PEOPLE’S PHARMACY: Unique cure for nosebleeds

Q: I learned a procedure to stop nosebleeds. Determine which nostril is bleeding, remove the shoe from the opposite foot and, with the heel of your hand, give two good thumps to the heel of that bare foot. I have used this tactic many times, in the gym, on field trips, at Little League and even on my wife sitting in the car. My question is, Why does this work?

Nosebleeds can be frightening, especially to children. Photo by JESSICA MCGOWAN/AJC SPECIAL

Nosebleeds can be frightening, especially to children. Photo by JESSICA MCGOWAN/AJC SPECIAL

A: We wish we could tell you. It makes about as much sense to us as dropping keys down the back of the neck to stop a nosebleed. Many readers have shared success stories with that technique. Even though we can’t explain either approach, it will be obvious within seconds whether it has worked.
Drugstore alternatives include Nosebleed QR, NasalCEASE and Seal-On.

Editor’s note: Vaseline may help nose bleeds, but can carry serious health risks.

Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist, and Teresa Graedon is an expert in medical anthropology and nutrition. In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. 
E-mail them via their 
Web site: www.peoples They can be reached at peoplespharmacy

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10 comments Add your comment


March 3rd, 2010
10:31 am

I get nosebleeds sometimes and will definitely try this next time.


March 3rd, 2010
10:53 am

That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.


March 3rd, 2010
11:06 am

Maybe it pulls blood away from the head and nose in a direction opposite from the source of the nosebleed.


March 3rd, 2010
12:02 pm

Seriously, I laughed at one of my son’s wrestling tournaments when a dad on our team did this for his son. But then I was stunned when it stopped the bleeding. I seriously do not understand why this would work. I thought it was one of those old wive’s tales like all the hooey about how to stop the hiccups.


March 3rd, 2010
12:07 pm

Would you really do this in a public place? Go with the NasalCEASE.


March 3rd, 2010
4:03 pm

Oh wow, this is kind of fascinating. I guess I will have my daughter try this next time she has a nose bleed. Thanks for sharing.

Arvell C.
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March 3rd, 2010
6:16 pm

the one that always works with my kids is to pinch the nose for 30 seconds.


March 3rd, 2010
10:19 pm

Heres a sure cure. Dont pick your nose!!!!!!!!!!!


March 4th, 2010
9:50 am

re: Arvell,,,,why,,, please tell me why you felt the need to supply a link to a pharmacy in Tulsa in regards to this article ???


March 4th, 2010
3:37 pm

It also works if you shove the shoe up there real tight. Seriously, I put this up there with Granny clampett’s cold remedy…take a swig and in 3 to 5 days the cold is gone.