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How to Cure Hiccups Holistically

Updated on July 28, 2011

Hiccups "occur when a spasm contracts the diaphragm… [causing] an intake of breath that is suddenly stopped” according to WebMD. It further states that hiccups are generally caused by a very full stomach from eating or drinking too much, swallowing too much air or from emotional stress or excitement. Does this mean that eating and drinking are stressful or exciting? A little of both? Hmmm….maybe for some people.

I don’t really care to know the details or causes of this phenomenon of nature. What I do want to know is how to get rid of them once they start. The traditional remedies have never worked for me. I have held my breath to a count of 10 and more – until I’m blue in the face even - still hiccuping. Blowing into a paper bag? Nope. And even after I figured out how to drink out of the opposite side of a glass of water without sloshing it all over me, I was still hiccuping.

And babies hiccup too. How would you try any of these “cures” on a little one? I wouldn't even give them a tablespoon of sugar or honey – another “home remedy” for hiccups.

Here’s where holistic health can help.

Essential Oil Inhalation

Inhaling medicine grade peppermint essential oil will instantly end the hiccups for most people. (Peppermint is great for nausea or upset stomach as well.) Just open up your bottle and inhale deeply for 10 -15 seconds. You may need to repeat this a few times. Or place a few drops on your palm and cup your palms over your nose and inhale. But remember the oil you use must be medicine grade; Young Living essential oils are the only oils I would recommend. You may not have these results with other oils.

For a baby, you can do the same thing – add a few drops to YOUR palms and then hold the palms lightly over the baby’s nose. If they don’t seem to be inhaling the peppermint, you can add a drop or two to your tongue and blow a little peppermint breath their way.

You can also add a few drops of peppermint to a glass of water and drink it down. Bye-bye hiccups!

Everybody is different so peppermint may not work as well for you as it does for others. Experiment a bit to see what oil works best for you. Some people have had success with cypress, lavender, lemon and balsam fir, but I like peppermint for digestive issues.

Inner Gate Acupressure Point

The acupressure point for hiccups is known as P6; P as in pericardium. Also known as the Inner Gate. You can stimulate this point, located on the inner forearm, about three fingers’ width down from the wrist crease. The wrist crease is the line you see when you fold your hand, palm up towards you.

The P6 point became well known when the air sickness bands or bracelets were introduced. It was also recommended for general nausea, morning sickness and anxiety. Wearing the bracelet put pressure on the P6 point, relieving the motion sickness. However, you don’t need a special bracelet to do it and using the same protocol can eliminate hiccups.

First apply medicine grade essential oils to the pad of your thumb. Besides the oils mentioned earlier, you can experiment with tarragon, spearmint or Di-Gize, a Young Living blend of mostly peppermint, ginger, tarragon, and fennel. Di-Gize is my “go-to” essential oil blend for any stomach upset. Combining one drop of cypress with one drop of tarragon is also effective. Medicine grade oils are extremely powerful so I recommend you test a drop of the oils on your forearm. If a tingling on the skin turns to “heat”, you know you need to dilute the oils. Just add organic olive oil up to a 50-50 mixture until you reach a comfortable level.

Once your essential oils are applied, use your thumb to put pressure on the P6 spot for about 30 seconds. Light pressure is sufficient. No need to give yourself a bruise. By the way, if you bruise easily, consider upping your vitamin C. Already bruised? Try helichrysum, geranium or lavender. They are excellent oils for bruising.

Clavicle Notch

Are you still hiccupping? You must be getting tired. Here’s another suggestion. Apply the medicine grade essential oils to the esophagus via the clavicle notch. Put any or all of the discussed oils on the tip of your pointer finger and press the finger tip against the esophagus in a corkscrew fashion. Press inward and downward as if you were snaking out a drain. Hold for about 30 seconds and release.

Final Thoughts

One last suggestion. Apply the oils along your pointer finger and then press above both eyebrow ridges.

Feel free to send any questions you have on holistic living and the use of essential oils to my attention at IWantMyOils@comcast.netor post your questions on my Facebook page at ( Follow me on Twitter @HolisticHash.

"These statements are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to replace proper medical care, nor to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For medical help, consult with your health care professional.”


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    • ndonelly profile image

      ndonelly 2 years ago from Lawrenceville, New Jersey

      Young Living has the finiest meedicinal grade essential oils.

    • profile image

      Lclingan 3 years ago

      Worked like a charm! Thanks!

    • profile image

      ndonelly 4 years ago

      Glad it worked for you Cindy

    • profile image

      Cindy 4 years ago

      I just had my daughter take 10 deep breaths with our YL peppermint oil bottle under her nose. IT WORKS! Thank you.

    • profile image

      girl 5 years ago

      about the hiccups I think you're wrong.

    • ndonelly profile image

      ndonelly 6 years ago from Lawrenceville, New Jersey

      At healthy: Thanks for the feedback. The breath-holding and water thing never worked for me and I try to avoid sugar. ANd none of those work well for babies so this is an option to the folk remedies.

    • healthywebsites profile image

      healthywebsites 6 years ago

      great ideas. I have gotten hiccups frequently since I was an infant and tried most remedies. The cliavicle notch and essential oils sounds like it would work. I'm going to try that one.

      Other methods to try: holding your breath, sipping water while holding breath, drinking water upside down, a spoonful of sugar (I don't use this one).

      I wrote an article about the causes of hiccups and rememdies. For more info go to:

    • ndonelly profile image

      ndonelly 6 years ago from Lawrenceville, New Jersey

      Thanks Jennie - peppermint is great to carry around - add a little to your tea if you get an upset stomach and the best thing for relieving sinus congestion and headache.

    • Jennie Demario profile image

      Venture Boyz 6 years ago from Floating in the clouds

      Nice information here! I need to print this out and put it in my bag so I don't forget. I feel like I always get hiccups at the most embarrassing times he he. Hopefully with your help and these tricks I will be hiccup free forever!!