then bring your knees to your chest and hug them for about 2 minutes. This will compress your chest and alleviate your hiccups.
The sweet and gentle flavor of honey can stimulate the vagus nerve and inhibit hiccups. Add one teaspoon to a cup of warm water and sip slowly.
Placing a spoonful of granulated sugar at the back of the tongue and allowing it to slowly dissolve has been effective for many people. Its grainy texture is said to irritate the esophagus and will stop the diaphragm from spasming.
Relax Your Diaphram
A great way to relax your diaphragm is to hold your breath for ten seconds or breath into a paper bag. Breathing into a paper bag raises the carbon dioxide level in the blood which will calm the nerve and muscle friction that causes hiccups.
Plug Your Ears
Stick your fingers in your ears and gently inhale and exhale slowly. While exhaling, stick our tongue out as far as you can. Continue in this manner until your hiccups stop.
Holding a spoonful of any nut butter in your mouth for about 10 minutes or so and then swallowing it, is an old wives tales as a hiccup cure. Many say it works.
Hiccups can be caused by improper digestion and ginger is a good solution. Cut a small piece of ginger root and chew on it slowly. Or steep a half inch of ginger root in hot water for 5 minutes and drink the clear liquid.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.