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The nasal orifices are believed to be the entrance of the head to the brain and also the doorway to consciousness. It is the entrance for Prana, the life force, which comes into the body through the breath. Healthy uncongested breathing is important to ensure proper flow of Prana throughout the head and body.
According to Ayurveda, the delicate skin of the nasal passages and the Eustachian tubes of the ears require lubrication to stay healthy, balanced and protected in the colder months. Nasya is the practice of lubricating these passages with herbal oils. The cervical lymph nodes; which houses the majority of the immunity in our ears, nose and throat; also benefits from the lubrication provided by Nasya.
Administration of herbal medications like oil, powder, and fresh juices through the nostrils to balance doshas from the head region especially head, nose and throat. This procedure is usually done for 3-7 days, where the prescribed drops of herbal medication are administered into each nostril.
Nasya is essentially the procedure of instilling medicines through the nasal orifice. The medicine instilled through them easily penetrates the Sringataka Marma and spreads to the Siras (arterioles) of head (shira), eyes (netra), ears (shrotra), throat (kantha) and expels out the impurities.
When an excess of bodily fluids accumulates in the sinus, throat, nose or head areas, it is best eliminated through the nose. Administration of herbal oil Nasya helps to facilitate this cleansing process. Nasya is especially helpful on days that are cold, dry, or windy, or when the air is dusty or full of pollen.
Nasya is the best procedure for treating Shirorogas (diseases affecting the head area) like migraine, chronic headaches, sinusitis, ear, nose and throat disorders. This involves the purification of the head region of the patient. In this process, the imbalanced doshas above the neck are removed through the nasal openings. The importance of this Panchakarma technique has been specified in the disease of the ear, nose and throat, mental diseases, toxicity, epilepsy, headaches, and untimely greying of the hair. In addition to happy sinuses, Nasya has some unexpected benefits like greater clarity of mind and a calmer nervous system.
Nasya is believed to be best suited for the Eye and ENT ailments. Principally, there is administration of medicated oil through the nose which cleanses accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. It is also useful in problems of dentistry, neurology and psychiatry diseases.
According to the functions the Nasya, there are 3 types –
1. Virechana nasya: This Nasya karma type is meant to provide detox and expulsion of the built in toxins. Strong herbs and natural ingredients used for this procedure.
2. Brihmana nasya: It provides nourishment to various parts like brain, hairs, eyes, etc. uses ghee, oils, salt, Shatavari ghee, Ashwagandha ghee and medicated milk and is used mainly for vata disorders. It is said to benefit conditions resulting from vata imbalances such as vata-type headaches, migraine headache, dryness of voice, dry nose, nervousness, anxiety, fear, dizziness, emptiness, negativity, heaviness of eyelids, bursitis, stiffness in the neck, dry sinuses and loss of sense of smell.
3. Shamana nasya: It balances vitiated Doshas. It is used according to which dosha is aggravated but mainly for pitta-type disorders such as thinning of hair, conjunctivitis and ringing in the ears. Generally certain herbal medicated decoctions, teas and medicated oils are used.
1. Navana – In this type mainly decoction of herbs is used for Nasya. This type of Nasya is performed for Snehana and Shodhana. This form of Nasya is regarded as the commonest type. It is used in Vata-Pitta or Kapha-Pitta disorders and is made from decoctions and oils together. The general indications are headaches, hair fall and untimely greying of hair, tinnitus, otalgia, Bell’s palsy etc.
2. Avapeedana – It is for Shodhana and Stambhana. This is another type of Nasya Karma is wherein juices are squeezed in the nostrils. 4 or 8 drops are instilled in each nostril depending on the ailment and client’s condition. It is generally recommended for ailments like rhinitis, epilepsy, delirium, poisoning and the condition of coma.
3. Pradhamana – In this Nasya type, dry powder are blown into the nostrils with the help of a narrow pipe. Or else the medicinal powder is made to be inhaled from a fine Pottali. Generally the pungent and robust herbs like Vidanga, Vacha, Apamarga, Maricha, Bramhi, etc. are used in this Nasya type. It is mainly used for Kapha types of diseases involving headaches, heaviness in the head, cold, nasal congestion, sticky eyes, hoarseness of voice due to sticky Kapha, sinusitis, cervical lymph adenitis, tumours, worms, some skin diseases, epilepsy, drowsiness, Parkinsonism, inflammation of the nasal mucosa, attachment, greed and lust.
4. Dhooma – In this Nasya type, medicated fumes are made to be inhaled. The inhalation may take place both from the nostrils as well as mouth for about 3 to 5 times. The client is advised to exhale out the fumes only from the mouth.
Nasya commonly cures ailments like hair fall, cervical spondylitis, frozen shoulder, migraine headaches, sinusitis, memory loss and epilepsy.
It is also found useful in Trigeminal neuralgia, Bell’s palsy, improves memory and eye sight, insomnia, elimination of excess mucus, hyper pigmentation in the face, brings clarity to voice, headaches of various origin hemiplegia, Loss of smell and taste, stiffness of the neck, nasal allergies, nasal polyp, neurological dysfunctions, paraplegia and sinusitis.
1. Nasal allergies and nasal polyp
2. Stress and emotional imbalances
3. Hair fall, cervical spondylitis,
4. Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
5. Dryness of the nose
6. Sinus congestion
12. Stiffness in the head, neck, teeth and jaw and facial paralysis
13. Loss of smell and taste, etc.