Folk Medicine – Los Angeles, California

Cure for Hiccups

To cure hiccups, one spoonful of malt vinegar.

According to the informant, “It really works!” but he doesn’t know why.  His guess was that the malt vinegar serves as a shock to the taste buds and that this overwhelming sour taste distracts one from the hiccups and makes them go away.

I think that perhaps Geoff is correct with his assertion that the vinegar works because it shocks the taste buds.  It might work much like the other folk remedy I’ve found common: to surprise or scare someone to make their hiccups go away.  In both cases, the remedy is shock to one’s body that immediately takes the person’s mind off the hiccups.  I think the cure could be both physical and psychological.  Because it physically shocks the body, and psychologically takes one’s mind off the hiccups.