Stop Biting Your Nails - Homemade Solutions for It

In addition to using various remedies to stop biting your nails you must also drink some relaxing infusions that can help reduce the anxiety that leads to it.
Stop Biting Your Nails - Homemade Solutions for It
Bernardo Peña

Reviewed and approved by the psychologist Bernardo Peña.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

Onychophagy is the medical term for biting your nails and you should stop doing it. This habit could stem from boredom, anxiety, nerves, or fear.

Besides being an aesthetic problem, it can also cause skin infections in your cuticles or fingers. This is why it’s so important to stop biting your nails.

Today we’ll give you some homemade remedies that can help.

Can I really stop biting my nails?

Biting Your Nails

Onychofagy can manifest under traumatic or stressful circumstances, such as an upcoming exam, unemployment, the death of a loved one and traveling by plane, for example.

However, it’s not just the nails that many people bite. In addition, it’s also the soft tissues of the finger and cuticle. This can have many health consequences, such as:

  • Bleeding and wounds
  • Diseases caused by bacteria or nail fungus, according to this study by the University of the Republic in Uruguay.
  • Finger and nail deformities
  • Tooth problems (enamel breakdown, cavities)
  • Mouth injuries (ulcers)
  • Stomach issues (when nails are swallowed)
  • Respiratory problems (if a piece of nail is breathed in and lands in the lungs or gets lodged in the larynx)

There’s a matter of appearances, too, worth noting even if it isn’t the main problem.

People who bite their nails often hide their hands, feel embarrassed, or hide when they’re doing it.

Homemade solutions to keep you from biting your nails

This hard-to-control and often unconscious habit can be treated. All you need is a bit of willpower, some effort and commitment, and certain homemade solutions.

Drink soothing teas

Some herbs, available at natural or health food stores, can help lower your anxiety levels and nerves and thus help you stop biting your nails.

In most cases, stress is the main trigger of onychophagy. You might like to use the following to achieve your goal:


  • 2 tbsp of your herb of choice (20 g)
  • 1 c. of water (200 ml)


  • First, boil the water and pour it into a mug.
  • Add the herb and let it infuse for 5 minutes.
  • After this time, strain.
  • Drink before it cools.

Chew gum or roots to stop biting your nails

Biting Your Nails

It may sound strange, but this is one of the most effective strategies if you want to stop biting your nails. Chewing gum or roots reduces anxiety and the stress that can lead you to “attack” your fingers.

We advise chewing sugarless gum in order to prevent cavities, or chewing ginger root or licorice sticks.

Have one of these three options on hand for whenever you feel the urge to bite your nails.

Squeeze stress balls

You can get these in toy stores. Believe it or not, they’re the same softballs that are used for people with carpal tunnel syndrome.

These softballs that can be squeezed very tightly are great for channeling anxiety or unease so you don’t bite your nails.

When you’re in stressful situations, keep one close.

Apply bitter oils

Many essential oils have a bitter taste and might be a good way to keep you from biting your nails. The best ones are tea tree oil (which is also antibacterial, according to this information obtained from the Mayo Clinic) and neem oil. Either one will leave a bad taste in your mouth and make you want to stop chewing your nails.

It’s very simple: apply a few drops of the essential oil of your choice on to a cotton ball and rub it onto your nails.

You may need to repeat the process several times a day since it will be absorbed or wear off throughout your day.

Apply garlic or lemon

Biting Your Nails

If you don’t have essential oils around the house, no problem. You can replace them with ingredients you probably already have in your pantry or refrigerator.

Lemon, garlic, and even pepper can help you get rid of your nail-biting habit. Some people rub hot sauce on their fingers, too.

Whichever you choose, do it carefully so as to prevent causing reactions in your mouth.

Wear gloves

If you can’t resist the temptation to bite your nails even when you’re asleep, we advise wearing gloves.

Do it during those “dead” times when you’re not busy and thus more tempted, like:

  • When watching TV
  • If you’re reading a book
  • When you’re sitting at the table chatting after a meal

Follow a diet high in essential oils

If you bite your nails when you’re nervous or when you’re hungry, we recommend eating a diet rich in vitamin B and omega 3 fatty acids.

Some people think they’ll help you feel fuller for longer although there’s no evidence to prove it. Here are a few sources you should drink or eat more of:

  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Salmon
  • Oats

So, these simple tricks will help you to get rid of this bad habit and be able to have good looking well-groomed hands. What are you waiting for?

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.