The Strangest Hiccup Cures Ever


We’ve all had – and hated having – hiccups. The sudden sounds that you make for no apparent reason are hugely embarrassing for you and a source of great humour for your loved ones. They come up at a moment’s notice, plaguing your attempts to live a normal life, and then vanish as quickly as they came. But there’s no telling when they’re going to disappear, so the obvious solution is to try and speed up the process by actively stopping them.

You might be the type to drink water, or hold your breath, hoping that they’ll stop the hiccups somehow. Some people swear by a sudden shock, getting friends and family to scare the wits out of them at a random point in time like they’re trying to get rid of a wild animal. But there are others around the world who take hiccup-curing to the extreme, and here’s how they did it (note: do not attempt any of these if they might pose an issue to your health):


Drink a bit of vinegar

This particular method has several dedicated fans, who insist on its effectiveness. As far as anyone can tell, the credibility of it comes from the fact that swallowing is one of the most effective ways of stopping hiccups, while the vinegar taste serves to distract hiccup-sufferers from their plight. Faced with the prospect of drinking vinegar, though, hiccups don’t seem quite as bad.


Pinch the back of your shoulder

Hiccups are caused by sudden closures in your vocal chords, and the key to solving them is by resolving irritation in the vagus nerves, one way or another – so this particular cure might just be a pinch in the wrong direction.



(Image via Volkan Olmez)

Think about all the bald men you know

This one initially sounds like the strangest one yet, since it seems to suggest that bald men hold the key to abating hiccups like no other human. In actuality, it probably works to reduce your hiccups by forcing you to concentrate on something other than the little gasps you make periodically.


Drink a glass of water with a match in it

This is exactly what it sounds like – light a match, blow it out, and then drop it in a glass of water and drink it. It stands to reason that water with the match tastes exactly the same as water without, so the worth of this tactic comes, like the vinegar trick, from the act of swallowing. But if the match is enough to make people think they’re actively curing their hiccups, they’re welcome to it. Just don’t swallow the match in the process.


Force yourself to hiccup

Another psychological trick, trying to convince yourself that you want to hiccup might, in fact, stave off the hiccups completely. It’s almost like trying to convince yourself to sneeze – willing it to happen makes it happen less.


Do some acrobatics

Get a glass of water, pass your hand with the glass under your leg, and drink it with your leg somewhere in the air near your head. An issue for anyone who’s not flexible, but some people swear by it, and it might prove more psychologically effective than simply drinking a glass of water.



Image via Markus Knöll

Stick out your tongue

An apparently effective hiccup cure, pulling your tongue out with your fingers is said to change your breathing and open up your vocal cords, thereby helping to stifle the spasms that occur every time a hiccup turns up. Just try not to do it in a public space, lest someone think you’re making fun of them.



It helps you hold your breath, a commonly tried cure for hiccups. Granted, hiccups might be one of the most unusual ways to get a kiss from someone, so only try it when both parties are mutually comfortable. And it can’t be a peck, either, since that won’t alter your breathing at all – it has to be a fairly long kiss.