Mostly, hiccups are considered a cute body function that goes away in its own time. Symptoms of hiccups are rarely serious, but hiccup attacks have been known to require medication, as prolonged attacks can lead to exhaustion and fatigue. Everyone knows at least a few of the numerous home remedies for hiccups, including holding the breath, drinking water upside down, and holding onto your tongue until they go away.
What Causes Hiccups?
Hiccups are caused by the sudden closing of the vocal chords, either from obstruction or a sudden contraction of the diaphragm. Too much oxygen and improper breathing may also cause hiccups. This results in a sudden contraction of the diaphragm.
Treatments for Hiccups
Hiccups are easily treated with a few simple techniques. Remedies can include:
- Take as deep a breath as possible, then hold it. After a moment or two, try adding more air to fill your lungs to absolute capacity. When you’ve held it for a moment, let it out and repeat this process two more times.
- Repeat for several minutes (four or five times). You may even try sipping water while holding your breath.
- Consume two parts honey and one part castor oil during an attack.
- Slowly sip a warm chamomile or pau d’arco tea.
- Take charcoal tablets or chewable papaya enzymes.
- Breathe the essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, pine, sesame and/or anis. One technique is to drip the oils onto a warm, dry cloth and hold it over your nose and mouth to breathe in the energies.
Alternative professional care therapies can include acupressure, massage, chiropractic medicine, and hypnosis.