Cures for Hiccups (why do we get them?)


Cures for Hiccups

We have all had bouts of hiccups (hiccoughs) or singultus as it is medically known and there is no definitive cure for them.

It can be really annoying. Even unborn babies hiccup in the womb.

What are hiccups and what are the most popular cures for them?

What are hiccups?

It is an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm followed 0.25 seconds later by closure of the vocal chords which make the classic ‘hic’ sound.

How to avoid hiccups

Cut down on the number of times we get hiccups by:-

Eating slowly and avoiding spicy foods and very large meals.

Avoiding fizzy drinks and foods which make too much gas in the stomach

Avoiding stressful situations that involve excitement or fear.

Don’t drink a hot drink straight after something cold like ice cream.

Bouts of hiccups which last for more than 48 hours can be a sign of an underlying medical condition eg gastrointestinal or respiratory problems.

Cases of prolonged hiccups can lead to exhaustion from sleep deprivation and depression.


There is no certified cure for hiccups but some people swear by their own methods of stopping them. These will work for some but not others

The Most Well Known ‘Cures’ For Hiccups are:-

Drinking very cold water

Holding your breath

Eating a spoonful of sugar

Holding your Nose

Biting into a slice of lemon

Breathing into a paper bag

A sip of vinegar



Some of the less well known ‘cures’

We have all heard of ridiculous ways of stopping hiccups, many are passed down from previous generations. Some have no scientific explanation whatsoever, but our grandparents pass down all sorts of quirky home remedies.

Has anyone ever told you to stand on your head? or maybe drink a glass of water upside down to stop hiccups?

Maybe eat peanut butter or ice cream? get someone to give you a fright? or drink from the wrong side of a glass?

How about a spoonful of Tabasco sauce or simply sticking your tongue out?

If all else fails, close your eyes, hold your nose and turn round in a circle three times (sorry I made that one up!)

Cats and dogs experience hiccups.

Some superstitious people believe that horseshoes cure hiccups.

Charles Osborne of Iowa started hiccupping in 1922 and kept going for the next 65 years.

An old wives tale is that when people get hiccups someone is speaking badly of them.

I’m sure that out of sheer desperation people have tried all these ‘cures’ and the chances are that whilst trying one of the remedies the hiccups stopped, hence it becomes the next ‘sure thing’

Have you ever heard of a strange way to stop hiccups?


2 thoughts on “Cures for Hiccups (why do we get them?)”

  1. Back in second grade, my teacher had me plug my ears, and drink from a drinking fountain. It worked.

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