Hiccups are almost always treated with home remedies. Doctors would be hard-pressed to find drugs they would want to prescribe for singultus, the medical term for hiccups. Almost everyone knows about drinking from the wrong side of the glass (you have to bend over) or swallowing a spoonful of sugar. Listeners and readers have also come up with some more unusual hiccup remedies.
Chocolate works for hiccups. My father was in the hospital for several weeks last summer, and many, many times had lengthy bouts of hiccups. As he was recovering from abdominal surgery, this was painful. His doctors tried antispasmodic drugs, but they did not help. I read about this remedy in your book, bought him a bag of chocolate chips, and voila, it worked! He is a skeptic. When he mentions this cure to his doctors, they think he is making it up. But he was thrilled.
We first heard about eating a few chocolate chips to stop hiccups from a radio show listener. Her Danish grandmother had always used this remedy, and she continued the tradition with her children.
DILL PICKLE JUICE
The best hiccup remedy I have found is dill pickle juice. One to two ounces does the trick.
You are not the first reader to sing the praises of drinking pickle juice as a way of getting rid of the hiccups. Perhaps the salt or the vinegar is responsible. Pickle juice is high in sodium, however, so people with high blood pressure or heart failure should stay away from this home remedy.
DRINKING THROUGH PAPER
When I was in college a fellow student gave me this silly remedy for hiccups. Place a paper napkin over the top of a glass of water. Have the hiccuper take sips of water through the napkin. It works!
Before the days of paper napkins, people used a clean cloth handkerchief in one variant of this hiccup remedy. We have no idea why this would work, but readers assure us that it does.
I have a hiccup cure that I’ve used all my life and passed on to my kids: Have someone stand behind you and pull straight up on your ears while you take sips of water. I do this by myself by taking a mouthful of water and swallowing it in small amounts while pulling up on my ears. I kid you not, it works every time!
We have collected dozens of hiccup remedies over the years but have never heard of this one. It is similar to a remedy in which the hiccuper drinks water while someone stands behind him and pushes on the little flaps at the front of the ears.
Here is a cure for hiccups. The person with hiccups plugs up both ears with her fingers and drinks water. This is easiest with the help of another person holding the ears, but by using a bottle of water you can accomplish this by yourself.
It helps to have someone press on the flap, called the tragus, that covers the opening of each ear canal.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic