This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
This consists in spasmodic contraction of the midriff, and a certain degree of constriction, which arrests the air in the wind-pipe, thus producing sudden, short, convulsive inspirations, attended by slight sound, and followed immediately by expiration. It is often a symptom of low forms of fever and inflammatory diseases, or caused by the excessive use of alcohol or tobacco.
TREATMENT. -- When purely nervous, suddenly attracting the mind will cure it. Hence the common advice to the hiccoughing patient, "think of your sweetheart" is so often effectual, because the fond object absorbs the whole mind. When dependent upon a disordered state of the stomach, an emetic will relieve it. In fevers it denotes debility, indicating the need of stimulants.