Hiccups are a reflex action, which means that we do not have any control over them. Hiccups are a sudden, involuntary squeezing of the diaphragm, the main breathing muscle under the lungs, which results in sucking the air quickly into the lungs thereby snapping and shutting glottis above the voice-box (larynx). This snapping makes the sound of a hiccup. Hiccups will usually stop on their own. Continuous hiccups lasting for more than a day or two may indicate a cause of an underlying disease, which needs medical intervention.
Common Causes of Hiccups
Stretching of the stomach after eating or drinking
Sudden emotional excitement
Sudden change of air temperature (eg. cool shower)
Very hot/cold food or drink
Heartburn or acid reflux
Other serious conditions may include:
Irritation of the diaphragm by infection
Brain infection or tumor
Severe kidney failure
Infections such as malaria
Home Remedies for Hiccups
Have a teaspoon of sugar and allow it to dissolve slowly in your mouth without chewing it. This remedy is especially for toddlers and children who are unable to follow detailed instructions on breathing pattern.
Mix one cup of yogurt with a teaspoon of salt, stir it thoroughly until the salt dissolves completely. Have the yogurt slowly, this will help stop your hiccups
Cardamom powder is an effective remedy for hiccups. Boil 1 ½ cups of water and add a teaspoon of freshly ground cardamom powder in it. Allow the liquid to cool and then strain the liquid and drink. This remedy helps the muscles of the diaphragm to relax and this will stop your hiccups.
Peel a small piece of fresh ginger and chew on it slowly to get rid of your hiccups.
Swallowing or gargling water may interrupt the hiccup cycle, which can quiet the nerves and get rid of your hiccups.
A spoon of peanut butter is a great remedy that could help stop continuous hiccups.
Draw a deep breath and try to hold it as long as possible without letting any air out and exhale gently in a controlled way. This action often helps get rid of hiccups. Keep repeating this procedure a couple of times.
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds with 1/2 teaspoon of pure ghee and swallow the mixture. This will reduce your hiccups.