Hiccups are known by the medical community as synchronous diaphragmatic flutter, which essentially means that there is a regular and involuntary of the diaphragm. This happens at the same time as the larynx contracts, meaning that air intake is briefly blocked. We’ve all had it, and we all know how frustrating they can be and even how difficult they are to get rid of.
There are plenty of old wives tales about curing hiccups by drinking water from the wrong side of a glass, which is of course impossible, but did you know that there are actually lots of natural cures for the hiccups that have been used for generations?
Here are the most effective natural cures for the hiccups that will have you breathing properly in no time.
1. Drink dissolved cardamom powder
A beverage made of cardamom powder definitely doesn’t sound appealing, but it could be just the thing you need to stop your hiccups. By mixing a teaspoon of cardamom powder with a cup and a half of boiled water, you can create a drink that encourages your diaphragm muscles to relax. Don’t drink the liquid hot 0 instead, wait for it to cool and then strain out the remaining cardamom.
It certainly won’t be the most pleasant thing you’ve ever drank, but it may just do the trick if you’ve been suffering with hiccups for an irritatingly long period of time.
2. The ‘flight attendant’ method
This method gets its name from the position that you’re advised to take in the event of a plane crash. Find a chair that has a straight back, sit down and press your back fully against the back of the seat. Place your hands on either side of your head, rest your elbows on your lap and dip your head down.
Only those who do not have back problems should attempt this method, as it will begin to feel uncomfortable or slightly painful during the next step – which is to begin squeezing your arms and body, whilst holding your breath. Do this for between five and 10 seconds and stand up. If you’re still hiccupping, sit back down and try again. Do this a few times and more often than not, your body will have relaxed and your hiccups disappeared.
3. Coughing or burping
Coughing or burping can help stop spasms in the diaphragm, as it requires the muscles in your stomach and surrounding areas to begin working. The first thing to do is count how many seconds are between each hiccup, roughly. Then, when you expect to have your next hiccup, force yourself to burp or cough. This ‘interrupts’ your diaphragm and replaces the spasm with an intended motion.
Try it a few times and your diaphragm may well begin to rest.