Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer
Hiccups are simple enough to explain: Your diaphragm (the
major muscle involved in breathing) goes into spasm. Hiccups, are
generally harmless and don't last very long. Luckily, there's no
shortage of hiccup cures, and better still, most of them work
(although some baffle medical science). A study reported in the New
England Journal of Medicine found that 1 teaspoon of
ordinary table sugar, swallowed dry, cured hiccups immediately in
19 out of 20 people (some of whom had been hiccuping for as long
as six weeks).
Other popular folk remedies worth trying include:
Hold your tongue
with your thumb and index finger and gently pull it forward.
With your neck
bent backward, hold your breath for a count of ten. Exhale
and drink a glass of
Breathe into and
out of a paper (not plastic) bag.
Swallow a small
amount of finely cracked ice.
Massage the back
of the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab.
Eat dry bread
Drink a glass of
Frequently occurring or prolonged hiccups may indicate other
health problems, like stomach distension or a heart attack, both
of which call for immediate medical care.