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Home Remedies and Herbs for Nail Biting (Onychophagia)

What is Nail Biting (Onychophagia)?

Nail biting is a habit also known as onychophagia. It happens when people bite or chew on their nails or the skin around their nails. Nail biting is an oral parafunctional habit, meaning a habit which uses the mouth for anything other than speaking, eating and drinking.1 Nail biting is considered a bad habit because of the potential to contract harmful bacteria or to cause nail infections. It’s a habit that can occur at any age but primarily it begins in younger children, worsens in teenage years and declines in younger adults.1 2 When nail biting becomes a chronic habit that disrupts daily life, it can possibly indicate the person may have an underlying psychiatric condition.2

What Causes Nail Biting (Onychophagia)?

Nail biting causes aren’t conclusive. Some researchers feel it may stem from a combination of factors. The factors that can contribute to nail biting causes include:1 2

  • Psychological factors like nervousness, anxiety and low mood
  • Environmental or lifestyle factors like a sense of losing control or feeling overwhelmed and stressed from school, work or major life changes
  • Genetic factors like having a parent who bit their nails or mimicking the behavior of family members who bit their nails

It’s important to note that nail biting is believed to be an involuntary habit that people turn to unconsciously. Research has shown that many children who bite their nails also suffer from some form of psychiatric condition, including:1

  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Separation anxiety
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder

Nail Biting (Onychophagia) Symptoms

The main nail biting symptoms include:

  • Chewing on skin around nails
  • Biting off the actual nail
  • Biting the nail down to the skin
  • Chewing on nails or cuticles until it causes bleeding or soreness
  • Damage to teeth
  • Developing a cuticle infection
  • Redness and soreness around cuticles

These nail biting symptoms occur during specific times of nervousness or stress. Nail biting symptoms are typically ongoing and develop into a habit.1 2 Nail biting symptoms are mostly cosmetic. However, some of the symptoms such as dental damage or cuticle infections are more serious. Nail biting natural remedies can help to treat damaged nails and cuticles. Nail biting natural remedies also work to stop or break the nail biting habit.

References

  1. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/863395
  2. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/07/26/nail-biting.aspx

Home remedies, herbs, and food supplements for Nail Biting (Onychophagia)

Passion Flower is the most effective natural product for Nail Biting (Onychophagia) according to CuresDecoded worldwide community

Passion Flower

Passion Flower Product 1 of 11

Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Infusion

Passion flower is a natural anti-anxiety remedy that can help address chronic nail biting. Drink 1 cup of passion flower tea 3 times daily.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B Product 2 of 11

Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Oral

Vitamin B supplements can help to reduce anxiety and stop nail biting habits. Vitamin B complex is available as a supplement in capsule form. Follow the dosage instructions on the product label.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon Balm Tea Product 3 of 11

Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Infusion

Lemon balm tea has natural soothing benefits that can help stop nail biting. Drink 1 cup of lemon balm tea 3 times daily.

Cayenne Pepper

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Topical

Use cayenne pepper to deter nail biting. Apply cayenne pepper powder directly to the nail and nail bed to stop nail biting.

Valerian

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Infusion

Garlic

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Topical

Chamomile

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Infusion

Neem Oil

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Topical

Almond

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Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Eat

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Product 10 of 11

Effectiveness Score

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Method of use: Oral