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Latest Edit: Hector 2014-04-10 (EDT)

Nosebleeds, also referred to as epistaxis are quite common, especially in the young. A nosebleed is loss of blood from the tissue lining the nose, primarily from one nostril only.


Causes Dietary Factors, Infections, Smoking, Environmental Allergies, Environmental Chemicals
See Also Head, Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat Conditions, Allergic Rhinitis, Environmental Allergies, Colds or other upper respiratory tract infections, Sinusitis, high blood pressure
Books Books on Head, Ears, Nose and Throat Conditions
Articles Articles on Head, Ears, Eyes, Nose and Throat Conditions

Naturopathic Assessment

Causal Factors

In order to stimulate the innate ability of the body to heal the causes of disease must be identified and addressed. With nosebleeds, the causes are variable with environmental factors being the most prominent.[1]


  • Food sensitivities may result in nosebleeds.
  • A diet that is too dry can increase the likelihood of nosebleeds. Foods that are considered drying include: sugar, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, meat protein. A lack of water can also result in the body being too dry.


  • A nosebleed can accompany a cold.
  • Irritations to the nose, such as from environmental allergens can trigger a nosebleed. Constant sneezing and blowing the nose due to hay fever can irritate delicate nasal membranes.
  • A dry or cold environment with low humidity can result in nosebleeds. Thus, nosebleeds occur more frequently in the winter when viruses are common and heated indoor air dries out the nostrils.


  • Injury
  • Injury or trauma to the nose may trigger bleeding.
  • A deviated septum, foreign object in the nose, or other nasal blockage can also cause a nosebleed.
  • Smoking irritates and dries out nasal passages. Stay out of smoky environments, too, as secondhand smoke is just as damaging.

Medical Interventions

  • Prescription Medications
  • Blood thinners such as Coumadin, Plavix, or aspirin may cause or worsen nosebleeds.
  • Overuse of decongestant nasal sprays or other inhaled medications
  • Surgery
  • Surgery on the face or nose can result in bleeding.


  • Blowing the nose too hard or too frequently can damage the blood vessels of the nose.
  • Repeated nose picking often results in bleeding
  • Repeated or intense sneezing

Diagnostic Testing

The diagnosis of a nosebleed is typically made based on a persons symptoms and history. Further testing is generally only required if the nosebleeds are intense or frequent.

Related Symptoms and Conditions

Nosebleeds can accompany the following conditions:

Rare conditions associated with nosebleeds:

Frequent nosebleeds may indicate:

  • Tumor in the nose or sinuses
  • Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (also called HHT or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome).


Most nosebleeds occur on the front of the nasal septum, the tissue that separates the two sides of the nose. The septum contains many fragile, easily damaged blood vessels. This type of nosebleed can be easy for a trained professional to stop. Less commonly, nosebleeds may occur higher on the septum or deeper in the nose. Such nosebleeds may be harder to control.

Naturopathic Treatment

The goal of naturopathic treatment is to support and work in tandem with the healing power of the body and to address the causal factors of disease with individual treatment strategies. Nosebleeds are typically acute and are seldom life threatening.

It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor before engaging in any treatment plan.

Home Care

Home Care strategies include:[1]

  • Avoid
  • Lying down with a nosebleed
  • Sniffing or blowing your nose until the nosebleed has resolved for several hours
  • Swallowing the blood during a nose bleed
  • Picking the nose after a nosebleed.
  • Do
  • Relax and sit where you can lean forward comfortably.
  • Breathe through your mouth.
  • Squeeze the soft portion of the nose between your thumb and finger (so that the nostrils are closed). Hold this position for a full 10 minutes before checking if the bleeding has stopped. Many nosebleeds can be controlled in this way if enough time is allowed for the bleeding to stop.
  • Seek Medical Attention If:
  • Bleeding does not stop after 20 minutes.
  • Nose bleeding occurs after an injury to the head.
  • If nosebleeds are frequent, especially in children.
  • Use a Humidifier
  • If you live in a dry climate use a humidifier year round, in other climates run a humdifier during the winter months when forced heat from your furnace is creating a dry atmosphere (especially at night time while you are sleeping).


Lifestyle recommendations include:

  • Avoid a lot of strenuous exercise or movement following a nosebleed.

Naturopathic Therapies

The prescribing of naturopathic therapies requires the guidance of a naturopathic doctor as it depends on a number of factors including the causal factors, a person's age, prescription medications, other conditions and symptoms and overall health. It is always advisable to work with a naturopathic doctor prior to taking any natural therapies.

Naturopathic Therapies for nosebleeds include:

  • Rescue Remedy may be beneficial at the onset of a nose bleed due to its calming effect which can then slow down the heart rate, resulting in decreasing the flow of bleeding.
  • Cold compresses around the nose are often beneficial during a nosebleed.
  • Nasal lavage can help ensure that the nasal membranes stay well hydrated.
  • Steam inhalation can be effective for dry irritated nasal membranes.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Nosebleed, Medline Plus accessed August 25th, 2012. [1]
  2. Lu Henry (1986) Chinese System of Food Cures, prevention and remedies Sterling Publishing Co. New York.