Tea is said to be a beverage rife with health benefits, but the other day it reversed that reputation and induced hiccups. That was a first. I usually get hiccups when gulping down carbonated beverages (which I don’t drink very often anymore). So, what gives? Time for a little detective work. Or I could just look it up online.
According to the Mayo Clinic:
The most common triggers for short-term hiccups include:
- Eating too much
- Drinking carbonated beverages
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Sudden temperature changes
- Excitement or emotional stress
Well, let’s see. I hadn’t eaten too much (my tummy usually feels full after a few bites, and I actually have to watch that I don’t eat too little). So that wasn’t it. The tea wasn’t carbonated, no little fizzy bubbles crowding up through my nose or making the back of my throat tingle. So I have to cross another possibility off the list. And since this was real tea, not that Prohibition Era style tea, there was no alcohol in it, so again the mystery continued of why I began hiccupping. Might as well press on to those final two items.
Yes, the tea in the cup was warm but not excessively hot. I had poured it at the beginning of breakfast, had sipped on it while eating, and had now finished off the remaining liquid in one mouthful. Gulp! Hic! Hm, the list doesn’t include sudden gulping as a cause. Maybe the gulp made me excited or emotionally stressed. After all, it meant that the teacup was now empty, a stressful situation for any tea drinker, and one fraught with dilemma, especially if the teapot is empty, too. Do we steep another whole potful, another cupful, or none at all? But that couldn’t have been the cause of the hiccups, since the teapot wasn’t empty and in a few minutes I had refilled the teacup, hiccupping during the entire process.
Time to take another gulp of tea to see if it would reverse the hiccup process. Slurp! Hic! Dang!
Time to apply my tried and true remedy: holding my breath as long as possible. The hard part was not being able to sip my tea. It took awhile of inhaling as much as I could, holding it in, then exhaling suddenly, and repeating the process until the hiccups eventually stopped.
Why that gulp of tea started me hiccupping will remain forever a mystery, but that’s okay. The tea was so good, it was worth it!
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