When it comes to getting rid of those pesky little diaphragm spasms we call hiccups, it seems everyone and their mother—literally—has a tried-and-true method. While some make sense from a medical perspective, others are fairly unconventional.
And while hiccups almost always go away on their own, they’re beyond irksome, so we’ll take any help we can get when it comes to stopping them as quickly as possible—even if slurping water while hanging upside down feels a little odd.
Read on for 15 methods people swear by to get rid of hiccups, and—as annoying as they might be—thank your lucky stars you don’t have Charles Osbourne’s problem—an Iowa man who hiccuped continuously for 68 years, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.
1. Gulp water without breathing in.
An effective method to curing hiccups: Take seven big swallows of water without taking a breath.
2. Light a match.
Some swear that blowing out a match and dropping it in a glass of water takes away hiccups when you drink it.
3. Breathe in and swallow.
Breath in as much as you can, then—without letting any air out—swallow. When you can’t swallow anymore, exhale slowly.
4. Plug your ears
Who knew plugging your ears with your fingers whole sucking down a glass of water with a straw gets rid of hiccups?!
5. Lemon and bitters.
If you can stand it, eat the inside of a lemon wedge doused with Angostura bitters. Though unpleasant, this remedy—discovered by a former bartender and endorsed by a doctor—has a high success rate. If you really can’t stomach the sour lemon, sprinkle on some sugar.
6. Use pickle juice.
Try to gulp a half a teaspoon of salty pickle juice every few seconds until your hiccups subside. Don’t have any? A spoonful of salt will do the trick.
7. Drink upside down.
You’ve definitely heard this one: Drink a glass of water while either laying upside down over the side of a couch or bed, or bending over.
8. Eat a big scoop of peanut butter.
Scoop out a big spoonful of peanut butter and hold it in your mouth for a few seconds,then swallow. (Not a fan of peanuts, or allergic? Use almond butter or Nutella—yum!)
9. A spoonful of sugar.
Scientists in the ’70s found that 19 out of 20 hiccuping patients found that eating a spoonful of granulated sugar cured them.
10. Take a small shot of vinegar.
Down a tablespoon of vinegar every few seconds until your hiccups subside.
11. Pinch yourself.
Some say hiccups can be cured by pinching the skin that covers the surface of the deltoid muscles.
12. Ice water.
gargle with ice water is an easy way to get rid of hiccups.
13. Pull your tongue.
Probably more of an old wives’ tale than an actual remedy, some swear that hiccups will go away if you hold the end of your tongue and pull gently. This stimulates the vagus nerve and eases diaphragm spasms
14. Breathe into a paper bag.
Breathe in and out of a paper bag held over your nose and mouth. According to Dr. Weil, this raises the carbon dioxide level in the blood, calming the nerve and muscle irritability that causes hiccups.
15. Have an orgasm.
This one might be a tad inconvenient if you’re, well, pretty much anywhere public, but some medical reports have looked into the idea of hiccups being cured by orgasms. Now that’s what we call a win-win.