Hi- Hi- Hiccups. We’ve all been there. According to Patient, these incredibly irritating contractions of the diaphragm serve absolutely no useful purpose. Short bouts of them may be caused by excitement or emotional stress, eating too fast or too much, swallowing air, or a change in temperature. Everyone’s been told a folk remedy for the affliction. Here are our home remedies for hiccups that actually work. Is your favorite treatment listed?
1. Plug ears, drink water.
Drinking a glass of cold water through a straw while plugging your ears stimulates the irritated vagus nerve that causes hiccups, emergency room doctor Ronald Goldstein tells The Canadian Family Physician.
2. Stick out your tongue.
Medical Daily explains that sticking out your tongue eases diaphragm spasms and quells hiccups.
3. Slowly eat peanut butter. Eating a spoonful of creamy peanut butter very slowly calms the body and coats the esophagus. The trick to this home remedy is tricking the brain into forgetting the hiccups. It sounds odd, but chronic hiccup-er Coleen O’Lear, editor at the Washington Post, told The Guardian it works for her physically uncomfortable, “rapid-fire” hiccups.
4. Spoonful of sugar.
This method is notably less healthy than its cousin, a spoonful of peanut butter. However, Mind the Science Gap cites an arguably outdated study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, to recommend a spoonful of granulated sugar for hiccups.
5. Lemon soaked in bitters. In 1981, scientists published a study in which 14 of 16 patients with hiccups were successfully treated with a lemon wedge soaked in bitters, reports Mind the Science Gap.
6. Take a deep breath.
Best Health Magazine Canada says taking and holding a deep breath builds carbon dioxide in the lungs. The diaphragm reacts by relaxing. You can get a similar effect by covering your nose and mouth and continuing to breath normally
7. Partner press.
Ask a friend or loved one to gently touch a fist against the soft spot under your breastbone. With your friend’s fist in place, concentrate on relaxing while you take a few deep breaths. When it feels right, finish the exercise by exhaling your breath completely. At the end of the last exhale, Best Health Magazine Canada says your partner should press lightly into the soft spot to help expel every last bit of breath.
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