Folk Cures for the hiccups in the USA
Holding the breath as a cure for hiccups. Source: Flikr, samantids
This is the last of a highly unscientific look at three different ailments and their folk cures. The first looked at ‘weakness’ amongst the Beja of the Red Sea Hills in Egypt and Sudan, while the second looked at the common cold in the Nile Valley (Egypt). This blog looks at some of the popular beliefs in the USA associated with what causes hiccups and how they can be treated.
A few of the causes and cures for hiccups
Food and drink rank high on causes. I agree with that – but with me, hiccups are generally also associated with either a lot of stress or fatigue.
Popular cures can involve some form of bodily manipulation, such as holding one’s breath or other self-contortion:
As well, there are also a number of ways that are suggested for drinking water. I find that drinking tap water upside down and backwards often works: Bend over, drink from the opposite side of the glass (i.e., backwards). This seems to confuse muscle responses but can also send quantities of water up your nose.
Here is a tamer method of drinking water:
I've never tried this method; looks kind of messy. Source: Flikr - Chris Sands
Some animals also get hiccups. Here is Brochette (‘kebab’) – one of my Burundian dogs, who frequently gets very violent hiccups:
Brochette (right) was the runt of the litter, is a little nervous, and prone to hiccups. Bobbi (left) is a laid-back part-lab, prone only to eating and sleeping
My lovely boy Lulu-cat also would get hiccups and that was usually after he ate a lot of yogurt (his favorite food):
Being 25% East African Wild Cat, Lulu's favorite haunts were up on curtain rods, etc.
Recovering from a yogurt high
That ends, for the moment, a brief and completely non-statistical look at some food and folk cures from around the world.