Hiccups are one of those irritating, seemingly unavoidable facts of life. They’re caused by irritation of the nerves extending from the neck to the chest, causing spasms in your diaphragm.
Many activities can cause hiccups, including eating too quickly and swallowing air, but most of the time, we don’t know why we have hiccups. We just want to know how to get rid of hiccups.
Following are 10 weird but effective remedies for how to get rid of hiccups. This post is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
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Dill pickles have been my family’s old standby for how to get rid of hiccups for as long as I can recall. I must have read about the remedy somewhere well over a decade ago.
Both of my kids ask for a dill pickle as soon as hiccups strike. It must be a dill pickle, not a sweet pickle or bread and butter pickle.
Strange or sour tastes seem to be a common thread for hiccup remedies. Drinking a bit of vinegar is a remedy that comes up frequently.
The work required to down a large spoonful of peanut butter seems to calm hiccups. I’d rather have the dill pickle, but to each her own.
Suck on a Lemon
Sucking on a lemon half or even drinking straight lemon juice is yet another commonly cited hiccups remedy that involves a sour tasting food or drink.
I’m definitely going to try squeezing hard on the fingernail of my pinky finger next time I have hiccups. This will especially come in handy if my younger daughter develops hiccups when we’ve away from home and without access to dill pickles.
Drink a Glass of Soda Quickly
Swallowing too much air is supposedly one of the reasons you’d come down with hiccups in the first place. Apparently, gulping air and burping it back up is also a possible remedy for when you have hiccups.
Pull Your Tongue Out
I wouldn’t recommend doing this in public, but gently pulling out your tongue is supposed to help stimulate the vagus nerve and ease your hiccups.
Massage the Roof of Your Mouth
Massaging the roof of your mouse with a cotton swab or even your finger is another way of stimulating the vagus nerve and getting rid of your pesky hiccups.
Reading a complex passage from a book or web page is along the same lines as holding your breath or breathing into a paper bag. You need to breathe in a certain manner to continue reading, and that’s another weird way of getting rid of hiccups.
Eat Some Ice Cream
Here’s a tasty way of relieving hiccups that most people can enjoy! Apparently, freezing the vagus nerve can help you get rid of hiccups. However, eating ice cream too quickly can also result in what I call “brain freeze.” Incidentally, brain freeze from eating something cold too quickly might help ease a migraine headache, too.
For a delicious treat, try some homemade strawberry ice cream made in your blender.
What If You Can’t Get Rid of Hiccups?
If your hiccups won’t go away or their frequency bothers you, talk to your doctor. I’ve heard about people who have had hiccups for hours or days and required medical treatment to get rid of them. For most of us, though, hiccups are just a minor occurrence, and they go away without medical intervention.
How about you? What remedies do you use for getting rid of your hiccups?
This post was originally published in April 2017 and updated in April 2019.
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