Nosebleeds are a fairly common concurrence, and while this does not often indicate the possibility of a serious medical condition, it still remains scary and unnerving for most people. Nosebleeds occur when the tiny blood vessels in the nose rupture and lead to the flow of blood from the nostrils.
The reason why these rupture is common is that in addition to their proximal location close to the surface of the nose, they are also pretty fragile and when disturbed, they tend to break and release blood.
Nosebleeds can affect just about anyone, but tend to be common in kids between 2 and 10 years, and in the elderly. There are several causes of nosebleeds, but the most common is that which involves physical trauma to the nose.
Other causes of this condition include persistent irritation following a cold or flu infection, frequent picking of the nose, use of certain medication over a prolonged period of time as well as exposure to extreme weather conditions (say when it is too hot, or during dry winter months). During nosebleeds, affected individuals will suffer from a wide range of symptoms. These include, but are not limited to weakness, dizziness and even fainting in excessive nosebleeds.
Despite the fact that nosebleeds are scary, they do not usually pose a medical emergency, and can be handled with ease by using some of the natural home remedies listed below. Note that for all of the remedies listed below, you must avoid blowing your nose simply because this creates a forceful pressure in the nose that disrupts the nasal blood vessels.
1. Pinch Your Nose to Halt the Bleeding:
Time Required: Up to 30 Min
What You Need: A handkerchief to dab off the blood if need be and a cool comfortable place.
Pinching the nose is one of the most popular and simple ways to deal with a nosebleed, and has since been passed down generations. The idea behind this effective remedy is to create a zone of increased pressure in the septum of your nose so that bleeding is minimized, and stopped eventually. As is expected, do not pinch so hard that you injure your nose, neither should you pinch lightly that you allow for the bleeding to continue; apply just enough pressure.
- Sit up with your back straight and then bend your head forward at an angle. It is important to note that this is the recommended posture for this remedy, which contrasts sharply with the notion that you are required to lean back. Avoid lying flat on your back or otherwise and do not place your head between your legs as this only increases the nosebleed.
- Look out for the soft pliable part of your nose located just beneath the bone in your nose (the nasal bridge). Pinch this region using your index finger and thumb and maintain this position for 5 minutes.
- As the pinch remains in place and closes your nasal passages, you will be required to breathe through your nose.
- Free your nose from the pinch as gently as you can and then sit still for another 5-10 minutes.
- Repeat steps 1-4 as often as required or until the nosebleed ceases.
2. Ice Pack:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Cup of ice cubes and a clean soft towel.
An ice pack, sometimes referred to as a cold compress is an effective way of dealing with nosebleed. This remedy works well because the low temperatures allow for the nasal blood vessels to narrow faster, thus reducing the rate at which blood flows from the nostrils. The bleeding typically ceases after about 10-15 minutes. Note however, that you must not apply the ice directly to your nose as this predisposes you to getting a frost bite and may introduce other complications. Use the soft towel for this purpose.
- Place the ice cubes on the soft towel and cover to create a pack.
- Sit upright with your back straight and bend your head backwards just slightly.
- Place the ice pack on your nasal bridge and rub gently for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the pack for a minute and repeat as often as needed.
- Simply replace the ice cubes whenever they start melting.
- Use this remedy whenever you need a quick fix for nosebleeds.
3. Warm Salty Water (Homemade Saline Solution):
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: A pinch of salt, a dropper and 1/2 cup of warm water. Saline nasal spray (optional, may be used in place of the salty water prepared).
As indicated above, one of the causes of nosebleeds is extreme weather conditions. When it is cold and dry as is the case during winter months, the nasal membranes tend to dry out and get easily broken. The use of warm salty water is recommended for such cases of nosebleeds because it not only moisturizes the dried and fragile membranes, it also adds a soothing effect making it an ideal remedy. Take care, however, not to add too much salt as this can have the opposite effect and cause the membranes to dry out.
- Add the salt to the warm water and stir for total dissolution.
- Use a dropper to place a few drops of the solution into your nose. 2-3 drops will work just fine to add moisture to your nasal membranes.
- If you are pressed hard for time and need a solution immediately, you may consider purchasing saline nasal spray (which contains the same ingredients as the homemade saline solution, only that it also has preservatives).
4. Petroleum Jelly:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: A small amount of petroleum jelly.
Just like warm salty water, petroleum jelly is best used to treat nosebleed that is the result of dry cold weather. This remedy works because it helps to keep the nasal membranes inside moist, and therefore less prone to rupturing. Another advantage of using petroleum jelly is that it is quite gentle and rarely causes allergic reactions or irritation in affected individuals.
Note however, that for this remedy to be effective, you are only required to apply a thin layer. Do not slather so much petroleum jelly that you risk inhaling it; just enough for you nasal membranes to remain moisturized. A great guide to this would be to apply as much petroleum jelly as you would on your lips: just enough.
- Place a small amount of petroleum jelly on your finger and apply inside the nose.
- Do this as often as you need to, preferably once the nosebleed subsides.
5. Cayenne Pepper:
Time Required: 15 Min
What you Need: 1 Teaspoon of red cayenne pepper, 1 cup of warm water and choice foods with the spice added (optional).
For many people, the use of cayenne pepper to treat nosebleeds seems quite unconventional. Once you understand its mode of action however, you realize that there is good reason why this is recommended as one of the top natural remedies. The fiery hot cayenne pepper stimulates the olfactory cells (cells found in the nose), and help control the pressure within the specific ruptured blood vessels. This function goes a long way in allowing for rapid clotting, thus stopping the bleeding. You may either prepare a drink using the cayenne pepper or add it to your foods as a spice.
- Place the cayenne pepper in a glass and pour warm water over it.
- Drink this mixture, making sure you tilt your head so that you do not bleed into the glass.
- At this point you may use the pinching remedy. The nosebleed is set to stop after a few minutes.
- If you suffer from nosebleeds from time to time, you may want to consider adding cayenne pepper to your food on a regular basis.
6. Steam Therapy:
Time Required: 15 Min
What you Need: Boiling water, a large-sized bowl and a clean towel.
Difficulty: Moderate (owing to the risk of scalding)
As it is with the use of the saline water, steam therapy for the natural treatment of nosebleeds aims to moisturize the nasal membranes and works perfectly well for those affected by dry weather. In fact, this remedy is strongly recommended for those who nosebleed every so often due to low humidity levels in their immediate environment. Take note, however, that this remedy is not intended for very young kids or the elderly as it poses the risk of scalding due to the use of boiling water.
- Place the boiling water in the bowl and lean forward to the extent which this is comfortable.
- Place the towel over your head and cover to ensure that the steam does not escape.
- Inhale the steam for about 5 minutes, making sure you breathe gently or through your mouth.
- Rest for a few seconds and repeat the process.
- Do this until the water cools down or you get relief from the nosebleed.
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: Dry leaves of the nettle plant and grinder or dry leaves and water to prepare herbal tea.
Nettle is loved for its excellent astringent properties and has long been used as a choice herbal treatment for different conditions. In nosebleeds, nettle is used as a preventive measure as it strengthens the nasal blood vessels and makes them less prone to breaking. In addition, this herb also helps in making individuals less predisposed to allergic reactions which trigger nosebleeds. When using nettle leaves, you may either inhale the ground leaves or prepare a drink (ideal for those who suffer from chronic nosebleed).
- Place the dried leaves in a grinder and grind to get a fine powder.
- Place a pinch of this powder on the palms of your hands and gently inhale it.
- Repeat the process for the second nostril.
- Use this remedy severally daily, especially if you normally suffer nosebleeds.
- Alternatively, prepare nettle tea by boiling the leaves in hot water and steeping for 5 minutes before drinking.
8. Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice:
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: 1 Medium sized lemon, a dropper and a manual juicer.
When it comes to natural home remedies, one of the most popular options is lemon juice, and for good reason. Not only is this juice able to deal with dandruff, it also helps clear an array of infections and helps treat nosebleeds quickly. The lemon juice works effectively, thanks to its increased acidic content. In addition to this, the presence of Vitamin C helps strengthen the nasal blood vessels so that in the long run, they do not break easily.
- Roll the lemon between the palms of your hands to ensure maximum juice release.
- Wash the lemon before juicing it.
- Using a dropper, place 2 drops of the lemon juicer in each nostril with your head tilted backwards slightly.
- Use this remedy as often as required.
9. Onion Juice:
Time Required: 20 Min
What you Need: 1 Medium sized onion and lemon juice (optional).
Onions are a great vegetable whose nutrients and properties make it an ideal home remedy for a number of conditions, among them, nosebleeds. This remedy works because when cut up and juiced, the onions release compounds which are rich in clotting agents, thus minimizing the extent of nose bleeding. This juice and its pungent aroma is also laden with Vitamin C and other nutrients which help improve the integrity of the nasal blood vessels. For this remedy, you may either inhale the aroma or place 2 drops of the onion juice
- Peel the onion and wash it before chopping it into thick slices.
- Place one of the slices under both nostrils and inhale the pungent aroma.
- If you like, you may squeeze 2 drops of the juice in each nostril.
- Do this at least twice daily if you are susceptible to nosebleeds.
- Rinse your hands with lemon juice if you find the smell of onion a little too strong.
Other home remedies that you may use for treating nosebleed include coriander, thanks to its soothing and antihistamine properties, apple cider vinegar which helps seal the broken blood vessels as well as basil which helps calm people who are nose bleeding.
In addition to these natural remedies, you also need to take preventive measures to prevent recurrent nose bleeding. Look out for the amount of aspirin you consume as this drug has been shown to hamper proper clotting. It also helps to use a humidifier during dry winter months to ensure that your immediate environment is moisturized. If, regardless of these remedies and measures your nose bleeding does not subside, get medical attention.