All of us know what a hiccup is and how irritating it can be. Hiccups occur when the diaphragm muscles in our body contract involuntarily. These sudden movements cause the vocal chords to snap shut in order to prevent the flow of air, thus making the noise that we are so familiar with.
Hiccups are harmless as such as they occur due to the nerve irritation in the area between the chest and the neck. They could also be a warning signal to a variety of diseases. Diseases like pneumonia can cause continuous hiccups. Irritation in the diaphragm too can be a cause for hiccups.
Sometimes hiccups could also be a warning of kidney failure when the body fails to eliminate the toxic substances that get accumulated from the food or through inhalation.
Persistent hiccups that last for longer than 3 hours and accompanied by other symptoms like pain in the abdomen could be serious and require immediate medical attention. Thankfully this is very rare and not a cause for worry for many of us. The less serious forms of hiccups can be treated at home with a few natural remedies that you can find in your good old kitchen.
Mustard Seeds for stopping Hiccups
Take two teaspoons of mustard seeds and equal amounts of purely sourced ghee. Now gulp this mixture down your throat for instant relief from hiccups. The ghee soothes your throat and nerves removing any block on the way.
Green Cardamom for stopping Hiccups
This is one of the most common home remedies. Add two cups of water in a pan and bring it to a boil. Put 4-5 green cardamom into it and wait till it boils to form one cup of cardamom water. Wait till it is warm enough. Now you can sieve it and drink the water. This will surely remove the hiccups form your system.
You can also use cardamom powder for relief from hiccups. Take two teaspoons of cardamom powder and boil it with two cups of water. Boil it and sieve it to have whenever you are troubled with hiccups.
Black Pepper for stopping Hiccups
Pepper is a very common spice used for stopping hiccups. It is a very simple remedy too. Take 4-5 pepper seeds and crush them just enough so that it can induce a sneeze while you inhale. Inhale deeply through your nose. The sneezing action results in a violent jerk of the respiratory tract, relieving any obstruction or nerve irritation with it.
Brown Paper Bag for stopping Hiccups
This is a common method of getting relief from hiccups used in hospitals. Hiccups arise as a result of decreased carbon dioxide in the blood. Breathing into a brown paper bag will increase the level of carbon dioxide in the body allowing the blood vessels to dilate and take more oxygen.
Hold a brown paper bag over the nose and the mouth and breathe in deeply. After this, breathe out. You can repeat this ten times and by then the hiccups would be gone. But caution must be exerted while doing this. If you experience faster breathing rate while doing this, you could be in for a stroke and could be preventing life saving oxygen by breathing carbon dioxide.
Crushed Ice for stopping Hiccups
The idea of using ice for relieving hiccups is to give a shock to the body that will allow you to hold your breath and stop the hiccups. Take an ice cube and crush it. Suck this till you get relief from hiccups. Drinking ice cold water too helps as the sudden cold that is flushed down your food pipe jolts your nerves, stopping the hiccups in the process. Alternately, you may also place an ice cube at the back of your neck which will give the same effect.
Yoghurt and Salt for stopping Hiccups
Take a glass of yoghurt and add two tablespoons of salt to it. Mix well and drink it slowly for instant relief from hiccups. Again the sour taste and the coolness of yoghurt could be the trick in stopping the nerve convulsions.
Water for stopping Hiccups
The most popular hiccup relieving trick we all resort to when we have one. For stopping hiccups with water drink it quickly in 4-5 gulps. The swallowing action relieves any blockages in the food passage and stops the convulsions of the nerves and the diaphragm.
Some people also recommend putting a spoon in the glass while you drink. This is probably a psychological trick to divert the person’s attention from the hiccups. Lukewarm water can also be used for gargling in order to stop hiccups.
Lemon for stopping Hiccups
Lemon juice is very sour and makes us swallow hard. It also constricts our muscles which help in relieving the nerve irritation by changing the attention of the nerves from the hiccups to the sour taste of lemon.
Sugar for stopping Hiccups
While using sugar for stopping hiccups, you must ensure that you put it at the back of the tongue, which is where the sensation for sour tastes are located. When you overload this area with sugar, it will give a jolt to the nerves that sense sourness and relieve the hiccups.
Honey for stopping Hiccups
Honey is too sweet for the mouth. When you swallow a tablespoon of honey, you are overwhelming your mouth with its sweet taste and helping in releasing the irritated nerve off its hook.
Hiccups are not a disease and hence one need not follow any special diet in order to stop it. Even a simple fact like stretching you neck or eating fast can trigger hiccups. It can occur any time and can go off on its own with a few gulps of water. However, if you are prone to hiccups, it’s a good idea to reduce the intake of spicy as well as hot food. This will prevent any sort of irritation in the oesophageal lining. You must also avoid over eating as it can lead to hiccups.