Hiccups are involuntary contractions of the diaphragm — the dome-shaped muscle between your lungs and stomach.
When your diaphragm contracts, you inhale suddenly, and your vocal cord gets closed. This is what creates a distinctive sound.
While hiccups generally go away within a few minutes, they can be bothersome if you have long-term hiccups. Continuous hiccups can make eating and talking difficult for you. So, you want to get rid of it as soon as possible.
Some natural remedies like essential oils for hiccups may help you to get rid of this annoying condition. None of them has scientific proves. But people have been using them for a long time for their effectiveness in curing hiccups.
Read on to learn about some essential oils to get rid of hiccups.
5 Essential Oils for Hiccups
Here are some essential oils that you may try if you suffer from hiccups.
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is one of the popular natural cure for hiccups. This essential oil is derived from the peppermint herb, a cross between spearmint and watermint.
Peppermint oil is considered as one of the most versatile essential oils due to its numerous therapeutic properties.
Peppermint essential oil can relax the lower esophageal sphincter that stimulates burping. The burp can stop the contractions responsible for hiccups.
How to use peppermint oil for hiccups:
- Take a few drops of peppermint oil. Dilute it with coconut oil or grapeseed oil.
- Put one drop of that oil mix on the root of your mouth.
2. Chamomile Oil
Chamomile essential oil originates from the tropical flowers of chamomile plant. This oil is quite popular for its medicinal values.
Chamomile oil has muscle relaxing effects. This essential oil can soothe muscles in the diaphragm to reduce contractions that cause hiccups.
Learn how you may use chamomile oil for hiccups:
- Place one drop of chamomile essential oil in a brown paper bag. Hold over your mouth and nose. Breathe in slowly through your nose.
3. Tarragon Oil
Persistent hiccups may happen due to some gastrointestinal problems. Tarragon essential oil may help you in that case.
Here’s how you may use tarragon oil to get rid of hiccups:
- Taking a few drops of tarragon essential oil orally may stop severe hiccups.
4. Sandalwood Oil
Sandalwood oil is obtained from the wood of matured sandalwood trees through steam distillation. This essential oil is quite famous due to its anti-inflammatory, antiphlogistic, emollient, expectorant, hypotensive, and antispasmodic properties.
Sandalwood oil is sedative and relaxant in nature. It can relieve spasms and contractions. You may use this oil to stop hiccups.
Learn how to use sandalwood oil for hiccups:
- Mix a few drops of sandalwood essential oil with a carrier oil.
- Rub the oil over your diaphragm and throat to relax the muscles.
5. Cypress Oil
Cypress essential oil originates from Cupressus sempervirens through steam distillation.
Cypress essential oil is an antispasmodic. You may use this oil to stop hiccups.
How to use cypress oil to get rid of hiccups:
- Put one drop of cypress essential oil at the base of your throat. Don’t forget to dilute with a suitable carrier oil.
Precautions While Using Essential Oils for Hiccups
Essential oils are usually safe. But you need to maintain some precautions as some of them are quite strong. Using them in the wrong way may cause serious health problems.
- Always dilute the essential oils with a suitable carrier oil for topical application and internal ingestion.
- Buy therapeutic grade essential oil. Make sure they are safe to take orally.
- If you want to use essential oils topically, conduct a patch test before regular use.
- Store the essential oils in a cold and dry place.
- Consult with a doctor before you take essential oils orally.
Causes & Risk Factors of Hiccups
Several conditions may cause hiccups. They can occur suddenly and sometimes with no specific reasons at all. The common causes of hiccups include:
- A swollen stomach due to overeating or quick eating.
- Consuming carbonated beverages.
- Swallowing air.
- Sudden excitement or stress.
- Alcohol consumption.
- Excessive smoking.
- If the stomach temperature suddenly changes.
Short-term hiccups are quite common among newborns. They spend around 2.5 percent of their time hiccupping. But it goes away and occasionally happens after their infancy.
Persistent hiccups may last more than 48 hours. It can hint towards the following health issues:
- Metabolic disorders.
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- Psychogenic disorders.
- Central nervous system disorders.
- Multiple Sclerosis.
When to See a Doctor
In most cases, hiccups go away within a few minutes. Sometimes they can continue for hours.
But if you suffer from hiccups frequently and they last for more than two days, they can be a sign of other diseases. Consult with your doctor for proper diagnosis.
Hiccups create a slight tightening sensation in your chest, throat, and abdomen. You can identify hiccups with a ‘hic’ sound caused by diaphragm contracts.
Hiccups aren’t deadly but can be annoying when happening continuously. You might find it difficult talking, eating, and even breathing due to persistent hiccups.
Always try to stay relaxed and stress-free. Increase your fiber intake and add probiotic foods in your regular diet. Try these essential oils to get rid of this annoying condition naturally.
If the lifestyle changes and natural remedies fail to stop your hiccups, consult with your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.