a glass of water, hydrated in hot weather, water-only fasting

Q. I really appreciate the tips, updates and news in your column. When I read advice about halting hiccups, I’m reminded about the only sure-fire way I’ve ever found to stop hiccups–and I learned it from the “Bullwinkle Show” when I was a kid. Honest!

Bullwinkle’s advice? Take seven sips of water while holding your breath. This simple trick has always worked for me–and everyone I’ve ever shared it with–for more than 20 years. Make sure each of the seven sips is completely swallowed.

A. Many hiccup remedies involve sipping or swallowing. In one, the hiccup victim must drink from the wrong side of the cup. (It’s necessary to bend over.) In another, the sufferer drinks several swallows of water while an accomplice presses on both ear flaps (technically called the tragus).

Hiccups are thought to happen when a signal to the phrenic nerve goes awry. Stimulating that nerve in the roof of the mouth with a spoonful of granulated sugar or a lemon wedge soaked with Angostura bitters seems to interrupt the hiccup cycle. That is probably what Bullwinkle’s advice accomplishes. Thanks for sharing it. You’ll find more hiccup remedies, if you’d like, in our book, The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies.

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  1. Wendy S.

    I have used this method to stop the hiccups and it works every time ( I do not bet unless I know I will win – and have bet on this every time and won ) I do not care what you put in a baby bottle EVEN BEER but drink from that baby bottle and your hiccups will be gone……….

  2. Hope

    Drinking pineapple juice stops the hiccups without holding your breath.

  3. Anightowl

    Tip to cure hiccups. Put a finger in your ear – like you are try to stop up the ear hole. Now pull the tab at the front of the ear forward and hold it for a while or until there are no more hiccups . This has cured mine and my children’s hiccups for years. Try it – it doesn’t cost anything.

  4. Mark Doss

    I take a deep breath and hold it as long as is comfortably possible, while keeping internal pressure against my chest. Once in a while, it takes doing this routine twice to make the hiccups quit. I think it relaxes whatever muscle is spasming in the diaphragm.

  5. Carol (VCD lady)
    United States

    Press gently (use fleshy underside of finger next to thumb) but firmly on the little “dimple” right under the nose, above upper lip. This is an acupressure point.

  6. GLP

    I learned a good cure for hiccups quite accidentally many years ago. One of the children had the hiccups right before we began our Bible Fellowship. We started with prayer and then sang some songs. Sure enough, when we all were finished singing, her hiccups were gone. The intake of air required for singing relaxed her diaphragm and her hiccups stopped. I never forgot that and to this day, I will sing one or two songs and the hiccups stop. It’s a good thing it usually happens at home and not in public!

  7. Donnie

    I stop hiccups by sticking my fingers in my ears, and swallowing a few times. That works better for me, then anything else. I have no idea why it works. I read about that in a magazine article, many years ago. A spoonful of sugar is somewhat helpful, too.

  8. Lou G

    Amazing advice. About 12:30 last night I awoke with hiccups. They didn’t stop so I didn’t get any sleep. Today I’ve had them off and on. I’m going to try the 7 sips, then the others if it doesn’t work.

  9. Bob A

    My hint only works once with one person. Depending on the age; two quarters for the very young, 5 dollars for adults.
    What I do is wait for a hiccup then immediately place the money in front of them and say, “you may pick up that money after you next hiccup”. This only works a little more than half the time but when it does it is loads of fun. Years ago I was in a bar and a man sitting next to mead a very bad case. I put a 5 dollar bill on the bar and spoke the quote above and he stopped immediately. He was so appreciative that he bought me drinks the rest of the night.
    Bob A in Houston

  10. raw

    Yes, I to know about Bullwinkle but—Hold breath, seven sips, through a straw with you fingers in your ears. Works every time.

  11. Cindy

    Drink water thru a papertowel. It works everytime!

  12. snh

    Here’s a remedy for hiccups I learned in a class on ACUPRESSURE.
    Gently press on the two protuberances (knobs) at the base of your skull. Don’t press hard…use about the amount of pressure you’d exert if you were pressing on your eyeballs.
    It works for some reason.

  13. Marj L.

    When you get the hiccups – Take a glass of water and put it to your mouth and sip and inhale, exhale, keeping the glass in the sipping position. Continue this, breathing into the glass while sipping) until you feel you have passed what would have been the next hiccup. Cured! Works every time. If you happen to hiccup during the process, just continue and it will work.

  14. Karen Daley

    Great tip for hiccups. I wonder where that word came from.
    I am happy to tell you that whatever is wrong with my large toe, Vinegar and Listerine is helping tremendously.
    Thanks to everyone, Karen

  15. Wendy B.

    I am going to share my experience with hiccups. I watched a Dr Oz show and he said to gurgle with ice water. I had a terrible bout of the hiccups one night and I decided to try it and I was amazed by the results. It works. Try it !!!!

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