Nasya: Ayurvedic Herbal Nasal Oil
Nasya or ‘nasal drop’ as it is commonly known is a popular Ayurveda treatment. It is one of the treatments used during panchakarma, Ayurveda’s detoxification process or cleanse. Nasya involves the administration of oil or other liquids into the nostrils in a prescribed manner. It can also be practiced with powder in some conditions. Nasya is a very effective procedure for diseases of the ear, nose and throat, and has promising results. It also has beneficial effects when practiced daily.
Types of Nasya
Nasya is classified on the basis of the medicines used in it. Yet there is another important classification of Nasya — marshya Nasya and pratimarshya Nasya.
Marshya Nasya is a therapeutic procedure. It involves a greater amount of oil or liquids then pratimarshya Nasya. Mild oil application and hot fomentation is given to the head and shoulders before the actual procedure. Hot water gargle and medicated smoke inhalation are advised following the procedure. This type of Nasya should not be practiced in extreme weather conditions and is performed by a trained Ayurveda therapist.
Pratimarshya Nasya is a daily regimen and holds no restrictions. It can be practiced freely by everyone. The recommended dose is two drops in each nostril. When practiced daily it bestows one with a good voice, prevents hair loss and premature greying of the hair. One who practices nasya daily is blessed with glowing skin and sharp sense organs. It is thought that diseases of the head and neck will not affect individuals that practice nasya.
Both marshya Nasya and pratimarshya Nasya can be practiced after the age of five.
Nasya as a therapeutic procedure has miraculous effects in disorders related to the head. According to Ayurveda, the nostrils are the gateway to the brain. Nasya plays an important role in the treatment of disorders of the head, neck, brain, eyes, ears, nose and throat.
Nasya helps with the elimination of toxins and doshas from above the clavicle region, which results in increased blood circulation thereby nourishing the cells and relieving related ailments. In this way Nasya plays an important role as a remedy for facial paralysis, stroke, cervical spondylitis, various headaches, lock jaw, sinusitis, epilepsy and diseases of the sensory organs. Recent studies have shown nasya to stimulate the pituitary gland, which can bring positive results in hormonal imbalance.
Nasya is generally practiced with anu tailam, a medicinal herbal oil specific for nasya. Tulasi swarasam, the leaf juice extract of Holy basil, is highly recommended in acute conditions of sinusitis, rhinitis and allergic sneezing. Sesame oil is not ideal for nasya but virgin coconut oil can be used. The oils must be heated mildly before the procedure.
Sneezing can occur when Nasya is done for the first time. This will gradually reduce however if the procedure is done regularly.
Each and every Ayurveda treatment has its unique importance. Nasya is a widely accepted practice due its simplicity, ease in performing the procedure, few complications, miraculous healing effects and positive results.