Updated: Apr 28
Our noses are vulnerable structures that serve an important role in respiration. They filter the air we breathe, removing dust, pollen and other particulates in the air, and warm and moisten the air we breathe. All this helps to protect the lungs from the cold, dry, polluted air – which could damage its delicate structure. Many people suffer from recurrent nose bleeds.
Nosebleeds are common occurrences, especially in children. They are usually not a cause for concern unless the bleeding is particularly heavy and can’t be stopped within around 20 minutes.
Where blood loss is more significant, there can be light-headedness, dizziness and difficulty breathing. Severe blood loss can cause low blood pressure and more serious associated symptoms.
What Causes a Nose Bleed?
The nose is particularly vulnerable to bleeding for 4 major reasons:
It protrudes from the face and is therefore more vulnerable to damage
It has a very rich blood supply, therefore bleeding can be profuse
The lining of the nose is extremely delicate, and easily damaged by drying out
The blood vessels of the nose need to be close to the surface of the nose lining because they are involved in warming the inbreath so that cold air doesn’t reach the lungs – so they are more easily damaged.
The vulnerability of the nose to bleeding means that a wide range of factors can cause a nosebleed. These include
Hot, dry air – which dries out the nasal lining
Infections of the nose or sinuses – such as colds or sinusitis
Allergies affecting the nose (allergic rhinitis)
Nose picking, blowing the nose too hard, straining during constipation and physical injury to the nose
Nasal polyps often cause recurring nosebleeds
Nose bleeds can also be a side effect of blood thinning medications such as aspirin or warfarin.
Some of the more serious causes include haemophilia, malaria, typhoid fever and leukaemia.
Amongst these, dry air and infections are the most common causes of nosebleeds. A particularly frequent story is nose bleeds causes by upper respiratory infections in the winter months when the central heating gets turned on. Together these dry the nose out and leave crusty deposits that damage the nasal lining.
The nasal cavity provides a large area for blood to collect, so that –especially if the nose is plugged to reduce bleeding, large clots often form during a nosebleed. These can be removed by gentle nose blowing after the event if they don’t come out with the nose packing.
Useful Symptoms for Finding a Remedy
Homeopathy is very effective for helping to dry up a nosebleed during an event, and deeper treatment with a homeopath can help reduce the tendency to nose bleeds occurring in the first place. Considering a range of symptoms will help you to differentiate between the many remedies that are useful for this condition:
The colour of the blood
Is there any clotting?
What’s the cause of the bleed?
What’s the feelings in the nose and sinuses that accompany the nosebleed – e.g. is there a bruised feeling, throbbing or itching?
Are there any other symptoms the nosebleed causes, such as light headedness, vertigo or a headache?
Do they have any accompanying infections? – e.g. sinusitis or a cold
What is the general condition of the patient? – weak, tired, anxious etc
General Advice on Dealing withNosebleeds
Try to keep the patient calm and remind them that nosebleeds generally clear up quite quickly by themselves.
Its best to lean the patient forward and tilt their head forward so that blood is more likely to run out of the nose than down the back of the throat.
Use their thumb and forefinger to gently pinch together the soft parts of their nose, pushing towards the face.
Hold that position for around 5 minutes.
Be aware that blood is likely to collect and clot behind the pinched area which is likely to remain in the nose until it is removed - gentle nose blowing can help with this.
If you want to plug the nose – don’t use dry cotton wool as this can cause more bleeding once the blood has dried and you try and remove it. Its better to use cotton wool soaked in boiled water. Even better, boiled water with a few drops of calendula mother tincture, to help reduce infection.
A cold compress on the neck or around the calves can help draw blood away from the area.
16 Remedies for Nosebleeds
WON'T STOP BLEEDING
The number one remedy for nose bleeds, and for controlling bleeding from other body parts for that matter.
Think bright red blood, especially if the bleeding seems to have started with very little cause.
Useful where the nose won’t stop bleeding, even though there may be clots in the blood.
Useful for recurrent nosebleeds.
Useful where there is also a long-term issue with nasal catarrh.
Useful where the bleeding emanates from nasal polyps.
BLOOD WON'T CLOT
Another great remedy for controlling bleeding from the nose, or any orifice from the body (e.g. with piles).
Think of Hamamelis for a slow, profuse flow of dark blood from the nose that won’t clot.
Think soreness in the nose and a feeling of tightness/pressure in the root of the nose.
Useful where the patient is tired and weak, such as in young, anaemic girls.
It is useful where nosebleeds are frequent because the capillaries are fragile (e.g. due to a lack of vitamin C in the diet) and is often needed by patients with a tendency towards varicose veins in the legs.
PROFUSE BLEEDS WITH CLOTS
Think profuse bleeding where the nostrils are full of clotted blood.
Useful for issues with recurrent nosebleeds, where the blood clots easily and often forms lumps.
Especially useful in anaemic patients that are cold, weak and flush easily and can have emotional outbursts.
Especially useful in children.
If the symptoms sound like this, but Ferrum doesn’t help, Ferrum picricum can often be the remedy.
WHERE NOTHING ELSE FITS THE SYMPTOMS
This can often be useful where the patient doesn’t seem to be described by any other remedy very clearly.
Also useful for pale, flushed, weak and mildly feverish patients.
Also think of for nosebleeds from sunstroke or high blood pressure.
FROM PHYSICAL INJURY
Of course, arnica is useful for controlling any type of bleeding after a physical injury.
So, think of Arnica for nosebleeds caused by physical injury or prolonged, violent coughing – such as during whooping cough or even from just washing he face.
Bleeding is worse for any exertion and often happens after overexertion.
Think of thin, bright red or dark blood mixed with clots.
Think tingling sensation before bleeding, and sore, bruised sensation during/ after.
Can be useful for nosebleeds in growing children.
WITH ANGER & NAUSEA
Useful for nosebleeds after an angry outburst which causes a vein to rupture in the nose.
The bleeding is accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
The patient will be anxious and restless.
FROM WHOOPING COUGH , ALLERGIES OR A COLD
Think of when bleeding is from whooping cough or an inflamed nasal lining (rhinitis) such as from allergies or a cold.
There is also watery nasal discharge and the head and nose feel stuffed up.
WITH THICK, YELLOW-GREEN MUCUS
Think nosebleeds after a cold where there is thick yellow-green, sticky mucus.
There can be crusts in the nostrils that the patient likes to pick.
There is pressure and tightness in the root of the nose before the nosebleed starts.
Think thick, dark-red blood.
Think tickling towards the top of the nostrils.
STRINGY, DARK RED THREADS
Think of dark red or even black, stringy threads hanging from the nose.
There is extreme weakness, and the patient may faint.
Particularly suited to women with long, profuse menstrual flows.
The patient can have large drops of perspiration on the forehead and their face may be a sallow yellow.
Episodes are triggered more in the summer/ hot weather.
ELDERLY, DEBILITATED PATIENTS
Think of for patients suffering from frequent nosebleeds that result in pale patients from all the blood loss during and after a bleed.
Think thin, black blood.
Think, cold, sweaty, exhausted patients who may faint.
Particularly useful in elderly, debilitated patients.
Nosebleeds are often in the morning or early afternoon – or from straining during passing a stool.
The patient feels better in cold air.
WITH CONGESTIVE HEADACHES
Think of for nosebleeds that relieve violent, throbbing, congestive headaches where the face is flushed.
Both headache and flushing are relieved by the nose bleed.
Think profuse, bright red blood which can block the nose so that the patient has to breathe through their mouth.
THICK, BLACK, SMELLY BLOOD
Think thick, black bleeding that may smell bad and might irritate and burn the nostrils and the skin under the nose..
These nosebleeds can also accompany menstrual flow.
AFTER WASHING THE FACE OR EATING
Think of for tired patients that get nosebleeds each morning simply from washing their face and also after eating.
After the blood has stopped, bloody mucus is blown from the nose.
WITH NASAL POLYPS OR SUPPRESSED MENSES
Think of patients with nasal polyps that cause bleeding.
Also useful for patients with suppressed menses (e.g. due to the pill) or with light menses.
Blood is part fluid and part clotted.
Bleeding is worsened in a warm room.
TWITCHING, TREMBLING ELDERLY PATIENTS
Think of elderly patients where bleeding starts with blowing the nose in the morning.
Bleeding is profuse and the patient twitches, trembles and itches.
The patient is more talkative than usual and may enter into a delirious state.
WHEN NOTHING ELSE WORKS
Think of for cases of recurrent, lifelong nose bleeding, where other remedies are not helping.
Bleeding may be accompanied by vertigo.
Dosage & Frequency
For mild first aid situations, 30c should be the go-to potency. In severe cases, such as after a punch to the nose with profuse bleeding, you can increase to 200c.
As a general rule, give every 15 minutes until bleeding dries up. As with all homeopathic prescribing, once the symptoms are relieved then prescribing should stop.
Seeking Professional Help
Recurrent cases that do not resolve with home prescribing indicate a deeper underlying problem that needs individualised prescribing by a professional homeopath. A full case history should to be taken, so that a constitutional remedy can be prescribed that gets to the root of problem.
Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further or book yourself in for a consultation here.
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