Natural and Home Remedies for Nosebleeds

This is simply bleeding from one or more of the many blood vessels in the nose. The medical term is epistaxis.

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Bleeding can be caused by any one of a variety of factors. The following is a list of many conditions or situations that will either cause or contribute indirectly to nosebleeds.

  • Alcohol abuse (interferes with blood clotting and enlarges blood vessels)
  • Allergies
  • Allergy medications
  • Aspirin, excessive use
  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Chemical irritants
  • Colds
  • Deviated septum
  • Dry air
  • Foreign particle stuck in the nasal passage
  • Herbs and supplements that interfere with blood clotting
  • High altitudes
  • Injury to the nose
  • Medical conditions such as thrombocytopenia, high blood pressure, hemophilia, leukemia
  • Medications that interfere with blood clotting
  • Mucus membranes are dry
  • Nasal spray overuse
  • Nasal surgery
  • Polyps
  • Pregnancy (esp second trimester)
  • Sinus infection
  • Smoking
  • Sneezing excessively
  • Tumor in the nasal passage

PREVALENCE

Since few people seek medical attention, there are no dependable statistics. It is a common complaint.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

For chronic or persistent nosebleeds, a doctor may use a heating instrument or chemical swab to cauterize a blood vessel. Sometimes a medicine that causes clotting of the blood may be applied. It is estimated that less than 10% of people with nosebleeds seek medical attention.

SELF TREATMENT

FIRST AID

  • Usually, pinching your nose below the bony ridge for several minutes will stop bleeding. Then rest for a few minutes.
  • Apply a cold compress while sitting with your head tilted forward. Apply the compress across the bridge of your nose for several minutes.
  • After a nosebleed, keep your head higher than your heart for several hours.

DIET

A healthy diet will include foods rich in Vitamin K, which activates enzymes in the blood-clotting process. Vitamin K-rich foods include broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens like spinach, and egg yolks. Vitamin K can be depleted by antibiotics and salicylates which can be found in many foods that are otherwise healthy food choices (apples, berries, grapes, raisins, et al.) Another example illustrating that a balanced diet with plenty of variety is a good thing.

Food intolerances also may be a cause for nosebleeds so if you or your children have frequent nosebleeds, there are tests for food intolerances.

FOODS THAT MAY PROMOTE HEALING:

  • Foods low in salicylates
  • Foods rich in Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C-rich foods
  • Probiotic foods to replenish Vitamin K

FOODS AND OTHER SUBSTANCES TO AVOID

Many of these substances interfere with blood clotting so if you are unsure of the cause of the nosebleed, these may be things to avoid until you do know.

  • Alcohol lowers the blood’s ability to clot
  • Caffeine drinks, which are dehydrating
  • Danshen
  • Dong quai
  • Feverfew
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Ginkgo biloba
  • Ginseng
  • Salt—too much can lead to raised blood pressure, which can lead to ruptured blood vessels in the nose.
  • Smoking and smoke are irritants to the mucus membranes (including second-hand smoke).
  • Vitamin E

TEAS AND OTHER LIQUIDS

  • ACV: soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and place gently into your nostril(s). Leave it there for several minutes. If you have frequent nosebleeds, try ingesting a couple teaspoons of raw apple cider vinegar in warm water a few times a day.
  • Coriander
  • Electrolytes
  • Goldenseal
  • Holy basil
  • Lemon juice (a drop or two inside nostrils when you can keep your head back without swallowing blood
  • Nettle tea

HERBS AND SPICES

  • Agrimony, topically
  • Bilberry, topically
  • Cayenne powder in warm water
  • Chew fresh basil leaves or squeeze some juice from the leaves and apply inside nostrils.
  • Coriander (coriander oil in the nostril or coriander leaf paste smeared on your forehead)
  • Goldenseal in heated water; inhale fumes
  • Nasya oil available in bottles, warmed and massaged into the outside of your nose
  • Rescue remedy
  • Witch hazel, topically
  • Yarrow, topically

ESSENTIAL OILS

With any of the suggested oils below, you can put a couple drops on a tissue and apply to the outside of the nose (and breathe).

  • Frankincense
  • Geranium; available as a salve to apply to top and sides of nose (and then pinch)
  • Helichrysum applied gently inside the nose with a q-tip (careful not to put it in very far); this can be purchased as a salve and applied to the sides and top of nose (and then pinch)
  • Lavender
  • Lemon and cypress oils, a couple drops each in a cup of water and then apply compress over the nose to aid in coagulation
  • Myrr
  • Rose

OTHER SUBSTANCES AND SUPPLEMENTS

  • Iron supplements if you have regular nosebleeds and are deficient in iron
  • Vitamin C for frequent nosebleeds
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

HYDRATION

Staying hydrated is always important and being dehydrated overall will affect the body’s mucus membranes, drying them and increasing the likelihood of nosebleeds..

EXERCISE

That exercise is beneficial is undisputed. Don’t exercise while your nose is bleeding but as a general habit. Exercise reduces stress and stress increases the chances of a nosebleed.

EMOTIONAL SUPPORT

Stay calm. Stress raises blood pressure, increasing the chance of a nosebleed. Practice relaxation exercises, talk to a friend. Do what works for you to keep mellow.

OTHER THINGS YOU CAN DO

  • Blow your nose once before applying pressure, in order to remove a clot that is keeping a blood vessel open.
  • Keep your salicylate intake low (found in coffee, tea and many foods).
  • Keep your blood pressure under control.
  • Use a humidifier if the environment is dry.
  • Onion: breathe in the vapor of onion or put a drop of onion juice in each nostril.
  • To treat dryness, put a drop of salt water into your nose with a dropper or a sprayer: a pinch of salt in ½ cup of pure water.

ALTERNATIVE THERAPIES

  • Meditation for a calm mind
  • Chinese Medicine
  • Acupressure

CAUTIONS

  • Are you taking a blood thinner? Check with your doctor, especially if you are having frequent nosebleeds.
  • Call your doctor if you cannot stop the bleeding in half an hour or if you feel faint or if the nosebleed is a result of an injury on your head or face.
  • Don’t blow your nose with force and not at all after a nosebleed.
  • Don’t stick anything inside your nostrils to staunch the bleeding, which damages the nose lining.
  • Keep your children’s fingernails trimmed short so that if they pick at their nose, they will do less damage.
  • Don’t pick your nose.
  • If you have frequent nosebleeds, consult a doctor.
  • If you have hardening of the arteries, seek medical attention for nosebleeds.
  • Seek medical attention if the blood is running down your throat (inside) while you are upright.
  • Aspirin thins blood and prevents clotting so keep use of aspirin low.

PREVENTION

  • Bring high blood pressure down.
  • Blow gently.
  • Do not pick your nose.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Humidify the air in your house during dry weather.
  • Test for food intolerances.
  • Use a saline spray to moisturize the inside of your nose.
  • Use natural household products rather than chemicals.
  • Use protection to avoid breathing in pollutants if you cannot escape a toxic environment.

 

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