As a kid, I actually looked forward to getting hiccups, all thanks to my dad’s distinctive cure. He’d sit us on the kitchen counter, measure a spoon full of sugar and tell us we had to swallow it all. My hiccups routinely occurred around bedtime, so much to my mother’s chagrin, I rarely fell asleep on time after taking my “hiccup medicine.”
I’m not a sugar fiend anymore like I was during my childhood. Nowadays when I get a hiccup attack I hold my breath until I turn blue in the face. Or for a particularly rough bout, I’ll try to drink a cup of water backwards and usually spill most of it on the floor.
By cdw9/Courtesy Flickr
I’d always I thought that, because hiccups are caused by spasms of your diaphragm, you had to alter your breathing pattern to stop them. However, you also need to increase the level of carbon dioxide in your blood, which is how certain herbs can help.
It turns out that there are as many hiccup remedies as there are hiccups. Traditional herbal cures include eating a whole chervil plant, drinking anise or taking tinctures of mustard or peppermint. Today, many experts recommed specific herbal tinctures to reduce hiccup suffering. For instance, Life Mojo suggests boiling a combination of cardamom and mint leaves.
In his article, Fix-ups for Hiccups, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa says that there are many herbal hiccup cures but unfortunately not all of them work. Also, if your hiccups last longer than three days you should see a doctor. His holistic recommendations include plain yogurt and salt, honey and castor oil, watermelon, Kaki tea, and fresh ginger. Surprisingly, both white sugar and cardamom were on his list as well. So I guess my dad’s hiccup medicine wasn’t just an “old wives’ tale” after all.
Have you tried herbs to get rid of hiccups? What method works for you? Leave me a comment and let me know!