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Effective Home Remedies For Hiccups

By Dr Smita Barode +2 more


Hiccups are nothing but repeated spasms of contractions of your diaphragm (muscle of respiration located below the lungs) accompanied by a hic sound from your vocal cords. Hiccups are a common phenomenon in people of all age groups. Anyone can get hiccups, and they are usually not a sign of something serious. Hiccups usually settle on their own after a few minutes. But if you experience hiccups for a prolonged period, it can be a symptom of underlying disorders.   

Hiccups are mostly harmless and stop without treatment. But if your hiccups are bothering you, you can use simple home remedies to get rid of them. Hiccups don’t affect the quality of your life.1,2  

home remedies for hiccup

What Causes Hiccups? 

The reason why people get hiccups is not clear. However, several factors might trigger hiccups, including irritated nerves and low carbon dioxide levels in the blood.  

Hiccups can happen if you: 

  • Drink carbonated drinks and beverages 
  • Eat more than what is required 
  • Experience stress, fear, or excitement  
  • Take a very hot or very cold drink 
  • Inhale toxic gases 
  • Are anaesthetised for a procedure 
  • Undergo chemotherapy  
  • Take medicines, for example, benzodiazepines for anxiety1 
  • Over use alcohol  
  • Are pregnant2  

Did you know?


If you have hiccups, you might experience:   

  • Air gets sucked into the throat involuntarily  
  • Epiglottis (covering of windpipe) making a hic sound when closing 
  • A sharp contraction of the diaphragm that is felt just below the breastbone  

Generally, hiccups stop after a few minutes2  

Also Read: Home Remedies for Runny Nose

Hiccups are often benign and self-limiting. Patients with acute hiccups should be advised to try some aforementioned physical manoeuvres and should receive reassurance. In healthy patients with no overt cause for intractable and persistent hiccups, treatment of reflux may provide relief.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Suggested Home Remedies for Hiccups: 

Generally, hiccups will resolve on their own, but you can try these home remedies to get quick relief.  

1. Breathing Into a Bag  

Breathing into a paper bag might help you stop hiccups. You can use a paper bag or any other bag available and breathe into it to get the benefits.1  

2. Hold Your Breath    

It is recommended to hold your breath for some time to get rid of hiccups.1 You can start by taking a deep breath and holding it in for some time (as long as you comfortably can) to help you stop hiccupping.  

3. Drinking or Gargling Iced Water  

You can try gargling with ice-cold water to help you deal with hiccups.3 Drinking iced water is also equally effective in getting rid of hiccups. You can also swallow some crushed ice to get rid of hiccups.1  

Here are some common household ingredients that you can use as a remedy to manage your hiccups. 

4. Peanut Butter  

You can eat a spoonful of peanut butter to help with hiccups. It is a commonly found ingredient which can help with managing hiccups. So, if you have peanut butter in your house, you can try this remedy to get the benefits.2,3  

5. Granulated Sugar  

This is a simple and helpful home remedy for you to try. Granulated sugar is a common kitchen ingredient in every Indian household. You can try swallowing a spoonful of sugar to get rid of your hiccups.2,3  

6. Lemon    

You can easily find a lemon in your kitchen; else, you can buy one as they are readily available in the market. You can take a lemon, cut it in half and bite on it. You can also try sucking on a lemon wedge to help you stop the hiccups.2,3  

7. Ginger    

Ginger is also a common ingredient that you can find in your house. You can use fresh ginger by chopping it and eating some pieces. Consuming ginger is known to stop the hiccups.2,3    

8. Honey      

Honey is a common ingredient used in many Indian households. Honey is an effective remedy to deal with hiccups. To use honey, you can mix it in a glass of warm water. You can drink this water to stop the hiccups.2,3    

Other Remedies 

You can also try some simple steps like: 

  • Taking deep breaths 
  • Sitting down and leaning forward on your knees 
  • Asking someone to give you a fright  
  • Rubbing your eyeballs gently.1,2 

Because the cause of hiccups may vary, not all these remedies will work out for everyone. However, these home remedies are simple and harmless, and you can try them unless you are allergic to any of the ingredients mentioned above. If you are allergic to any of the ingredients, don’t use them. You can try something else.  

When to Seek Medical Help? 

If your hiccups last for a few minutes or a couple of hours, a meeting with a healthcare provider might not be required. However, you should visit your healthcare provider immediately if you experience the following symptoms, as they might be a sign of a serious health condition 

  • Hiccups occurring for more than two days 
  • Hiccups that are accompanied by:  
  • Headache  
  • Trouble in keeping up your balance   
  • Numbness1  


People of all ages can get hiccups at various points in their life. Hiccups are usually not a sign of anything serious and resolve on their own without any treatment. However, if your hiccups are bothering you, you can use simple home remedies to get rid of them. Some easily found ingredients like honey, ginger, lemon, and sugar can help you stop the hiccups. Breath-holding and breathing into a bag are also some tips that you can follow to help with hiccups.  

However, if your hiccups last more than a few days, and if your hiccups are accompanied by numbness, headache, and trouble balancing, you need to contact your healthcare provider immediately.    

Also Read: Simple Home Remedies For Bloating

Frequently Asked Questions   

What are the home remedies for hiccups?  

Drinking honey with warm water, eating fresh pieces of ginger, swallowing some granulated sugar, and sucking on lemons are some home remedies you can use to stop hiccups. You can also try holding your breath, breathing into a bag, and drinking or gargling with ice-cold water to help get rid of hiccups. You can choose a remedy that works best for you.2,3  

Does breath holding help with hiccups?    

Yes, you can try holding your breath for a while to get rid of hiccups. Take a deep breath and hold it in for as long as you comfortably can. It might help you to get rid of hiccups.  

What triggers hiccups?  

Some factors that might cause hiccups are stress, inhaling toxic fumes, fizzy drinks, cigarette smoking, spicy or hot food, eating food quickly, indigestion, and overconsumption of alcohol. Pregnancy can also cause hiccups.2  

Can I prevent hiccups?  

Avoiding specific triggers that cause hiccups might help you prevent them. You can avoid eating or drinking too fast, fizzy and carbonated drinks, overeating, overconsumption of alcohol, hot and spicy food, and cigarette smoking.1,2  

What to do if my hiccups don’t improve?  

Hiccups can last for a few minutes to a couple of hours, and you don’t need to take medical treatment. However, if your hiccups last for more than two days without improving, you need to visit your healthcare provider. Long-lasting hiccups can be a sign of a severe health condition.1  

Can hiccups be a sign of something serious?  

Hiccups that last for more than a few days can be a symptom of some underlying disease. But you need to visit a healthcare provider to know the cause. Some of the conditions that may lead to long term hiccups are kidney diseases, brain damage, pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs), pleurisy (inflammation of the lung membrane), and oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus).2 If you feel your hiccups are due to something serious, you should visit your doctor immediately.  

Are hiccups normal in pregnancy?  

Yes, pregnancy can cause women to experience hiccups, provided they occur for a short period of time and resolve on their own.2 


1. Hiccups: Causes & Treatment [Internet]. Lasted updated on: 2021 Jan 6. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17672-hiccups 

2. Hiccups – Better Health Channel [Internet]. [cited 2022 Apr 29]. Available from: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hiccups 

3. Chang FY, Lu CL. Hiccup: Mystery, Nature and Treatment. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility [Internet]. 2012 [cited 2022 Apr 29];18(2):123. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3325297/ 

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