Sudden contraction of diaphragm, causing sudden rush of air into lungs, which in turn causes vocal cords to snap shut with a 'hic'; probably caused by purely mechanical irritation of the diaphragm, by laughing, being tickled, or too much air in stomach, which lies directly beneath it.
Specific remedies to be taken every 15 minutes for up to 6 doses (dose may be easier to take if you crush pilules between two clean spoons, dissolve it in a little warm water, and sip)
- Hiccups accompanied by belching and retching, especially if they come on an hour or two after eating a very large or very rich meal Nux 30c
- Hiccups come on after eating or drinking, after smoking, or after an emotional upset Ignatia 30c
- Violent, noisy hiccups, with belching Cicuta 30c
- Obstinate hiccups, chest feels sore, retching Magnesia phos. 30c
- Hiccups better for drinking a little water, person has a respiratory problem Cyclamen 30c
- Hiccups in an infant who is feeding poorly Aethusa 30c
- Hiccups made worse be cold drinks, fever, feeling chilly Arsenicum 30c
Self-help: Holding your breath, breathing rapidly, breathing into a paper bag, drinking cold water and then holding breath, pulling your tongue forward, having someone give you a shock - all of these are effective hiccups stoppers. So is squirting lemon juice down the back of the throat. A drink of water with a little glucose in it usually stops hiccups in an infant.