Q. I have been meaning to write you about this for a long time. I have used one or two green olives for hiccups for many years, as have all my family members.

I don’t know why it works, it just does. It stops them almost immediately. It even worked on a friend who had been through surgery and had suffered for three weeks until I gave him an olive. Have you ever run across anyone else who has used this? I’m rather curious as to why it works.

A. We have been collecting hiccup remedies for more than 30 years but this is the first time we have heard of using green olives. Most hiccup remedies work by stimulating the phrenic nerve at the top of the hard palate. Chewing crushed ice or swallowing a spoonful of granulated sugar or ice cream seems to interrupt the hiccup reflex. Perhaps the green olives work on a similar principle.

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