Hiccup is characterized by the sharp inspiratory sound produced with the spasm of glottis and diaphragm. Hiccup is caused as a result of spasmodic and involuntary spasmodic contraction of diaphragm followed by the closure of epiglottis. It is mainly caused due to irritation of phrenic nerve. Generally the episode of hiccup occur to everyone but the physician consultation doesnot require. Episode of hiccup lasting for more than two days are termed as persistent hiccup. Very people suffer from episode of hiccup requiring medical consultation with duration lasting more than a week. In ayurveda, it is commonly known as hikka roga.
In ayurveda, hiccup are classified into five types( Annaja, yamala, shudra, ghambhira and maha hikka). Hiccup is caused due to the aggrevation and upward movement of vayu because of dietary regularities, psychological factors like worry, anxiety and anger, exertion, disease of lung and stomach and constipation.
The ash of feather of peacock(Mayurpuchha bhasma) is considered to be the best therapy for this condition. It is given in a dose of two grains six times a day mixed with honey. This is one of the most common drug used for the treatment of hiccup by ayurveda physician. Eladi vati, which contains cardamom as an important ingredient is popularly given for the treatment of this condition. It is given with honey to be sucked in a dose of one tablet six times a day. For the allevation of upward movement of vayu, sukumara ghrita should be given to the patient in a dose of one teaspoonful three times a day with milk. Similarly the use of hingwastak powder is also helpful. The main constituent of Hingwastak powder is hingu commonly known as Ferula narthex. It is mainly cultivated in India, Iran and Afghanistan. The resin of this plant is used as hingu. It helps in the downward movement of vata. This powder is given in a dose of one teaspoonful two times a day.
Kulattha (Dolichos biflorus) is very useful in this condition. The soup preparation of this can be given to the patient. Old rice, patola (Trichosanthes dioica), tender radish, lemon, goat’s milk and garlic can also be given. Fatty food, heavy and cold food and masa (Phaselous radiates) are contraindicated in this condition.
The patient should be given psychotherapy if the hiccup is produced as a result of psychoneurotic conditions. The patient should be given rest and should not suppress natural urges in any form.