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Cure for Hiccups

Hiccups have this nasty habit of surfacing at wrong times and wrong places. However, you no longer have to endure yet another involuntary physical discomfort, because here are some quick cures for hiccups that will relieve you of hiccups in no time.
Irritation to the vagus nerve or any of its branches that run from brain to abdomen is what causes hiccups. They may also occur due to swallowing of excess air, drinking alcohol or spasms of diaphragm. Although, hiccups are not necessarily harmful, they cause mild nuisance and a great deal of physical discomfort in an individual. There are several remedies to cure hiccups and you'll have to perform a trial and error method to find out which one works best for you.

Water
Drinking water definitely helps in curing hiccups. Drink warm water in small sips and you'll notice that the hiccups vanish within minutes. Another method is to take a gulp of water, tilt your head backwards and then swallow it. This is bit difficult, but it stops the hiccups in no time.

Sugar
Eat a spoonful of dry sugar, as the sweet sensation overloads the nerve endings in the mouth and eventually stops hiccups. Do not chew and swallow it hurriedly, instead let it melt in your mouth.

Hold Your Breath
Inhale a good amount of air and then pinch your nose. Hold your breath for a few minutes before letting it go. This is the best cure for hiccups.

Scare
A really good fright apparently helps in curing hiccups. The concept is that when you startle, the air you gulped down comes out in the form of a gasp. Ask someone to scare you real bad!

Breathe
Taking slow rhythmic breathes helps to regulate the disturbed breathing due to hiccups. Take a paper bag and breathe in it. This is a good way to get rid of hiccups.

Inhale Oils
Inhale essential oils such as basil oil or sandalwood oil, directly from the bottle to cure hiccups. You can also dab some oil on a clean tissue and then inhale it.

Bread
Take small bites of bread and chew them carefully and then swallow. You'll notice that your hiccups stop completely even before you finish your slice.

Peanut Butter
Take a large spoonful of peanut butter and keep it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing it. If needed, take a few spoonfuls more until the hiccups subside completely.

Exercises
Try the following quick exercises to control your hiccups:
  • Suck in your belly and stay still for 10 seconds. Release it quickly and then repeat.
  • Stick your fingers in your ears and count till your hiccups subside.
  • Stick your tongue out as far as you can, to allow you to breathe quietly and smoothly.
  • Tap your chest gently with your index finger at the place where wind pipe is located.
Hiccups in babies can be controlled by putting a few grains of sugar in his/her mouth. Mostly, hiccups surface naturally and subside naturally. Hence, if your hiccups do not respond to any of the above methods, then just stay calm, they'll subside on their own. If your hiccups do not show signs of stopping, even after a few hours and surface after every few days, then it is better to see a physician.
By Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
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