Hiccups might be a cute or funny bodily reaction, but when you’re experiencing them, they’re nothing but annoying. These not-so-pleasant spasms that make you say, “hic,” are the involuntary contractions of the diaphragm and sudden closure of your vocal cords. According to MayoClinic.com, hiccups can occur after drinking alcohol, eating a large meal or getting suddenly excited. Hiccups are usually nothing to fret over, but you also don’t have to deal with them all day, because there are several tried-and-tested home remedies designed to quiet your hiccups. Here are 11 popular ways to get rid of hiccups:
- Breathe Into a Paper Bag
This is an age-old trick that many hiccup sufferers swear by. Take a brown paper bag and, while holding the opening around your mouth and sealing it tightly, begin blowing in and out about 10 times. Some say to breathe fast or really hard to get optimal results, but it’s important to do it at your own level of comfort.
- Drink Water From Opposite Side of a Cup
This might sound complicated, but it’s fairly simple. First, fill a cup halfway with water and hold the cup right side up. Stand and bend over, while placing your mouth on the opposite side of the cup so the opening is around your chin. Drink as much of the water as you can and repeat until hiccups subside.
- Swallow a Teaspoon of Sugar
Swallowing a teaspoon of sugar is another tried-and-tested trick to get rid of hiccups. There’s really not much to it, but it may be easier to swallow if you tilt your head back and use a sugar packet, or hold the sugar on your tongue to moisten or wash it down with a glass of water.
- Hold Your Breath
When you don’t have any sugar, ice water or paper bags on hand, try holding your breath for 10 seconds. Repeat this exercise, while taking time to catch your breath in between so you don’t overdo it.
- Get Scared
If sudden excitement is what caused you to get hiccups in the first place, it may require getting excited or scared again to get rid of them. If you happen to be around friends when you get hiccups, scaring you shouldn’t be hard to arrange, but if you’re alone, try scaring yourself or watching something scary. It’s said that getting scared causes you to constrict your diaphragm and throws off the hiccup pattern.
- Gargle with Ice Water
Gargling with ice water is recommended on several reputable health Web sites and may just do the trick to get rid of your pesky hiccups. Be careful not to swallow any ice cubes, but then again, this could trigger number five.
- Massage the Roof of Your Mouth
Don’t gag, but massaging the back of the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab will stimulate the vagus nerve and stop diaphragm spasms that cause hiccups.
- Pull Out Your Tongue
This is the only time when pulling out your tongue in public is not considered rude. The act of pulling out your tongue works the same way as number six, to stimulate the vagus nerve and ease diaphragm spasms, while avoiding any dreadful gag reflexes.
- Drink a Teaspoon of Vinegar
Drinking a teaspoon of vinegar or another sour juice has been found to cure some hiccup attacks. Some people even combine the sugar-vinegar remedy to make it taste better. Bottoms up!
- Eat a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
Peanut butter, without the jelly, is said to keep hiccups at bay. Peanut butter and other sticky foods are said to work similarly to swallowing sugar because it stimulates the vagus nerve, causing your diaphragm to constrict.
Any one of these reactions can help get rid of hiccups. The thinking is that coughing, sneezing or burping causes the diaphragm to constrict and breaks the pattern of hiccups!
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