I have used one or two green olives for hiccups for many years, as have all my family members. I don’t know why it works, it just does. It stops the hiccups almost immediately. This remedy even worked on a friend who had been through surgery and had suffered for three weeks until I gave him an olive. Have you ever run across anyone else who has used this? I’m rather curious as to why it works.
We have been collecting hiccup remedies for more than 30 years, but this is the first time we have heard of using green olives. Most hiccup remedies work by stimulating the phrenic nerve at the top of the hard palate. Chewing crushed ice or swallowing a spoonful of granulated sugar or ice cream seems to interrupt the hiccup reflex. Perhaps the green olives work on a similar principle.
I am writing about your article on hiccups. Recently when I had a bad case of the hiccups, I remembered reading about eating a couple green olives. I have to tell you I am a firm believer now. The hiccups were gone almost instantly after I ate the second olive. What a wonderful idea!
We appreciate your testimonial. We don’t know if it is the olive itself or the vinegar in the brine that does the trick by stimulating the phrenic nerve, but we are always pleased to learn that a hiccup remedy has helped.
I just wanted you to know I recently read your column about the power of green olives to fight hiccups. My five-year-old got the hiccups the next day. Guess what? Just one green olive did the trick. Coincidence or science? Who knows, but we’re quite convinced that it worked!
We’re delighted to learn that this unusual remedy worked for you.
My favorite hiccup cure, peanut butter, has come under fire as a choking hazard. I found a substitute that works just as well, but without the risk: peanuts! If you’re allergic to peanuts I wouldn’t suggest this, but if you’ve used the peanut butter hiccup cure before, this works too. I gave up peanut butter as part of my weight loss plan, so I don’t keep any in the house. I do sometimes like to snack on dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts. I got the hiccups one night, and I ate a handful of peanuts and drank a little water. My hiccups were gone! A friend had the same result, so I expect this will help others.
Swallowing a spoonful of dry sugar and sucking on a section of lemon are time-honored hiccup cures. Thanks for a new one.
I am surprised that I have never seen pineapple juice mentioned in your column as a cure for hiccups. It works with one sip!
Thanks for mentioning it. We’ve heard that pineapple juice can ease joint pain, but you are the first to report that it cures hiccups.
I have been using vinegar as a remedy for hiccups for over 20 years. I know of no instance when a teaspoon of vinegar did not eliminate even the most stubborn case. Usually I use white vinegar, but I have used balsamic and rice vinegar with success. I believe this answers the question of why green olives cure hiccups. It is not the olive but the vinegar in the brine!
Thanks for your remedy and the answer to a puzzle.
Joe Graedon & Terry Graedon, The People’s Pharmacy: Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic