Hiccups Causes, Remedies, Types, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment

Hiccups (also spelled hiccoughs) can be compared to Hikka Roga mentioned in Ayurveda. It is a commonly neglected condition, but may be associated with major underlying disorders and can hinder daily activities.
Hiccup is defined as an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs, with a sudden closure of the glottis.

Common causes

  • Excessive consumption of spicy foods
  • Intake of cold foods and drinks
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Exposure to dust and smoke
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Residing in cold places
  • Excitement / emotional stress, hysteria, shock, fever (1)
  • Excessive fasting
  • Excessive eating
  • Weakness of body
  • Sore throat
  • Sudden change in temperature
  • Conditions like Parkinson’s disease (2)
  • Irritation of eardrum etc.
    Read related – causes of hiccups

Herbal remedies

  • Inhalation of smoke by lighting a wick prepared using ghee, turmeric and cinnamon leaves. Take 1 teaspoon of ghee, add half a teaspoon of turmeric and cinnamon bark. Burn it on a pan and inhale the fumes for 2 – 3 minutes. Do this 3 – 4 times a day, preferably on empty stomach.
  • Asafoetida remedy: In case of hiccups associated with abdominal bloating, take 3 pinches of Asafoetida (heeng), add it to a teaspoon of ghee, fry for 10-20 seconds in mild fire. Add this to a cup of buttermilk. Add a pinch of salt to it. This is administered once or twice a day.
  • Asafoetida, fried with ghee, as mentioned above is consumed as it is to relieve abdominal distension.
  • Mild fomentation over the chest and neck using sesame seeds, black gram, wheat. Take a clean cotton cloth. Take 2 tablespoons of each of sesame seed, black gram, wheat and salt. Tie these things in the form of a pack, with the cotton cloth. Heat this over a pan and gently give fomentation to chest area. Take care not to cause burns. Check the heat of the pack on the back of your palm, before applying on chest. Do this for 3 – 5 minutes, once or twice a day.
  • Horse gram / green gram soup prepared by adding long pepper, ginger, salt and ghee can be administered. Read related: Ginger benefits
  • Soup of eggplant prepared along with curd, ginger, long pepper, black pepper and ghee is useful.
  • Foods and drinks of patients suffering from hiccups should be prepared by adding long pepper, black pepper, salt, asafoetida, ginger and ghee.
  • 1 gram of liquorice is added with 1 gram of long pepper, a teaspoon of honey and 10 drops of ghee. This is mixed and administered along with a cup of water, once or twice a day for 2 – 5 days time.
  • A tablespoon of juice of citron fruit with a pinch of asafoetida, black salt and black pepper cures hiccups.
  • Nasal drops with saline water. – Take a pinch of salt and add it to 5 teaspoons of water. Dissolve the salt. Put 5 drops of this water to each nostril, preferably on empty stomach.
  • Goat’s milk processed with ginger and sugar can cure hiccups. Read related: Goat milk benefits

This disease condition is mentioned under Pranavaha Srotas (respiratory system). According to Ayurveda, Swasa (dyspnoea), Kasa (cough) and Hikka (hiccups) are inter-related. They have identical etiological factors and source of origin.

Lifestyle advice, prevention tips

  • Avoid excess spicy foods.
  • Avoid extremely cold foods, excess ice creams
  • Avoid aerated soda drinks, carbonated beverages.
  • Avoid exposure to dust and smoke. Wear a mask during travel
  • Avoid or lessen alcohol consumption
  • if you are residing in a cold place, use warm cloths.
  • Try to control emotional stress with Pranayama and meditation. Learn a simple Pranayama technique here
  • Avoid fasting for more than a day.
  • Do not overeat.
  • Exercise at least for 20 minutes a day and keep the body fit.

Sanskrit verse

Hikka Nirukti – Etymology

Vayu frequently moving upward, by shaking the liver, spleen and intestines with sound, and coming out of the mouth with a loud sound and causing trouble to life is called Hikka.

Hikka is called so because of the ‘Hik’ sound that is produced by the human body. (Reference – Madhukosha commentary on Madhava Nidana 12/3)
Read related: Charaka Hikka Shwasa Chikitsa 17th Chapter

Types of hiccups as per Ayruveda:

According to Sushruta Samhita Uttara 50/7,
1. Annaja Hikka
2. Yamala Hikka
3. Kshudra Hikka
4. Gambhira Hikka
5. Mahati Hikka

According to Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17,
1. Maha Hikka
2. Gambhira Hikka
3. Vyapeta Hikka
4. Kshudra Hikka
5. Annaja Hikka
6. Yamaka Hikka

Hikka Nidana – Etiological factors:

According to Madhava Nidana, Hikka occurs due to the following factors –
Vidahi bhojana – foods which cause burning sensation
Guru bhojana – foods that are heavy for digestion
Vishtambhi bhojana – foods that cause obstruction in body channels
Rooksha bhojana – foods that are dry in nature
Abhishyandi bhojana – foods that cause excessive secretions
Sheeta paana – cold drinks
Sheeta ashana – cold foods
Sheeta sthana – residing in cold places
Raja – dust
Dhooma – smoke
Atapa – heat of sun
Anila – wind
Vyayama – physical exercise
Karmabhaara – those tired due to carrying heavy weights
Adhva – walking long distances beyond one’s capacity
Vegaaghata – suppression of urges
Apatarpana – reducing treatments
Read related: Langhana Therapy – A Unique Ayurvedic Treatment Principle

According to Charaka Samhita, Chikitsasthana, Hikka occurs due to the following factors –
Rajasa dhooma vatabhyam – Exposure to dust, smoke and wind
Sheeta shtaanambu sevanat – use of cold water
Vyayamad gramyadharma adhva – Exercise, sexual intercourse and long walk beyond one’s capacity
Rooksha anna – Habitual intake of dry foods
Vishama ashana – Intake of food, deficient or excessive in quantity, and before or long after the meal time
Ama pradosha – Vitiation by Ama (product of improper digestion and metabolism)
Anaha – Constipation associated with flatulence
Rooksahata – Dryness
Ati apatarpanat – Fasting in excess
Dourbalya – Weakness
Marmanoghata – injury to vital organs (Marma)
Use of mutually contradictory ingredients
Shuddhi Atiyoga – Excessive administration of elimination therapies;
Hikka occurs as a secondary affliction to
Atisara – diarrhoea,
Jwara – fever,
Chardi – vomiting,
Pratishyaya – coryza,
Kshata – injury
Kshaya – phthisis, depletion of body tissues,
Raktapitta – bleeding from different parts of the body,
Udavarta – upward movement of the abdominal gases,
Visuchika – cholera,
Alasaka – intestinal torpor,
Pandu – anemia and
Visha – poisoning.
Habitual intake of
Nishpava – consumption of flat beans in excess
Masha – excessive consumption of black grams
Pinyaka – residue left out after extracting oil from sesame seeds
Tila taila – excessive intake of sesame oil. Read related: Sesame and Sesame Oil Benefits
Pishta – taking flours in excess
Shaalooka – Nymphaea alba
Vishtambhi – excess intake of foods tending to cause constipation
Vidaahi – foods which are corrosive in nature
Guru bhojana – foods which are heavy to digest
Jalaja ahara – meat of aquatic animals
Aanupa ahara – flesh of animals living in marshy regions
Dadhi – excess intake of curds
Ama ksheera – consumption of unprocessed milk
Abhishyandi ahara – foods which are sticky in nature which tend to obstruct the channels
Kantha-ura pratighata – Obstruction or block in throat or chest
Kasa vriddhi – aggravation of cough, chronic cough

Hikka Poorvarupa

Premonitory signs and symptoms:
Kanta uru gurutvam – heaviness of the chest and throat
Vadanasya kashaya – appearance of astringent taste in the mouth and Kukshi atopa – gurgling sounds in the abdomen / flatulence
Mukham kashayam – astringent taste in mouth
Arati gauravam kantavakshaso – restlessness, heaviness of throat and chest region
Atopo jatarasya – gurgling sounds in the abdomen / flatulence

Hikka Samprapti – Pathogenesis:

Vata along with Kapha, having obstructed the
1. Pranavaha Srotas – channels carrying vital breath
2. Udakavaha Srotas – channels carrying watery elements and
3. Annavaha Srotas – Anna-Vaha- Srotas causes hiccup. The signs and symptoms of various types of hiccup will be described hereafter.
Read related: Annavaha Srotas – Channels Of Food Transport

Hikka Prognosis:

According to Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/42-44,
Hikka is curable if
The patient is not emaciated (no depletion of muscle tissues),
If he has not lost his will power (mental stamina) and
If Dhatus (tissue elements) and Indriyas (senses) are not impaired, Otherwise, it is fatal.

According to Sushruta Samhita Uttara Sthana 50/15,
Gambhira Hikka and Mahati Hikka are incurable (Asadhya).

According to Ashtanga Hridaya Nidana Sthana 4/20-30,
Kshudra and Annaja Hikka are curable (sadhya)
Mahati and Gambhira Hikka are incurable (asadhya)
Yamala Hikka with all its signs and symptoms is incurable (asadhya)

Maha hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/22-26)
Vata in association with Kapha suddenly afflicts the throat of the patient who has depleted muscle tissue, strength, vital force (prana) and lustre. It causes hiccup with exceedingly loud as well as resonant sound. This variety of hiccup is characterized by 1, 2 or 3 bouts at time, continuously.
Prana-vayu obstructs the channels of circulation, vital parts (marma) as well as the heart of the patient. It makes the patient unconscious, and brings about stiffness of the body.
Read related: Marma Shaareera: Definition, Composition: Vital Points of The Body
It obstructs the channels of food and drinks. He loses memory; his eyes become full of tears, his eye- brows become displaced because of stiffness of the temple; he gets delirium accompanied by choked voice; and he does not get any relief whatsoever. This disease is known as Maha- Hikka. It is exceedingly deep- rooted (Maha- mula); its attack is enormous (maha- vega); is causes the patient to produce exceedingly loud sound (Maha- shabda) and its attacks are very strong (maha- bala). It may cause death of the patient instantaneously.

Gambheera Hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/27-30)
The patient is usually aged, emaciated and dispirited.
He frequently suffers from hiccups, and produces deep, painful and resonant sounds with his afflicted chest.
He yawns, contracts and expands his body.
He raises both the sides of his chest making murmuring sounds, afflicted with stiffness and pain.
Hiccup develops from the umbilical and gastric regions, with pain all over the body.
His body bends and shivers.
His expiration is obstructed.
There is impairment of strength and consciousness.
This type of Gambhira- Hikka may cause death.

Vyapeta Hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/31-33)
Vyapeta type of hiccup is produced during the course of intake of the four
types of foods. It gets exceedingly aggravated after the digestion of food. Its signs and symptoms are –
Pralapa – Delirium,
Vamya – Vomiting,
Atisara – Diarrhoea,
Trushna – Morbid thirst,
Jrumbha – Yawning,
Vipluta aksha – Tearful eyes,
Suskha aksha – dryness of the mouth,
Vimanina – contraction of the body and
Paryadhmata – Flatulence all around the body
Origin: From the base of the clavicle and the attack does not continue for a long time.
This type of Hikka is called Vyapeta, and it is injurious to life.

Kshudra Hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/34-37)
When Vayu, which is slightly aggravated in the gastro intestinal region, is pushed up by physical exercise and arrives at the throat region, it causes Kshudra- Hikka (minor type of Hiccup).
It is not very painful.
It does not exceedingly afflict the chest, head or vital organs (Marma).
It also does not obstruct the channels of breath, food and drinks.
It aggravates during the course of exertion, and it becomes milder immediately after meals.
It subsides immediately after its onset by implication, it does not continue for a long period. It is located in the cardiac region, Kloman (Lungs / pancreas), throat and palate in a mild form.
This is called Kshudra Hikka – hiccough, and it is curable.

Annaja Hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/38-41)
Vata gets aggravated and moves upward in the gastro intestinal tract because of the following:
Sudden intake of drinks and food in large quantity
Intake of excessively intoxicating alcohol
Excessive anger, speech, long walk, laughter for a long time and
carrying heavy weight.
Being compressed by the drinks and food, this aggravated Vayu located in the gastro intestinal tract quickly moves up to the channels in the chest and being located there, causes hiccup of Annaja type.
The patient gets slow hiccups which is interrupted even when the patient sneezes.
It does not cause and affliction of the vital spots (Marma) and sense organs. This type of hiccup gets alleviated by the intake of drinks and food.
This is called Annaja Hikka.

Yamaka Hikka (Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/42-44)
If the vitiated Doshas are accumulated in excess,
If there is weakness because of want of food,
If the body is emaciated on account of diseases,
If the patient is old, and
If a person over- indulges in sex,
He is liable to be afflicted by hiccup which can cause death instantaneously. This is called Yamaka Hikka.
It is associated with
Pralapa – delirium,
Arti – pain,
Trushna – morbid thirst and
Moha – unconsciousness
Read related: Charaka Trishna Chikitsa – Dry Mouth- 22nd Chapter

Hikka Chikitsa – Line of Treatment:

The sages, on the basis of their experience, have prescribed the same line of treatment for both Hikka and Shwasa. This is because of the similarity in causative factors, location of pathology, Doshas involved and similar pathogenesis.

According to Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/70-76),
Snighdairadau swede upacharet – Initially, the physician should treat a patient of hiccup or dyspnoea with unctuous fomentation (snigdha sweda) therapies like –
Nadi sweda
Prastara sweda
Sankara sweda
after applying oil mixed with salt over the body of the patient.
Snigdha sweda dissolves knotted and accumulated (grathita) Kapha.
The sticky Kapha detaches from the respiratory channels (Pranavaha Srotas). Once softness of channels are achieved, Vata moves in its proper direction (Vatanulomana) due to absence of obstruction.
Read related: Sweating Treatment – Swedana Types And Methods – Charaka Samhita 14

This has been explained with the help of a simile –
As the snow melts over the creepers on account of the hot rays of the sun, the stable Kapha in the body also gets dissolved on account on the heat generated by these fomentation therapies.

After ascertaining that the patient is properly fomented, he should be given
Snigdham odanam – rice mixed with ghee or
Matsya rasa – fish soup
Shookara rasa – pork soup
followed by the cream of curd (Dadhi sara) to eat.
This causes aggravation of Kapha Dosha.
The patient, is then be given emetic therapy, by administering a mixture of long pepper, rock salt and honey.
Care is taken that no Vata – aggravating ingredients are added to the recipe. The patient gets relief after vitiated Kapha is eliminated. When the channels of circulation are made clear (free from impediments) then Vayu moves in the channels at ease without any obstruction.

Dhoomapana in Hiccup

Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/77-80
The residual doshas which remain after administration of emesis (leena dosha) can be expelled out of the body by Dhoomapana (inhalation of medicated smoke).
Read related: Herbal Smoking – Benefits, Rules, Side Effects
For this purpose, a Varti (cigarette or elongated pill) should be prepared with the paste of
Haridra – turmeric,
Patra – Cinnamomum tamala,
Eranda moola – castor root,
Laksha – Laccifer lacca ,
Manashila – Arsenii disulphidum
Devadaru – Cedrus deodara,
Ala – Haritala – Arsenii trisulphidum and
Jatamamsi – Nardostachys jatamansi
This cigarette (elongated pill) is smeared with ghee, and used for smoking. Alternatively, barley mixed with ghee can also be used for the smoking therapy.

Bees wax and Sarja Rasa (Gum resin from Vateria indica) mixed with ghee is covered all around with arsenic (Malla) and kept inside two earthen plates. The fumes which come out of it when heated over fire is used for inhalation.
Read related: Sarja – Vateria indica Uses, Dose, Research, Side Effects

Inside the above mentioned Sarava- Samputa (two earthen plates), horn, hair and sinew of cattle can be mixed with ghee and placed, surrounded by Malla. The fume which comes out by the application of the heat of fire can be used for smoking.

Padmaka, Guggulu, Aguru (Loha) and Shallaki may similarly be added with ghee, surrounded by Tala and kept inside the Sarava- Samputa. The fume which comes out of it by the application of heat below may be used for smoking therapy.
Read related: Guggul Benefits, Usage, Dose, Side Effects, Research

The dried tender stems of
Shyonaka – Oroxylum indicum,
Castor – Ricinus communis and
Kusha grass – Desmostachya pinnata
are used as a pipe to enable the patient to smoke the fume of the above mentioned recipes placed inside Sharava Samputa.

Treatment of Complications of Hiccup

Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/81
If hiccup and asthma are associated with
Swara-Kshaya – thin voice or inability to speak,
Atisara – diarrhoea,
Rakta Pitta – bleeding disorders,
Daha – burning sensation,
then the patient is treated with ingredients which are sweet, unctuous, cooling etc.
Read related: Raktapitta Causes, Premonitory Symptoms, Symptoms, Pathogenesis

Alternate Fomentation Therapy for Unsuitable Patients

For patients in whom fomentation therapy is contra-indicated, mild fomentation therapy for a very short period of time is recommended.
Mild fomentation is to be done over the chest and neck by sprinkling lukewarm oil (Sneha) mixed with sugar and thereafter, by applying Upanaha with Utkarika (recipe for fomentation which is warm and which is in paste form).
Utkarika (poultice) prepared with the powders of Vayu- alleviating ingredients like
sesame seeds, linseed, black gram and wheat, mixed with oil, and cooked with sour drugs or milk is useful for this type of fomentation.
Read related: 4 Types Of Swedana As Per Sushruta And Vagbhata

Management of Complications in Hiccup

Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/85-87
If a patient of Hikka suffers from Navajwara (fever of recent origin) or Ama dosha (ailments caused by Ama), then Rooksha sweda (dry fomentation) and Langhana (fasting therapy) is administered.
Such a patient may also be given Vamana (therapeutic emesis) by administering saline water. If Vata is increased due to excess Vamana treatment, then juice (decoction) of Vayu- alleviating herbs or massage with such ingredients which are neither very cold nor very hot is administered.

If the patient suffers from
Udavarta – bloating (upward movement of Vayu) or Adhmana (flatulence), then he is given food mixed with
Matulunga – Citrus medica,
Amla-Vetasa – Garcinia pedunculata,
Hingu – Ferula foetida and
Bida salt.
This type of food helps in the downward movement (Anulomana) of Vayu.
Read related: Udavarta – Reverse Movement Of Vata Dosha Causing Disease

Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/88-89
Patients suffering from hiccup and asthma are of 4 categories as follows: Balavan – Strong
Durbala – weak
Kapha adhikyata – Kapha is predominant
Vata adhikyata – Vata Dosha is predominant, and who are dry.
If Kapha is predominant and the patient has strength, then he is given wholesome food, Vamana (emesis) and Virechana (purgation) treatments, along with Dhumapana (medicated smoke inhalation) and Avaleha (linctus).

If Vata is aggravated, if the patient is weak, if the patient is either an infant or old, then he or she is administered Vayu- alleviating medicines and nourishing recipes prepared of ghee (fat), vegetable soup and meat soup.

Soups and drinks for Hikka

Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/94-100
Nidigdhika – Solanum xanthocarpum,
Bilva madhyam – the pulp of Aegle marmelos,
Karkata – Pistacia integerrima
Duralabha – Fagonia cretica / Alhagi pseudalhagi,
Trikantaka – Tribulus terrestris,
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia,
Horse gram – Dolichos biflorus and
Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
is boiled by adding water, and the liquid is filtered. This liquid (decoction) is sizzled with Pippali – Piper longum and ghee.
Intake of this soup, by adding the powder of ginger and salt during meals is useful (for curing asthma and hiccup).

Rasna – Alpinia galanga,
Bala – Sida cordifolia,
Salaparni – Desmodium gangeticum,
Prisniparni – Uraria picta,
Kantakari – Solanum xanthocarpum,
Goksura – Tribulus terrestris,
Green gram
Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica
is boiled by adding water and the decoction is prepared. Soup of this decoction is prepared as mentioned above and given to the patient (suffering from hiccup and asthma) .

Tender leaves of Matulunga – Citrus medica,
Neem and
Kulaka is mixed with
Mudga – Vigna radiata and boiled by adding water.
In this decoction,
Shigru – Moringa oleifera and
Black pepper
is cooked according to the prescribed appropriate quantity and the prescribed procedure. Intake of this alkaline soup (Ksara- Yusha) cures hiccup.
Read related: Ayurvedic Liquid Remedies In The Management of Shwasa, Dyspnoea

The soup of the leaves of
Kasamarda – Cassia occidentalis or Shobhanjana or dry- radish cures hiccup and Asthma.
Similarly, the soup of Vartaka prepared along with curd, ginger, long pepper, black pepper and ghee is useful (in curing hiccup and Asthma).

Diet and Gruel Prescribed in Hikka

The patient suffering from hiccup should take food prepared from
old rice, old wheat or old barley.
Yavagu (thick gruel) prepared by boiling with
Asafoetida, black salt, cumin, Vida salt, Pauskara,
Chitraka – Plumbago zeylanica and
Karkata-Srngi – Rhus succedanea is useful for the patient suffering from hiccup.
Read related: Karkatshringi – Pistacia chinensis – Detailed Ayurvedic Qualities

Intake of the Yavagu prepared with the decoction of
Shati – Hedychium spicatum,
Rasna – Alpinia galanga,
Pippali Mula – Root of long pepper,
Puskaramula – Inula racemosa,
Tamalaki – Phyllanthus niruri,
Guduchi – Tinospora cordifolia and
is also useful in hiccough.

Foods and drinks of the patient suffering from hiccup and Asthma is given
mixed with
Puskara (Puskara- Mula) – Inula racemosa
Shati – Hedychium spicatum
Ginger, long pepper, black pepper,
Matulanga – Citrus medica and
Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunculata along with Ghee, Vida and Hingu.
Read related: Amlavetasa – Garcinia pedunculata Uses, Research

Drinks for Hikka

  • Decoction of Dashamoola
  • Decoction of Devadaru
  • Madira (a type of alcoholic drink)
  • Sura manda (a type of alcoholic drink) prepared using Patha, Madhurasa, Rasna, Sarala and Devadaru added with a pinch of salt
  • Pastes of asafoetida, black salt, Kola, Samanga, long pepper and Bala made by triturating them with the juice of Matulunga, mixed with Aranala (a type of sour drink)
  • Black salt, ginger and Bharngi with double the quantity of sugar
  • Paste of Bharngi or Maricha and Kshara or Pitadru, Chitraka, Asphota and Murva mixed with warm water
  • Drink prepared from Madhuka, long pepper root, jaggery, juice of cow and horse dung, ghee and honey
    Reference – Charaka Samhita Chikitsa Sthana 17/105-116

Linctus for Hikka

  • Ashwagandha Kshara with honey and ghee
  • Ashes of stalk of peacock feather, the quills of Sallaka, hair of Svavit, jandaka, Casa or Kurara, skin, bones and hooves of horned animals, animals having one hoof or two hooves, all of these separately or together with honey and ghee
    Linctus formulations alleviate Kapha dosha and cleanses the channels, thereby correcting the movement of Prana Vayu.
    Hence, linctus formulations are administered only when there is Kapha dosha involvement in Hikka.

Choice of Vamana and Virechana in Hikka

If a patient suffering from Hikka gets afflicted with cough, hoarseness of voice, then Vamana (emesis) is to be administered.
The ingredients for emetic and purgation therapies should have qualities to alleviate both Vayu and Kapha.
Read related: Vamana Virechana – Emesis and Purgation

Nasya in Hikka

Sushruta Samhita Uttara Sthana 50/16-18
Avapidaka nasya (nasal drops) made from Yashti mixed with honey or with long pepper mixed with powdered sugar, warm ghee, milk or sugarcane juice induces vomiting in a person who is not very emaciated (na ati ksheene) cures hiccup.
Human breast milk with red sandalwood
Red sandalwood with lukewarm ghee
Saline water nasal drops
Read related: Nasya Karma Procedure, Types, Benefits, Contra Indications

Line of Treatment in General

In general, ingredients which are
Kapha vatagnam – Kapha and Vata alleviating in nature
Ushnam – hot
Vatanulomanam – causes downward movement of Vata
is ideal to be used as medicines, foods and drinks for patients suffering from dyspnoea and hiccups.
Treatments which pacify Vata dosha tend to aggravate Kapha and treatments which pacify Kapha dosha tend to aggravate Vata.
In certain circumstances, administration of ingredients which alleviate Vayu but aggravate Kapha can be administered, if necessary.

The patient suffering from hiccup and asthma can be given nourishing therapy (Brumhana) as its adverse effects will be minimal and curable. Alleviation therapies (Shamana) for such patients are free from any adverse efforts. But the administration of depletion therapy (Karshana) is likely to produce serious adverse effects which are difficult of cure. Therefore the patient suffering from hiccup and asthma is generally treated with nourishing (Brumhana) or alleviating (Shamana) therapy, irrespective of the fact whether he has undergone elimination therapy (Shuddha) or not (Ashuddha).
Read related: Brumhana Therapy – Nourishing Ayurvedic Treatment Principle


Shatyadi churna – Administered in patients suffering from asthma and hiccups.
Muktadya churna – Administered by mixing it with equal quantities of honey and ghee.
Dashamooladya grita – Administered in patients suffering from asthma and hiccups.
Tejovatyadi grita – Administered in conditions where hiccups is associated with oedema, chest pain or heart diseases.
Manahsiladi grita – Administered in patients suffering from hiccups and asthma by mixing it with honey.
Trayushana grita – useful in all respiratory conditions.
Hapushadi grita
Vasa grita – useful in hiccups associated with chronic bronchitis or bleeding disorders.
Dhanwantharam gulika – used in the treatment of hiccups associated with Kapha Dosha.
Swasa kasa Chintamani Rasa – used to treat hiccups and other respiratory conditions like bronchitis, asthma, cough, cold etc.
Dhatryarishtam – cures hiccups associated with fever, anorexia.
Mayur Piccha Bhasma – used in the treatment of hiccups, chronic asthma and bronchitis.
Shring Bhasma – used in treatment of hiccups associated with heart burn, abdominal colic etc.
Punarnavarishta – used to treat hiccups associated with hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, oedema or anaemia.
Mrigamadasava – used to treat hiccups caused due to gastric irritation.
Suvarna sutashekara Rasa – used in hiccups associated with gastritis, nausea and vomiting.
Eladi vati – used to treat hiccups associated with hoarseness of voice and emaciation.
Pippali rasayana – widely used in disorders of Pranavaha Srotas.

Rasa Aushadhis:
Shwasa Kasa Chintamani Ras
Nagarjunabhra Ras
Shwas Kuthar Ras
Hem Garbh Pottali Ras
Shrungarabhra Ras
Lakshmi Vilas ras – Especially useful when hiccups are associated with respiratory allergy
Kamadudha ras – Useful during hiccups associated with spicy foods.

Addition by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Effective decoctions (Hikkadihara Kashaya)

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 26

a. Agnimanthadi Kashayam

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
AgnimanthaPremna mucronataThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1.Shortness of breath / asthma / bronchitis 2. Cough 3. Hiccough  
BalaSida cordifolia
KolaZiziphus mauritiana
CastorRicinus communis
BharangiClerodenron serratum
KushtaSaussurea lappa
GingerZingiber officinale

b. Dashamooladi Kashayam

\IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
DashamulaTen rootsThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with milk1.Cures hiccough  
GingerZingiber officinale
GarlicAllium sativum

c. Aaveeradi Kashayam

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
KasamardaCassia occidentalisThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with milk gruel prepared with milk1.Cures severe hiccough associated with wasting disorders / tuberculosis / consumption  
VachaAcorus calamus
BharangiClerodendron serratum
LicoriceGlyzyrrhiza glabra
MustaCyperus rotundus

2. Bilwa Dhanyadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 25

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
BilwaAegle marmelosThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with sugar and ghee  1. All types of hiccough 2. All types of dyspnea    
CorianderCoriandrum sativum
Bala mulaRoots of Sida cordifolia
LajaParched grains
CuminCuminum cyminum
GingerZingiber officinale
Green gramVigna radiata
DevadaruCedrus deodara
JivantiLeptadenia reticulata

3. Ramacchadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakarana, 28

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
UshiraVetiveria zizanioidesThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served with honey1.Dyspnea, cough, pain in flanks 2. Hiccough  
AmbuCyperus rotundus
BhadramulaRoots of Acorus calamus
BalamulaRoots of Sida cordifolia
LajaParched grains
IkshuSaccharum officinarum
Amra srungaPedicle of mango
TumbiLeucas aspera / Lagenaria siceraria
Nagavalli dalaStalk of Piper betle
GingerZingiber officinale
Green gramVigna radiata
PrisniparniUraria picta
CuminCuminum cyminum
DevadaruCedrus deodara

4. Kulutthadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakarana, 31

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Horse gramDolichos biflorusThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1. Dyspnea 2. Cough 3. Hiccough  
BarleyHordeum vulgare
KolaZiziphus mauritiana
MustaCyperus rotundus
DashamulaTen roots
BalaSida cordifolia

5. Nayaopaya Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakarana, 109

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
BalamulaRoots of Sida cordifolia – 10 partsThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1. Dyspnea 2. Hiccough  
CuminCuminum cyminum – 1 part
GingerZingiber officinale – 1 part

Yogas Mentioned in Sahasra Yoga Text Book
Dasanga Ghrita
Jivanthyadi choorna
Magadhajadi Choorna
Jati Lavangadi Choorna
Kadukkadi Choorna
Vatasringadi Choorna
Hingu Vachadi Choorna
Avipatti choorna
Kachuradi choorna ( Brihat)
Karpooradi Choorna
Kusmanda Rasayana
Agasthya Rasayana
Bharngyadi Leha
Jatilingadi Gutika
Dhanvantari Gutika

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