Perhaps one of the most common natural bodily functions that a person can experience, hiccups have been known to also be quite the annoyance. Many different home remedies and urban legends exist regarding possible cures for hiccups, which are nothing more than a natural spasm of the diaphragm in the chest.
Perhaps the most common cure for hiccups is simply drinking a large glass of water. Variations of how this process should be completed do exist, however, and range from drinking ice-cold water to water that has been warmed for a few minutes in the microwave. This is a very common method of hiccup treatment for young children and infants.
Deep-breathing exercises, such as breathing into a paper bag that is tightly pressed around the mouth, can help stop hiccups. The sufferer should repeat this process until the hiccups cease.
A rather uncommon hiccup remedy involves baking soda. Mixing two teaspoons of baking soda, two teaspoons of aromatic spirits of ammonia and four ounces of peppermint water into a solution and then drinking approximately one teaspoon is believed to cure the spasms.
Cotton Swab Remedy
People suffering from a hiccup spasm should take a cotton swab and tickle the roof of the mouth where the hard and soft palates meet.
Another potential hiccup cure is voluntarily lifting the uvula -- the hanging sack at the back of the throat -- with a sturdy object, like a dinner spoon or Popsicle stick.
Sticking Fingers in the Ears
This hiccup cure reportedly works by stimulating branches of the vagus nerve -- which connects the brain to the abdomen and plays a major role in controlling the diaphragm, and therefore hiccups -- and distracting it with this other sensation.
Alternative methods of hiccup cures are available, including the use of hypnosis for the most extreme cases.
People suffering from long-term bouts of hiccups can benefit from the use of prescription medication, such as Chlorpromazine -- an antipsychotic -- or the muscle relaxer Baclofen.
Another less intrusive procedure that can be seen as a cure to hiccups is receiving a nerve block injection to the phrenic nerve. This is usually done by a physician and can come in the form of an anesthetic.
In the most extreme cases of diaphragm spasms, some people may be required to seek the help of an oral surgeon to relieve themselves of hiccups. One such surgery is the insertion of a nasogastric tube, which goes through the nose and into the stomach. This is mainly done for people with a distended stomach.