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Try This Surefire Hiccup Cure!

Try This Surefire Hiccup Cure!

Hiccups are involuntary contractions in the diaphragm muscles that separate the chest from the stomach. These muscles control our breathing and other functions. During a spell of hiccups, these muscles spasm, forcing a rush of air into the lungs and causing the vocal cords to close. This creates the distinctive “hic” sound we all know so well.

Hiccups are also known as hiccoughs, and there is even a technical medical name for them: “synchronous diaphragmatic flutter.” Nobody really knows exactly what causes them, though some factors have been known to contribute to frequent bouts, including spicy foods, eating too fast, and excessive alcohol drinking. Extreme cases may be caused by a physiological problem.

The longest known case of the hiccups is recorded in the Guinness World Records. Charles Osborne, of Anthon, Iowa, hiccupped continuously from 1922 until 1990, a total of 68 years!

Popular Remedies
Though some chronic cases of hiccups do require medical treatment, luckily most bouts resolve themselves within a few minutes. Even so, when you’ve got them, it can feel like they’ll never go away, which is why people have been sharing their own personal, and sometimes outlandish, hiccup cures for much of human history. Popular folklore includes literally hundreds, if not thousands, of hiccup cures. Some have at least a little basis in science, while others are just downright silly. Early editions of the Farmers’ Almanac even listed a few cures.

Some of the most often cited remedies include having someone scare you, holding your breath, breathing into a paper bag, drinking vinegar, swallowing a spoon full of sugar or honey or peanut butter, drinking upside down (put down some drop cloth first), drinking from the opposite side of the glass (be sure to wear a bib!), drinking while holding your nose and ears closed (you’ll need to grow some extra arms for this, or enlist a friend), pulling on your tongue, sticking your fingers in your ears, tickling the roof of your mouth, and any number of other suggestions.

The Magic Bullet
People attribute varying degrees of success to these many remedies, and nearly everyone has his or her own cure that they swear by, but this one works like magic:

Fill up a large glass of water (at least 12 ounces). Drink the water down, one sip at a time, in a series of hard gulps. Try to get in at least seven or eight gulps without hiccuping. This may take a few attempts. Start drinking right after a hiccup in order to give yourself enough time. After about eight gulps, there should be a good bit of pressure built up in your esophagus. Let it out in one great big burp. That burp should act as a kind of “reset button,” relieving the tension in your diaphragm that caused the hiccups.

Try it next time you get the hiccups. You won’t be disappointed!

31 comments

1 Rebecca { 08.05.14 at 7:49 am }

If you notice, ALL the “cures” involve concentrating on something. That is the actual cure. That said… I found a cure that started with kids, but works for all. Open your mouth wide (or have the person with hiccups open their mouth wide), look in the mirror or hiccup victims mouth, stick out tongue, anticipate the next hiccup (tell the child or other person that you can see it coming and describe it with wild imagination)… continue to do this until they subside. It works EVERY time. Have fun!!

2 Joseph { 08.04.14 at 8:45 pm }

Hold you’re breath and drink a gulp of water. Always works for me!

3 Sharon { 08.04.14 at 2:31 pm }

Hold your breath and take a few sips of water. Then breath after drinking the water. Works every time.

4 Phyllis Pippin { 08.04.14 at 1:45 pm }

Hold my breath for about 30 seconds….

5 Pamela McGuffey { 08.04.14 at 1:22 pm }

This method works best with an “assistant” — have someone to press the upper portion of both earlobes while the “patient” takes several sips of water. There will usually be one last (big) hiccup at the end of the procedure.

6 Susan Ellington { 08.04.14 at 1:08 pm }

Not recommended for children…but my Nana used to do this for us as kids- a small glass of water (around 6-8 ozs), light a match, put it out in the water, throw the match away….drink the water as quickly as you can! The sulfur? from the match supposedly is what helps…always worked for us :)

7 Linus { 06.17.14 at 7:33 pm }

The hiccup cure worked — amazing. Now I can go to the Cardinal game against the Mets!

8 Caitlin { 07.26.13 at 1:04 am }

I’ve always used a spoon of peanut butter-the chunkier the better, and don’t chew! Just swallow in a giant glob and it will coat your throat. My second one is drinking from the wrong/far side of the glass. It’s a little tricky but it’s the concentration that gets it. My mom used to swear by pulling/rubbing your ear lobes but that never did it for me. I did your swallowing method and it did work! Thanks!

9 slrivers { 05.06.12 at 7:58 pm }

hallalueigh it worked.

10 Trombonella { 05.01.12 at 12:51 pm }

I love having the hiccups! I usually get into a laughing fit when I have them. Lately, I am on an immunosuppressant and everytime I eat, I hiccup for a minute or two.

11 Janet groves { 05.01.12 at 8:59 am }

Grams always had us take 9 drinks of water without stoping for air. Always worked.

12 vphillips { 05.01.12 at 8:49 am }

I time out my hiccups. Just before I’m about to hiccup again, I hold my breath and let that last hiccup happen while still holding my breath. Works for me everytime.

13 carolacollom { 11.18.11 at 12:33 pm }

All of the above techniques are valid in that the purpose of them is to take the person’s concentration off of their hiccuping. It’s a reset mechanism.

14 Lori { 10.19.11 at 10:03 am }

The spoon full of sugar and asking what they ate for dinner always works! Also try holding your breath and swallowing it. Usually it takes a few times but that usually works as well. It’s all about getting your breathing back on track.

15 Debbie { 09.25.11 at 9:17 am }

Say aloud with attention to modulating your voice to form the question and the answer as an exclamation: “What swims in the sea? Fish!” Don’t know what the rationale is for this one, but it seems to work quite well; advantage is that you can use it without having to find water or food.

16 maria { 05.18.11 at 1:11 pm }

Ask the person what they had for their last meal, then the one after that, keep going until the hiccups are gone. It changes your breathing pattern when you concentrate really hard.

17 Shelby { 05.13.11 at 4:28 am }

An old bartenders secret: take a slice of lemon or lime, put 2-3 dashes of Angostura bitters on the pulp, bite the pulp and suck the juice down. The hiccups are gone immediately! Will also work with lime or lemon concentate and bitters. I keep some concentrate and bitters on hand at all times.

18 Kristin { 04.30.11 at 7:20 am }

What works for me is a nice long kiss! Hiccups gone everytime!

19 varaha { 04.29.11 at 2:09 am }

I try to get the person with hiccups to share their most painful fears and regrets. Then I ask them to define the concept of “self-esteem.” If this doesn’t work, I ask them to loan me $25.

20 FRED W BROWN { 04.28.11 at 6:16 am }

take a glass of water,drink 12 sups while someone is holding their hands over your ears.it always works for me.

21 Kimberly { 04.27.11 at 1:27 pm }

Right after you hiccup hold your breath. Drink from a glass of water, swallowing 10 times. Works 99% of the time! If it doesn’t work the 1st time, repeat – it’ll work then. Very similar to the ‘magic’ remedy offered in the article, but I never gulp the water or burp (ick).

22 George Kosue { 04.27.11 at 12:43 pm }

I can’ remember where I picked this up, but it sure works for me. Take a tablespoonful of creamy peanut butter and try to eat/swallow it as fast as you can. Not as messy and filling as water and sure taste good to boot! Sometimes if the hiccup is bad enough, you may have to give it a second try. Try to work your mouth and tongue into it, it seems to work better.

23 Ann Klocke { 04.27.11 at 11:58 am }

I plan to give a club program on ‘hiccups’. Do you have further information to share ?

24 Ali { 04.27.11 at 11:37 am }

Hold your breath, then drink full glass of water!

25 thomas david gray { 04.27.11 at 7:49 am }

teaspoon yellow mustard put in mouth and swallow.

26 Jama { 04.26.11 at 11:40 pm }

Plain water never had worked for me no matter how hard I tried. But, Carbonated beverages does magic for me..Just one mouthful and it’s gone.

27 Sarah { 04.26.11 at 10:00 pm }

Get a glass of water and a spoon. Put the spoon handle over the top of the glass, put your upper lip over the spoon handle and then drink. It’s a breathing tech. and works every time.

28 Stephanie { 04.26.11 at 2:20 pm }

Swallow a spoonful of sugar all at once as fast as you can. It always works.

29 Gina McNew { 04.26.11 at 2:13 pm }

As someone who would get chronic hiccups that would last on and off 3 days at a time…someone in a grocery store shared this with me about 25 years ago and it has worked each and every time….even with my children when they were babies. Fill a glass with water. Light a match and put it out in the glass of water. Drink the water. Hiccups gone in just a couple of sips. I’ve never had it fail me or seen it fail another.

30 stevecan { 04.26.11 at 1:44 pm }

Control your breathing. That’s what caused them in the first place. Relax,conciously make an effort to slow your breaths down. Count slowly,twice as long out as in. Good luck!!!

31 dubleott { 04.25.11 at 12:43 pm }

I show the hiccuping person a one hundred dollar bill and tell them that if they can hiccup one more time the money is theirs. They’ll try to fake it but they can’t give me one more honest hiccup.

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