Hiccup Remedies

| Modified: Jun 29, 2020
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Hiccups - Origin and Treatment

The common hiccup is caused by an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest and abdomen and serves an important part in the body's ability to breathe. As an involuntary contraction occurs, the vocal cords also close suddenly, causing the characteristic “hic” sound. While hiccups are relatively harmless for most individuals and last only a few minutes, some individuals experience hiccups as the result of a more serious underlying medical condition and endure a case of hiccups for several months at a time.

Generally speaking, the characteristic “hic” sound is the only sign of a case of the hiccups. Additionally, hiccups typically present few symptoms; however, common symptoms may include a slight tightening of the chest, a contraction of the abdomen or a narrowing of the throat that occurs as the hiccup is produced. Likewise, an external bodily reaction such as a jumping or moving of the shoulders may occur.

Several factors contribute to the onset of hiccups. Most short-term hiccups are caused by eating too much, drinking carbonated beverages, consuming too much alcohol, experiencing a sudden change in temperature or getting excited or stressed. Additionally, hiccups may be cause by more long-term issues. Factors contributing to long-term hiccups include nerve damage or irritation such as that from a hair in the ear touching or tickling the eardrum, a sore throat, laryngitis, a tumor or cyst in the neck or gastroesophageal reflux. Likewise, long-term hiccups may be caused by issues of the central nervous system or disruption of the metabolism.

Home Remedies for Hiccups

Typically hiccups resolve themselves without need for treatment; however, several home remedies can shorten the duration of hiccups and offer relief. A spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter can eradicate symptoms almost instantaneously. Additional treatment options include apple cider vinegar and sugar, bitters combined with lemon and sugar, and a drink upside-down.

Almond Butter

Posted by Lisa (Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa) on 09/10/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My 13 yr old daughter was having trouble with hiccups all day long. Finally, we went on EC and found peanut butter. We only had almond butter so used that instead and within minutes the hiccups stopped! And she was relieved- amazing!

Replied by Donna
Houston, Texas
5 out of 5 stars

Peanut butter worked like a charm for my guy just now. He has had hiccups off and on for a few days now and was miserable. Yay for peanut butter!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 08/08/2015
5 out of 5 stars

My thirteen year old daughter gets terrible hiccups. Loud and violent and hard to get rid of. I was the same way when I was young, and so was my mother. They can be downright exhausting! They can also be embarrassing. One time I was at Carlsbad Caverns, on a tour, in a cave, hiccuping. They echoed!

So this morning my daughter got hiccups. She tried many of her usual things to get rid of them and she could not get rid of them. Finally they abated, only to return in the afternoon for another long round of hiccupping.

Before dinner, they came again. She said, "Well, vinegar will probably work." She poured herself a spoonful of Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and took it straight and chased it with water. She hasn't hiccuped since!

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Patricia (Miami, Fl) on 06/19/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Yes! 1 tbsp ACV straight just got rid of my hiccups. Thank you!

Replied by Oak_84
Chicago, Illinois

Bitters on a lime!!!!

A very old "Bar" trick that works wonders every time!!! I've been plagued with hiccups for decades and it seems that this old fashioned remedy is just about the only thing that works for me!! Give it a try sometime... You will not be dissappointed!!

Replied by Esmith
Washington, Dc

To stop my hiccups, I took Baclofen 10mg and they stopped immediately. Last Tuesday, after lunch, I started hiccuping about every 5 seconds. It stopped for about an hour, then got going again. This lasted until Thursday around 6pm when my doctor prescribed Baclofen 10mg and, after taking only one pill, the hiccups immediately stopped. I realize this might not work for everyone, but I am very grateful it stopped mine. Hope this helps someone else.

Posted by Melinda (Perth, Australia) on 03/28/2011
5 out of 5 stars

An instant cure for hiccups - 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar :)

Apple Cider Vinegar and Sugar

Posted by Frances (Gcs, Fl ) on 05/06/2011
5 out of 5 stars

1 Tbsp ACV saturated with sugar stopped the hiccups. Tried other remedies and nothing worked but this.

Bitters, Lemon and Sugar

Posted by Sandra (Los Angeles, Ca) on 08/12/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Take a slice of lemon, cover it with sugar and (liquid) bitters... Then gnaw on it for a minute or two and the hiccups are gone!


Posted by Chris (St. Louis, MO) on 10/18/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Just force a burp or two. This worked every time for me.

Replied by Jasmyn
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.s.
5 out of 5 stars

Been doing this all my life! I learnt it in the schoolyard from a classmate! If you can't force a burp, try drinking lots of fizzy drinks.

Replied by Melissa
9 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I just tried this and it worked after the second time...amazing!

Drink Upside Down

Posted by Yvaughn (Arlington, Tx) on 08/28/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Yet another "yay" for drinking water upside-down. I filled my mouth with water, bent waaay over, and then swallowed. I didn't hiccup once after the first swallow, but I did it 3 more times, just in case. I now have a slight... awareness (not even enough to say "discomfort") in my chest, beside my sternum, over my right breast, but I think that's only because I used really cold water :-) Thank you, everyone, for this cure!

Posted by Melisa (Asheville, Nc) on 03/15/2013
5 out of 5 stars

The drink upside down technique for hiccups worked amazingly well. My husband was suffering from recurring hiccups for 10 minutes due to fullness. He didn't eat a lot, but felt very full. I suggested this remedy. He hiccuped through the first 2 sips and then completely stopped on the fourth. He said he felt like he was on the verge of hiccuping and took a mouthful, bent at the waist and swallowed one more time. He stopped hiccuping completely or feeling like he was going to hiccup. We could not stop laughing - it was unbelievable!

Posted by Sara (Bentonville, Arkansas) on 01/30/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Another yay! Had a bad case of hiccups I took about three gulps of water out of a cup upside down using a straw (I didnt follow one persons post of upper lip on rim of cup) and worked like a charm. Try it. It works! Sara

Posted by Penny (Columbus, Ohio, USA) on 12/20/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I am 56 years old and my grandmother taught me to drink water upside down. It works 100% of the time. As previous posts mentioned you must drink with your upper lip on the rim and drink while bending over and sucking air at the same time. It's weird sounding until you finally figure out that it works every time.

Replied by Bryan
Port Vue, Pa
5 out of 5 stars

it doesnt matter how you get the liquid in your mouth.
just get a mouthfull of any drink. look down almost like your trying to turn your head upside down.
it will feel like the liquid is gooing to flow into the nasal pasage.
hiccups are gone!!! everytime!!!

Replied by Louise
Kansas City, Missouri Usa
5 out of 5 stars

I learned this trick when I was 14. I suffer from very frequent and VERY painful hiccups. I just fill my mouth with as much water as it will hold, bend completely over at the waist, and then swallow. Usually I have to do this 3 or 4 times right in a row but it always works! ! !

Replied by Isabelle
Garden Grove, Ca Usa
5 out of 5 stars

Yea! Hello everybody from our wonderful earth clinic community! It seem to be that the action of swallowing while the diaphragm is compressed and not moving with our breathing stop hiccup after 2 to 5 swallows. Even when I don't have water handy , I just take a deep breath block it , bend and swallow a bit of saliva a few time without breathing and the diaphragm go back to behave normally: no more hiccup! Peace!

Replied by Aria
Port Huron, Mi, Us
5 out of 5 stars

I too have been drinking water upside down for hiccups since I was 14. It works every time. . . Just remember not to breathe through your nose while bent over with water in your mouth! I have learned that from experience :).

Replied by Joanvirginia
South Riding, Va
5 out of 5 stars

Wow, that was soooo easy! I had just a tiny sip of water in my mouth (I actually had a large sip before I swallowed half of it), I leaned over, while sitting, with my head between my knees and swallowed. Gone. So cool!

Replied by Selmalami
Newton, Ma, Usa
5 out of 5 stars

My family have all been using a method I found here for as long as I can remember. It's a variant on the water drinking one. My sister found it after she had hiccups for almost two days!!! I've always been distrustful of hiccup cures but amazingly this one seems to work. Luckily, I've never had it as bad as my sister!! ^_^

Replied by Machelle
Tucson, Az
5 out of 5 stars

I have been miserable with the hiccups for the last hour. Just tried drinking water upside down and I can't believe it worked! Thank God, I thought my chest was going to explode!

Posted by Anna (Waxahachie, USA) on 10/17/2007
5 out of 5 stars

whenever i have hiccups, i just bend over and drink water, it works every time

Replied by Theo
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
5 out of 5 stars

This simple remedy really worked: I put some water in my mouth, bent over forward with my head pointed to my toes, and then swallowed. After that, my hiccups were instantly gone!

Posted by Smiles (Fruitland, U.S) on 07/11/2007
5 out of 5 stars

re: Drinking up-side-down- hiccups -- My brother taught it to me a few years ago. It has never failed me yet. Just get as much water in your mouth as you can, put your head between your knees, and swallow. Every once in a while you'll have to do it two or three times, but it usually works on your first try.

Replied by Ajeeth
Toronto, Canada
5 out of 5 stars

This was a great help from earthlink comunity. Swallowing mouthfull of water by bending down immediately stopped my hiccups. Worked like a charm!

Replied by Zuely
Batavia, Ny
5 out of 5 stars

I can't believe this actually just worked for me!

Posted by Luisa (Boca Raton, FL) on 12/02/2006
5 out of 5 stars

Drinking water upside down is the only thing that works for me. It NEVER fails. Just make sure that you bend down at the waist and put your head down, and then drink with the rim of the glass on your upper lip instead of the lower lip, just like the person before me said. I have done this for years and it is the only thing that works. When I tell people to do it they think I am crazy, but when it works they are amazed. :D

Posted by Christina (Silverdale, WA)
5 out of 5 stars

I always try holding my breath first, as that is the easiest, but if that doesn't work, I drink upside down. Bend over at the waist and take a drink of water, putting the rim of the cup on your top lip instead of the bottom one. It is important to swallow while still upside down. This has had and almost 100% success rate for me, although it gets me some strange looks :P