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10 Natural Home Remedies For Hiccups

Hiccups Treatment At Home
Hiccups Treatment At Home

The word hiccups originated from the Latin word “singultus,” which comes from the word “singult,” meaning “to catch one’s breath while sobbing.” A hiccup is an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm which is the muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen and is an essential role in breathing.

The “hic” sound is produced by a contraction which is followed by a sudden closure of the vocal cords. Usually, when a person takes a deep breath, the diaphragm pulls down to draw air into the lungs.

While, as they breath out, the diaphragm pushes up to expel the air. However, when a person is experiencing hiccups, the diaphragm contracts and pulls down, drawing in air between breaths.

And immediately after this, the windpipe closes for a moment to prevent more air from entering the lungs, thus producing the “hic” sound.

A hiccup can happen to a person anytime on any day and can last for several minutes. Thus, this condition is quite annoying, especially when you’re in the middle of something important.

When you are experiencing hiccups, you usually have a hard time breathing properly and it kind of exhausts your lungs and diaphragm when it goes on for too long.

Hiccups may result from eating a large meal, drinking an alcoholic or carbonated beverage, or even due to a sudden excitement.

In some cases, hiccups may be a sign of an underlying condition. But for the majority of people, their hiccups usually last for only a few minutes and rarely may persist for months. This type of hiccup on the ptherhand, may result in weight loss and exhaustion.

There are numerous causes of hiccups, however, there are no identified triggers for it.

Possible common causes of short-term hiccups include:

  • Overeating

  • Eating spicy food

  • Consuming alcohol

  • Drinking carbonated beverages, such as sodas

  • Consuming very hot or very cold foods

  • A sudden change in air temperature

  • Swallowing air while chewing gum

  • Excitement or emotional stress

  • Aerophagia — swallowing too much air

In some cases, there are hiccups that may last longer than 48 hours which is already categorized by the type of irritant that causes this episode.

The majority of persistent hiccups are usually caused by an injury or irritation to either the phrenic nerve or vagus. The phrenic nerves and vagus are actually responsible for controlling the movement of your diaphragm.

These nerves may be affected by:

  • Irritation of your eardrum such as a foreign object, throat irritation, or soreness.

  • Goiter — enlargement of the thyroid gland.

  • Gastroesophageal reflux — The condition wherein stomach acid comes back up into the esophagus which is the tube that moves food from the mouth to the stomach.

  • Esophageal tumor or cyst

There are also cases wherein persistent hiccups may be caused by a damage in the CNS or Central nervous system.

Damage in the CNS may lead to persistent hiccups including:


  • Multiple sclerosis — a chronic, degenerative nerve disease

  • Tumors

  • Meningitis and Encephalitis — infections that can cause swelling in the brain

  • Head trauma or brain injury

  • Hydrocephalus — accumulation of fluid on the brain

  • Neurosyphilis and other brain infections

There are also cases where hiccups lasts for longer periods which can also be caused by:

  • Alcohol abuse

  • Tobacco use

  • An anesthesia reaction after surgery

  • Certain classes of drugs, including barbiturates, steroids, and tranquilizers

  • Diabetes

  • An electrolyte imbalance

  • Kidney failure

  • Arteriovenous malformation cancer and chemotherapy treatments

  • Parkinson’s disease

Hiccups are generally not a cause for panic of any sort thus, its treatments are more on lifestyle changes and natural remedies.

There are several natural remedies for hiccups:

See Also:

Hold Your Breath

This is one of the most common remedies to try and almost everyone has done it. The next time you get hiccups, take a deep breath and try to hold it for a minute or a few seconds. Whenever there’s a buildup. carbon dioxide in the lungs, the diaphragm tends to relax.

Drink Some Water

Hiccups Treatment Home Remedy
Hiccups Treatment Home Remedy

Whenever you have hiccups, try taking 9 or 10 quick sips in a row from a glass of water.

This will cause the rhythmic contraction of the esophagus to override spasms of the diaphragm.

Peanut Butter

Natural Remedies For Hiccups
Natural Remedies For Hiccups

Taking a big spoonful of peanut butter is a classic treatment for getting rid of hiccups.

Since the texture of peanut butter is gooey and requires effort, the process of chewing and getting it off your tongue and teeth, causes your breathing and swallowing patterns to be interrupted.


Natural Cure For Hiccups
Natural Cure For Hiccups

Can you believe that eating chocolate can be a treatment for hiccups? Yes it is! If this works for you then you can do this any time you get a hiccup.

This is done by eating some powdered chocolate drink mix right off the spoon.

Dill Seeds

Hiccups Natural Treatment
Hiccups Natural Treatment

This is a simple treatment which only requires you to slowly chew a teaspoon of dill seeds.

This works because swallowing the dill seeds stimulates the vagus nerve which makes the hiccups stop.

Suck On A Lemon

This is actually a popular remedy. Simply biting or sucking on a lemon wedge soaked in non-alcoholic bitters.


Natural Ways To Stop Hiccups
Natural Ways To Stop Hiccups

Try this remedy by adding one teaspoon of honey with warm water and drink it in the back of your tongue and just swallow it. Just like dill seeds, honey is also a stimulant which tickles the vagus nerve to make hiccups stop.

This is a great remedy as it is used for its many health benefits.

Swallow Something Sweet

Taking a spoonful of sugar is also a popular remedy for hiccups because its sandy texture can slightly irritate the esophagus which causes the phrenic nerves to reset themselves.

Breathe Into A Paper Bag

Whenever you get hiccups, you may try breathing slowly and deeply into a paper bag or even plastic. This will help increase carbon dioxide levels in the blood which makes the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen.

Stick Out Your Tongue

This simple yet funny remedy may actually work because it stimulates the opening between the vocal cords. This will make you breathe more smoothly, eliminating the spasms causing the hiccups.



About Mary Sheila

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Having served clients for over a decade as a Board Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant and Ayurvedic Practitioner, Mary Sheila Gonnella teaches people how to honor their unique physiology, move self-care to the front burner, and achieve and maintain radiant health.  Mary Sheila’s wealth of knowledge has led her to be included as a featured speaker and teacher on various online summits and stages around the San Francisco Bay Area. Mary Sheila is excited to be a part of BioYouth Labs, where she is able to keep sharing the good word of nutrition and supporting people with quality supplements that can support the healing journey.

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