Appalachia Appalachian Medicine

Hiccup Cures

Hiccup cures from Appalachia and beyond

Do you ever get the hiccups? Every once in a while I do. If I have them once during a day-I always have them again before the day is over. My record is 5 different times in one day.

We’ve all heard drinking water or holding your breath is the remedy to stop hiccups. According to John Parris saying this tongue twister will cure them:

Hickup, snicup, rise up, right up! Three drops in the cup are good for the hiccup.

Back in the day I got the hiccups when I was on a date. The fellow told me if I’d swallow a spoonful of sugar it would cure them. He stopped at Grizzle Bears and got me a packet of sugar from the restaurant in the back of the store, but the sugar didn’t cure my hiccups.

If I’m in public I try telling myself “You will not hiccup again you will not hiccup again!!!” But that usually doesn’t work either.

I once found a page of hiccup cures and my favorite on the list was scream as loud and as long as you can. Wonder what would happen if I tried that one at work?

How about you-got hiccup cures?


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    Sharon Quesinberry
    February 7, 2019 at 10:01 am

    I KNOW this won’t work for everyone but it works in my family. My sister was married to a man who had cerebral palsey and was very difficult to understand when he talked. When my kids were still small, someone got the hiccups and Jim plainly said “BOO!”. The hiccups stopped! He passed away years ago but til this day if we get the hiccups someone will say “Think of Jim” and the hiccups immediately stop! It even worked on my daughter’s dog! We are blessed!

  • Reply
    Matthew Jones
    February 7, 2019 at 9:30 am

    Four things that I know of:

    1) big cup of water. Drink until you nearly are out of breath, take a slow breath, then drink the rest of the cup of water if you have anything left.

    2) Spoonful of sugar or honey – both reset the nerve that controls the diaphragm. You need to eat it slowly.

    3) pull your tongue. It sends a response to your body to reset your diaphragm as well.

    4) Hold your breath. It can make it where you don’t hiccup. Just don’t pass out! 🙂

  • Reply
    Janet E
    January 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm

    I was in a restaurant one night many many years ago and by myself. The hiccups started and I was so embarrassed because I couldn’t get them to stop. A young man came to my table and asked me to put a forefinger in each ear while he held the water glass for me to drink – also don’t breathe. I didn’t have to drink much and to this day – 50 years later – is the only thing that works for me. I can now do the whole thing by myself and have also cured others of hiccups by doing the same thing. I get funny looks, but lots of thank you’s for the “cure.”

  • Reply
    January 26, 2017 at 1:50 am

    Sometimes hiccups can be not just a nuisance but downright painful! The far-side-of-the-glass method has worked for me for years, and has not once failed to stop the hiccups. I started off with the pencil-between-teeth and holding my breath while sipping and swallowing, but eventually discovered I didn’t need the pencil. I concentrate on trying to take 10 little sips across the roof of my mouth and swallowing while holding my breath, but never get near to 10 – I just stop when I run out of “held” breath. I think it’s that concentrating that makes it work. Good luck with your hiccups, Tipper 🙂

  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    January 24, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    I have one that has never failed for me in the many many years since I learned it.
    You put a pencil between your teeth, side to side, so it sticks out the sides of your lips. Then you take a full glass of water, bend over at the waist and sip as much of the water as you can from the side of the glass AWAY from your body. (It sounds impossible, but it’s not.)
    There’s something about the position of your mouth, held open by the pencil, as you’re bending over and the sipping motion of your throat that cures ’em.
    I promise.
    And you may dribble a bit on the floor, but hey –
    it’s only water.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Yecedrah Higman
    January 24, 2017 at 10:39 pm

    When I have hiccups I lay across my bed on my back with my head hanging over the bed and I raise my arms over my head and let them dangle. After a few minutes the hiccups are over. I know hoe the diaphragm works and this position allows it to completely relax and you will get a few minutes to just slow down!!! A two-fold cure!!!!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Wow, I haven’t had hiccups since I was young, usually drinking water cured mine. The Mayo Clinic has some interesting causes,

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 2:42 pm

    My wife and I both had hiccups attacks testerday – at the same time. I held my breath for 30 seconds and mine stopped. Hers went on for another 10 minutes or so.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    January 24, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Peanut butter is the best cure. One tablespoon is an old bartenders trick.
    Every bar has a jar within reach.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    January 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Hold your breath as long as possible and then swallow. Usually works.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Always heard you were healthy when you had the hiccups.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Always heard you were healthy when you had the hiccups.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Always heard you were healthy when you had the hiccups.

  • Reply
    Larry Griffith
    January 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Always heard you were healthy when you had the hiccups.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    When I was younger, running as fast as I could for a minute or two would stop them!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    Nothing works as good as it use to, even the he-cups. I can’t concentrate so the hiccups never last that long for me.
    The radio station just announced SNOW here for Thursday…woopie. …Ken

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    A couple of swigs of pickle juice works for me. It must be the vinegar. I never could get a couple of swallows of water down my throat from the opposite side of a glass – I always ended up wetting my shirt. And my face. And the floor. I don’t usually get the hiccups but maybe twice a year, and then I keep ’em on and off for a week or two. That is painful!

  • Reply
    Jimmy Proffitt
    January 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Years ago when I had the hiccups a friend turned to me and said “If ya’ do that again, I’ll give ya’ a dollar.” I concentrated so hard on whether or not I would get a dollar that I didn’t do it again! I’ve tried that many times since on others and it has worked every time, but of course I can’t do it to myself.

  • Reply
    Bobby Dale
    January 24, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Hiccups are triggered by an irritation to the diaphragm muscle, often as a bolus of food or liquid, especially carbonated drinks, pass through it into the stomach. The intermittent spasms become involuntary at that point. I’ve tried most of the remedies already listed. Sugar works pretty well, but the one I discovered that works best for me is to assume the ‘plank’ yoga position(as in doing a pushup-back up, straight arms fully extended) and holding it for 30-60 seconds or until one’s muscles fatigue. This causes the abdominal and diaphragm muscles to contract and overrides the hiccup spasms. All I can say is works every time for me.
    Bobby Dale

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 10:54 am

    A large spoonful of peanut butter around here.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    January 24, 2017 at 10:17 am

    Well, it has been a while since I’ve had the hiccups! Especially, a hiccup marathon, like you describe in your post Tipper. Might ought to mention that phenomenon on you next visit with the doctor.
    Maybe you just need to “sssssllllllooooowwwwwwdddddooooowwwwnnnnn” a bit. Quickly swallowing hot liquids, quick rush to finish eating, etc. sometimes causes these spasms of the diaphragm or hiccups.
    When we were trying to cure a friends hiccups, someone said for her to take a tablespoon of honey mixed with a tablespoon of whiskey every fifteen minutes, until the hiccups stopped! Whattt! I’d say in a hour or two one wouldn’t care if they had the hiccups. The whole body would be so “snookered” with the diaphragm relaxed but sound asleep! Next thing to cure for her would be a hangover! ha
    Standing on my head and drinking water worked for me! NOT!
    Pinch your nose and swallow a whole glass of water! I think this did work for a friend, until she got choked…
    Have someone scare you. Of course that might cause heart palpations!
    Stick your head in the freezer and breathe cold air for a few minutes to cool the nerves in the diaphragm???
    What about winter hiccups, do you stand over the “stove eye” on high heat and breathe hot air?
    Chew on ice with lemon juice and sugar drizzled over it! Sounds like lemonade to me! ha
    Guess there are as many cures for hiccups as things that cause the spasm, some work some don’t!
    Loved this post today Tipper, hope your hiccups subside!
    Did that startle you and stop your hiccups? Probably not, I forgot how much you love snow! ha
    Thanks Tipper,
    No, the snow is not coming across the mountain today!

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    January 24, 2017 at 10:07 am

    I have found that as long as you keep anticipating the next one they will continue but when you stop thinking about it they will stop.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Drinking from the opposite side of a glass of water (a few sips) ,as Julie mentioned,has always worked well for me.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    January 24, 2017 at 9:52 am

    When I sneeze, the first one is rather violent. One time I sneezed and hiccupped at the same time. I think I musta tore something aloose or broke a rib or punctured a lung or something because I was sore for a month.
    Come to think of it that is the last time I can remember having the hiccups. Maybe I broke my hiccuper.

  • Reply
    Ann Applegarth
    January 24, 2017 at 9:32 am

    Drink a few swallows of water out of the FAR SIDE OF THE GLASS. You have to bend over to do this, and it must be that particular position that cures the hiccups. This has always worked for me.

  • Reply
    Lonnie Baker
    January 24, 2017 at 9:05 am

    A little sip of vinegar works every time. This remedy had been passed down in our family for several generations.

  • Reply
    Leilani Worrell
    January 24, 2017 at 8:54 am

    I heard (and have tried) drinking water while holding a pencil clenched in your teeth. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. But if you have the hiccups long enough in one episode, you’ll try just about anything. The trick that usually works for me is ignore them and they usually stop. Of course, it’s hard to ignore an annoyance!!

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    January 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

    For me, drinking several sips of water–at least 5 as the “cures” say–will end the aggravation.
    Also, I’ve done the spoonful of sugar suggestion.
    Hiccups are bothersome, and always seem to come at a most inconvenient time. If I had time this morning, I would “google” and research for the exact physical/medical reasons we get this little interruption to our usual breathing/talking/otherwise “ordinary” day.
    Try the water. Good recommendation!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    January 24, 2017 at 8:24 am

    The sugar works, but it needs to be a heaping teaspoon. I suspect that a single packet is not enough. You also need to swallow it as soon as possible, not waiting for the sugar dissolve. I think that it is probably the graininess of the sugar that relaxes the spasms. With me, the hiccups stop as soon as the sugar is swallowed.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    January 24, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Only one I know is holding my breath. Works sometimes but not all the time. Fortunately I rarely get them.since we say hiccups means one is growing, guess I have stopped. I should have anyway.

  • Reply
    January 24, 2017 at 8:03 am

    Chomping on a slice of fresh lemon works for me every time!
    A little spritz of bitters works, too, but with less consistent results for me.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes Moreno
    January 24, 2017 at 7:59 am

    Sit in a chair with your legs spread open. Bend down with your head below or as near to your waist as possible drinking out of the opposite side of a glass of water. Only a few sips and your hiccups are gone. Someone showed me that over 30 years ago. I don’t remember who it was now. But, it works everytime for me.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    January 24, 2017 at 7:53 am

    Sugar does work for babies though, used it on all of mine. Your were just too old, lol. I always heard hold your breath and drink, drink from the wrong side of the class, a bonus shower comes with that one.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    January 24, 2017 at 5:31 am

    I’ve had hiccups but never found a cure. I tried a few but none worked so now I just try to ignore them (and you know how easy that is) till they go away. They do eventually go away and I really think they go away quicker if I can turn my attention to something else. Without my attention they just stop.
    But Tip, seriously, five times in one day!

  • Leave a Reply