Hiccup (Hikka) treatment in Ayurveda

In daily routine of our life sometime hiccup creates a great problem. So lets approach hiccups according to Ayurveda. There are 5 kinds of hiccup. Their causes, premonitory symptoms, kinds, and development are the same as diseases of difficult breathing.

Type 1. Food-caused (annaa hikka): Vata becomes aggravated by eating too quickly and improperly, or eating and drinking dry, penetrating, rough, and unaccustomed foods. This produces a painless hiccup. It is quiet, then followed by sneezing. It ceases when foods and drinks that one may be accustomed to are ingested.

Type 2. Exertion-caused (kähudrá hikka): Vata becomes mildly increased from exertion. This causesa slight hiccup from the base of the shoulders. It ceases after eating food.

Type 3. Indigestion-caused (yamalá hikka): This type arises when one hasn’t eaten for many hours or when digestion is not working properly. These hiccups come in pairs, causing tremors in the head and neck, gas, severe thirst, nonsensical speech, vomiting, diarrhea, unsteady eyes, and yawning.

Type 4. (mahatí hikka): Rigidity develops in the eyebrows and sides of neck, eyes become red and teary, there is loss of body movements, speech, memory, and awareness. Food is obstructed from moving, causing the vital organs to feel like they have been hit. The body bends backwards and emaciation develops. These types of hiccups arise from deep inside the body, forcefully, with great sounds. Type 5 (gambhírá hikka): This hiccup begins either in the colon or in the navel region.  Symptoms are similar to Type 4, but with more yawning, body expansion, and vibrating sounds.

Hiccups caused by food and exertion are most easily healed. Severe hiccups should be taken seriously.

Treatments of hiccup: For both difficult breathing and hiccup oil and sweat (náæí, bolus or steam tent) are required. First, persons undergo an oil massage with black salt (with Pitta constitution) When there are Pitta problems, such as burning, excessive bleeding or sweating, weakness and tissue depletion, or pregnancy, black salt should not be used. Oil loosens and dissolves the thick phlegm blocking the breathing channels, softening them, and rebalancing Vata.

Afterwards, a light diet of basmati rice and ghee or sesame oil is taken to increase Kapha. Then one is ready for emesis with pippali, rock salt, and honey (reducing Kapha and Vata). After emesis releases the excess Kapha, the channels are cleared, and the Vata begins to flow properly. Should there be any remaining Kapha, turmeric and barley grain are mixed with ghee and smoked.

When either of these illnesses is associated with a weak voice, diarrhea, internal bleeding, or burning, one eats foods that are sweet, oily, and cold.  Short periods of fomentation are applied to the chest and throat. Warm oil is mixed with cane sugar, orpoultices are made with sesame and whole wheat, Vata-reducing herbs, foods, sour herbs (e.g., ámalakí), and milk are ingested. Other herbs include dashmúl, pippali, trikatu, balaa, chitrak, dry ginger, gokshura, guæúchí, black salt; along with yogurt,ghee, dry radish, ghee, rice, and barley. Dashmúl also removes complications of thirst.

A general herbal recipe includes bilwa, gokshura, guæúchí, balaa, trikatu, chitrak, pippali, ginger decoction with ghee, black pepper, and black salt.

If a strong fever with toxins (áma) develops, reduction therapy (langana) is used (i.e., Pancha karma, exercise, sun bathing, etc.). Emesis with salt water is especially useful.

Should these therapies cause a Vata excess, balanced can be regained through Vata-reducing foods and warm massage.

If gas, distention, and constipation develop owing to Vata, foods with black salt, ámlavetasa, or hingwasták are recommended.

Hiccup is predominated by Kapha, and is healed through emesis, purgation, a wholesome diet, and pacification therapy, using herbal smoking (for strong persons only).

When weak children or elderly persons develop excess Vata, oil therapies are used to reduce excess air. It is important not to use laxatives when there is not an excess of Kapha. To do so may dry up the vital organs and threaten the person. Refer difficult breathing section for specific dosha therapies.

For hiccup, ghee mixed with triphala, or castor oil quickly stops the situation. Suddenly sprinkling cold water on persons with hiccups is helpful. Slowly drinking water nonstop for 30 seconds or until the hiccups cease is another option. Other therapies include frightening or causing surprise, anger, exhilaration, or separation from loved ones.

All foods and herbs should simultaneously reduce excess Kapha and Vata. Ghee is used in all situations. These are some of the Ayurveda tips for hiccup (hikka)

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