Hiccups Cure: How to Stop Hiccups With 9 Quick Tricks

These spasms of your diaphragm muscle are not harmful, but until you find a hiccups cure, they can drive you nuts. So when you're desperate to know how to stop hiccups, try these 9 tricks.

View as Slideshow

Swallow something sweet

Swallow something sweetiStock/Oktay Ortakcioglu
A spoonful of sugar is a popular hiccups cure because its graininess could slightly irritate the esophagus, causing the phrenic nerves to "reset" themselves, although there is no proof of this.

...Or something sour

...Or something sourRalph Smith for Reader's Digest
Take a teaspoonful of vinegar. Its sour taste could stop a hiccup in its tracks.

Have some peanut butter

Have some peanut butter  iStock/Floortje
A classic hiccups cure involves eating a big spoonful of peanut butter. In the process of chewing and getting it off your tongue and teeth, your swallowing and breathing patterns are interrupted. And hence, the hiccups will be history.

Content continues below ad

Sip some hot sauce

Sip some hot sauce iStock/Donald Erickson
This probably works because the heat and burn are distracting enough to turn your body's focus on the burn, instead of the hiccup process.

Enjoy a little honey

Enjoy a little honey  iStock/catphoto4
Put 1 teaspoon of honey, stirred in warm water, on the back of your tongue, and swallow it. Like dill, honey could potentially tickle the vagus nerve to make the hiccups stop. Bonus: Honey is also a known infection fighter and cough soother.

Yummy chocolate remedy

Yummy chocolate remedy iStock/Donald Erickson
Eat some powdered chocolate drink mix (cocoa or Ovaltine) right off the spoon. Swallowing the spoonful isn't easy and should cure the hiccups.

Content continues below ad

Brown bag 'em

Brown bag 'emiStock/DebbiSmirnoff
Breathe slowly and deeply into a small paper bag. (Stop if you feel light-headed.) This increases the carbon dioxide level in the blood and makes the diaphragm contract more deeply to bring in more oxygen, which may stop the hiccup spasms. Find out here why brown bags can also help relive toothaches.

Chew up some dill

Chew up some dilliStock/Alina Solovyova Vincent
Here's a simple, pleasant-tasting trick: Slowly chew a teaspoon of dill seeds. This traditional cure may work because swallowing the seeds stimulates the vagus nerve to make the hiccups stop.

Try the paper towel trick

Try the paper towel trickiStock/cretolamna
Place a single layer of paper towel over the top of a glass, then drink through the towel. You'll have to "pull" harder with your diaphragm to suck up the water, and concentrated gulping counteracts spasmodic muscle movements of hiccups.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.