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Nervous Habits in Children: Homeopathic Approach

Written by
Dr. Potnuru Srinivaasa Sudhakar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jul 24, 2018 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2018   -  4 min read


Nail biting, thumb sucking, nose picking, hair twirling, pulling hair and grinding teeth are some nervous habits commonly present in children. These are caused by a mental disorder. This article focuses on the homeopathy approach to the same.

Nervous Habits in Children: Homeopathic Approach

1. Nail Biting

The other name for nail biting is onychophagia. Those who feel a compulsion to bite nails and fingertips can vary in severity from mild and occasional to persistent nail biting. Severe nail biting is a long-term problem which causes nail deformity and infections around the nailbed.

It is common in all ages, and the exact cause is unknown. It may be due to a troubled relationship with mother during childhood.

Nail biting is a symptom of anxiety or a nervous habit. It is induced by nervousness, stress, or boredom, and can be associated with an emotional and psychological problem.

What Can We Do?

Long-term goal: To try to stop this behavior, our initial response should be to remove the worries, that is, before dealing with this problem, know the underlying cause for worry.

Do not punish the child, motivation is important to stop nail biting.

Boredom: when a child is bored or listless, engaging in this habit can help stimulate them and keep them alert.

Some Homeopathic Remedies for Nail Biting

Irritability under the nails causing nail bite: Ammonium Bromate.

Nail biting in children: Natrum Muraticum.

Nail biting and enuresis in children: Sanicula.

2. Thumb Sucking

When children are tired, bored or feel discomfort, they show the habit of thumb sucking. It makes the child feel comforted, stimulated, or put to sleep.

Naturally, babies have a sucking reflex that makes them put the thumb into the mouth.

Thumb sucking babies feel more secure.

The Effects of Thumb Sucking:

  1. Comfort themselves.
  2. Sucking causes the baby to be calm.
  3. During infancy, thumb sucking is not a problem, and it may cause some speech disability. But, when a child continues this habit after his/her milk teeth have fallen, it interrupts the correct alignment of the teeth.
  4. In later stages or in the adult stage, there is a high chance to replace the thumb with cigarettes, alcohol or binge eating.

Ways to Stop This Habit:

Usually, children 2 to 4 years of age have coping skills like the development of language skills. But, in some kids, thumbsucking is harder to kick, which leads to problems for their growing months.

  1. Do try to limit the time that your child sucks his thumb.
  2. Talk to your child about his/her thumbsucking demerits.
  3. Do not prohibit your child if he tries to suck his thumb after being hurt or injured.

Homeopathic Treatment

Calcarea oxalica, Calcarea Phos, Chamomilla, Nat Mur, Theridium, Sulphur, Veratrum alb, all these are indicated according to the overall mental and physical symptoms.

3. Nose Picking

Medically it is called as rhinotillexomania. The common cause for nose pricking is when a person is lost in thoughts or out of sheer boredom. This action is comparable to biting the nails or cuticles or picking at a scab absentmindedly. A bored office worker is often caught picking his nose. People who are caught picking their noses are usually embarrassed. So some pick their noses privately.

Causes for Nose Picking:

Ways to Stop Nose Picking:

  1. Nagging or punishment will not help.
  2. Keep fingers occupied: give to the child a substitute like a rubber ball to squeeze or finger puppets to play with. Teaching the child to blow their nose may also help.
  3. If the child picks the nose until it bleeds and has trouble sleeping, better consult a pediatrician.

4. Hair Twirling and Pulling

Twirling and pulling hair is a nervous habit and self-soothing behavior. In some cases, hair pulling becomes so severe and can cause trichotillomania, which is the urge to pull hair constantly until it breaks.

Some children eat the hair, this behavior is called as trichophagia. This may appear in early childhood as a precursor to hair pulling, with or without hair loss. This habit will stop as they get older. For those who do not, behavior modification helps break the habit. Here, the treatment is usually a type of behavior therapy called habit reversal training. Relaxation of mind and medicines may be part of the treatment.


Infection, skin damage, and permanent hair loss, and sometimes due to loss of hair, there can be a problem with self-esteem and body image.

Homeopathic Treatment

Argentum Nitricum, Lycopodium, Calcaria Carb, Thuja, Natrum Mur, Arnica.

5. Grinding the Teeth

Teeth grinding is medically called as bruxism. Kids with bruxism grind and clench their teeth from time to time, causing the teeth the get damaged and other oral health complications.

Grinding teeth is usually caused by stress and anxiety. This can lead to abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Chronic teeth grinding causes fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth.

How to Stop Teeth Grinding?

  1. If stress is causing it, he/she needs stress counseling program, and relaxation therapy is needed as well.
  2. Mouth guards and mouth splints can be custom-made to protect the teeth.
  3. It is important to treat and prevent dental problems.

Homeopathic Treantment

Phytolacca decandra 12c, Melissa officinalis 12c, Cina.

For more information consult a homeopathic child care specialist online -->


Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2018  -  4 min read


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