Nasya treatment means putting nasal drops. While you might be already knowing about usage of nasal drops to relieve nasal congestion, Ayurvedic nasya therapy is quite different from this usual practice. While putting the drops into nostrils remains the same, the purpose of this treatment varies in Ayurveda.
While there are many types of Nasya treatments, there is one type which can be done on a daily basis for the overall improvement of health and to prevent diseases.
Table of Contents
The learned physician should administered nasya karma in disease of head because nose is the gate way of head and as such drug administered by this route pervades the head and thus destroys the diseases of Shirovirechana, Shirovireka and Murdha virechana are the synonyms of Nasya karma.
Ayurvedic texts define nasya as-“Oushadham oushadha siddha sneham va nasikayaam deeyate inti nasyam”
It means, procedure where the medicated drugs or oils are administrated through the nostrils.
Note: There are many types of Nasya using powders, juice extracts, decoctions, herbal fumes etc. But they are used for therapeutic purposes. Here, I am only concentrating on the one that everyone can use on daily basis.
Nasal medication is especially described for the treatment of diseases of the parts above the shoulders;
Nose is considered as the gateway for the head, spreading through this, the nasal medication reaches all the parts of the head and neck and cures the diseases of respective region.
Nasya Procedure for healthy people
This is if anyone is interested to do on a daily basis. Consult your doctor for the right advice.
This is the procedure –
If there is urge to urinate or defecate, finish that first.
It is better to brush the teeth first, if you are doing it in the morning.
Take sesame oil and do gentle massage over the entire face and neck.
For the purpose of massage, you can use
Maha Narayana oil, if you are targeting headache and sinusitis.
Nalpamaradi taila / Kumkumadi Taila – for good facial skin and complexion
Bala Ashwagandhadi Taila / Ksheerabala taila 101 – to improve strength of sense organs.
While massaging, avoid eye lids and eyes.
After this, you need to give some sort of heat treatment.
It can be
– exposing to early morning sunlight,
– gentle exercise to warm up the face,
– washing face with lukewarm water
– gently heating a towel over a Dosa pan and patting over face, avoiding eyes.
Hot fomentation should be given to face and neck, avoiding eyes and eye lids.
Lie on a cot in a room devoid of breeze or excess sunlight.
For convenience, keep a thin pillow below neck.
Lie straight with his face upwards, extending arms and legs.
Take Anu Tailam – the best oil for Nasya procedure, available in any local Ayurveda store. The oil is slightly warmed in hot water bed, just before administration. It should not be too hot. It should just be lukewarm.
Two drops of the oil are instilled into each nostril.
This can be done by another person as self administration may be difficult.
After instilling, soles, neck, palms, ears etc. should be massaged mildly.
For next 10 minutes, sputum along with medicine may come out. You have to spit it all out.
If you feel excess of heat / burning sensation, then wash your face with cold water.
After this procedure, one should lie with the face upwards, for 2 minutes.
Then, ideally, smoke inhalation with medicated herbs and mouth gargling should be done, to cleanse the throat.
This is preferably done on empty stomach, before tea, coffee, at least 30 minutes before bath, in the morning, after bowel evacuation.
If you get any doubts, if you have any underlying disease, please consult your Ayurveda doctor before taking up this nasya procedure.
If you do Jala Neti, then better to maintain a gap of 30 minutes between that and Nasya.
This type of Nasya is applicable to all healthy people.
Specifically it is helpful in people suffering from
Stiffness of the head
Stiffness of the teeth
Stiffness of the neck
Obstruction of the throat
Stiffness of the jaw
Rhinitis – running nose
Hyper pigmentation, freckles
Stiffness of shoulder
Diseases of the oral cavity
Motor neuron disorders
Neuro muscular disorders
One who practices nasal therapy in time according to the prescribed method, his eyes, nose and ears are not affected by any morbidity.
His hair and head never become white or grey; he never experiences hair fall; those rather grow luxuriously.
Being nourished by inhalation, his veins, joints, ligaments and tendons of head and neck gain greater strength. His face becomes cheerful and plumpy; and his voice becomes sweet, stabilized and stertorous. Here ‘plumpy’ signifies well grown cheek and chin bones along with healthy amounts of muscles and fat.
All the sense organs become clear and three is considerable strength.
Diseases relating to head and neck do not attack such a person. Even though, he might be growing old, old age does not affect his head (in the form of grey hair etc (reference: Charaka Sutrasthana 5th chapter)
How to Use Ayurvedic Nasal Drops for Headache?
Indications of Nasya karma:
Shira sthambha – stiffness of head
Manya sthambha – stiffness of neck
Pinasa – running nose, upper respiratory tract infection
Danta sthambha – stiffness in teeth
Hanusthambha – stiffness in jaw
Galashaluka – throat disorders with a feeling of constriction / foreign body
Galashundika – tonsillitis
Shukragata Roga – eye disorders of sclera
Timira – vision disorders
Vartma Roga – eye lid disorders
Vyanga – discolored skin patches on face
Amsashula – pain in the upper back
Ardhawabhedaka – migraine
Karnashula – earache
Greewa Roga – neck pain
Nasashula – pain in the nasal region
Mukha Roga – oral disorders
Aksi shula – eye pain
Sira shula – headache
Ardita – paralysis
Apatantraka, Apatanaka – seizures
Galaganda – cervical lymphadenitis, thyroid disorders
Dantashula – toothache
Dantaharsha – tingling sensation in teeth
Vakgraha – voice disturbances
Swarabheda – hoarseness of voice
Persons unsuitable to nasal medication :-
Nasal medication should not be administered to persons who
have just then consumed water, wine, artificial poison (Garavisha – chronic poisoning) and fat (as part of Snehana therapy) or who wish to consume them, soon,
who is suffering from indigestion,
who have taken food just then,
who have just taken bath or who desire to take bath-soon. Ideally there should be a minimum gap of 30 minutes between bath and Nasya treatment.
who has just taken oil or fat
who is suffering from excessive thirst
who is suffering from excessive hunger
who is severely tired,
who have had blood letting therapy- or severe bleeding due to other causes,
who are having acute rhinitis,
who has consumed alcohol
who is suffering from acute fever,
who is suffering from acute cold,
who are getting natural urges of the body, like urge to urinate, defecate etc.
the woman who has recently delivered,
patients of dyspnoea, COPD, Asthma and cough,
those who have undergone purification (Panchakarma) therapies
who have been given Basti treatment – just then,
at unsuitable seasons and
on cloudy days except in emergency.
who has have consumed wine,
People with low ears- low hearing capacity
in whom, the Doshas are greatly imbalanced and moving from place to place;
Nasya should not be administered to those who are less than seven years and more than 80 years of age;
Contraindications of Nasya karma:
Bhukta Bhakta – soon after food
Ajirna – in a person having indigestion
Pitasneha – soon after intake of ghee or oil
Pitamada – in a person intoxicated with excess alcohol
Pita toya- who has consumed excess water
Ksudharta – who is suffering with excess thirst
Snehadi pitukama – who is desirous of taking oil / ghee
Snata Sira – who has just taken head bath
Sramarta – who is excessively tired
Matta – intoxicated
Snatu kama – who is just about to take bath
Murcchita – unconsciousness
Sastradandhata – who is severely injured by sharp instruments
Vyawaya klanta – tired
Virikta – soon after Virechana treatment
Vyayama Klanta – tired due to excessive exercise
PanaKlanta – tired due to excess alcohol
Garbhini – pregnant
Nawa Jwara – fever – fever of recent onset
Sokaistapta – grieving
Anuwasita – who has just undergone Anuvasana Basti
Nawa pratishyaya – rhinitis of recent onset
Apatarpita – who has just undergone weight loss treatment
Pitadrava – excess consumption of liquids
Trsnarta – with excessive thirst
Gararta – afflicted with Gara Visha – toxic conditions
Kruddha – excess anger
Bala – in children
Sutika – during early lactation period
Vegawarodhita – who has suppressed his natural urges
Rakta Sravita – with excess bleeding
Shwasa – dyspnoea
Right time for Nasya
Nasal medication should be administered in
morning – if Kapha is increased.
Mid day – if Pitta is increased
Evening – if Vata is increased.
During Sharath (Autumn) and Vasantha (Spring), it should be given in forenoon.
During winter, it should be given in midday.
Evenings in summer,
when there is sunlight during Varsha- rainy season.
How Nasya Therapy Acts?
It is said that, medicines administered through nasal route, passes via Shrigantaka marma and enters all the sense organs and strengthens them.
As per modern principles, medicines administered nasally can have an impact on eye, facial skin, ears, nose and oral cavity.
Instruction to patient
Instructions for the patients during Nasya:
As described by Charaka, Vagbhata and Sushrtha the following instructions should be observed by a patient while undergoing Nasya karma.
Swedana and Mardana on the Shira, Gatra and Manya
Shira (head) should not be excessive flexed or extended
Patient should lie Supine (Uttana ) for a time interval counting numbers up to 100
Avoid speech (Naprabhaset)
Avoid anger (Nakupyeta)
Avoid laughing (Nahaset)
Avoid swallowing of Nasya Aushadhi
Eliminate Kapha by Gandusha and Stiivana ( Spitting)
Post Nasya Regimen
Kawalagraha and Gandusha Dharana
Diet – Warm water (Sukhoshna jala)
Light diet (Laghu ahara)
Following should be avoided:
Shitala Jala (cold water)
Dosha prakopaka ahara (abhishyandi)
Rajodhuma (dust and fume)
Sneha (oils and ghee)
atapa (sun and heat)
Shira Snana (bath by head)
Features of adequate Nasya
Breathing without difficulty
Improved strength of sense organs
Laghawa (lightness in the body)
Nidra (good sleep)
Shira Laghutwa (lightness in the head)
Srotas Shuddhi (cleaning of channels)
Indriya prasanna (sensorial happiness)
Mana prasanna (mental happiness)
Features of inadequate Nasya
Emaciation, dryness of nose and mouth
Feeling of emptiness in head
If you feel these symptoms, then repeat the procedure of Nasya.
Indriya Rukshata (Dryness of senses)
Aprasama Roga (Non relief)
Anga gourawa (Heaviness in body)
Nasa, Netra, Mukha Srawa (Hyper secretion)
Features of excessive Nasya
Feeling of heaviness of the head,
are signs of excess of Nasya.
Pratimarsha cleanses, clears the channels, relieves fatigue, improves eye sight, bestows sturdiness to the teeth and mitigates the Vata.
Indriya Bibhrama (confusion)
Kapha Srawa (salivation)
Rationality of nasya therapy
It is a well-known factor that the olfactory center is located in the temporal lobe of the brain. The filaments of first cranial nerve, Olfactory nerve arise from the upper parts of the nasal mucosa, from where the minute fibrils pass to meet with the fibres from olfactory bulb. This nerve passes the cribriform plate present over here and joins the olfactory center in the temporal lobe of the brain.
As mentioned earlier, the numerous capillaries embedded in the nasal mucosa absorb the medicinal principles administered through nasya and produce various kinds of local and systemic effects by mechanical and chemical reactions.
The discharge secreted contain the blocking materials and are evacuated through nasal route.
Thus the pathological condition is reversed and the disease is relieved.
Remedy for throat irritation after Nasya
Q: I feel throat irritation after Nasya with Anu taila. Remedies?
A: After nasya treatment, gargle with hot water and spit out for 2 minutes time.
Take half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Add just a small pinch of black pepper powder, mix it with ghee, burn and inhale fumes. This will dry up the remnant Kapha, leftover after nasya.
If you are okay with spices, taking 1 gram of Trikatu powder with honey should also be useful. Or ginger juice – 1 teapsoon with a little honey is also fine to take.
Excessive sneezing after nasya
This can occur in people with allergy or hyper-sensitivity. For them, before doing Nasya, gentle face massage with a few drops of sesame oil, gentle fomentation with lukewarm water face wash is recommended before taking up Nasya.
If the oil quality is very low, this can also cause sneezing and local irritation.
Choice of liquids for Nasya
I have given below commonly used nasal drops. But you need to consult an Ayurveda doctor to check what suits you. Learn about nasya therapy in detail here
The common dose is 2 drops to each nostril on an empty stomach.
It is ideal to massage face and neck with a few drops of sesame oil, leave it for 3 minutes then wash the face with lukewarm water, before putting nasal drops.
Default nasal drops is
Anu oil or anu tailam. It is prepared with sesame oil base and contains safe and effective herbs of both hot and cold qualities.
General benefits: Radiant skin, strong shoulders, Improvement in voice, strong sense organs, improved hair quality and prevention of early greying of hair. Read more about Anu tailam here
Second default oil for nasya is Shadbindu taila
It prevents hair fall, strengthens teeth, vision, voice and neck region. Read more about it
For Vata dosha aggravation, neurological complaints of the head, neuropathy, migraine, vascular headache – Ksheerabala taila 101
For improving facial skin health, to treat freckle, melasma, acne etc. – Kumkumadi taila
For memory, focus, concentration, improving intelligence – Mahakalyanaka ghrita
Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, strengthening and revitalizing nerves, after recovering from a head injury Mahamasha taila
To relieve burning sensation, dizziness, nasal bleeding – Ksheerabala taila or chandanadi taila
For sinusitis, allergic rhinitis – Halin Drops, Cephagraine drops, Sinurex Nasal drops are commonly used.
For Kapha Dosha – Anu taila, Shad Bindu taila.
For Vata – Pitta Dosha- ghee
To improve skin complexion, Kumkumadi taila
Almond oil for Nasya – good for hair, skin, dandruff, eczema etc. It has nourishing effect on the body and sense organs. Read more about almond benefits
Modern Steam inhalation vs Nasya
In modern steam therapy for nasal congestion, an essential oil mix such as Camphor, Chlorothymol, Eucalyptol, Terpinol, and Menthol are used. The essential oils are sold in capsule form. It is cut open and put into hot water and steam is inhaled. Here the goal is to undo the chest congestion and help in breathing.
But this is not same as nasya therapy. Here, the goal is to not only detoxify and strengthen the respiratory tract. All organs in head and neck region are targeted with Nasya. Even thyroid hormone complications, migraine, neuralgia etc are treated with nasya therapy.
Gentle face and neck massage with oil and sweating treatment is advised ahead of nasya therapy to loosen the toxins. Nasal drops administered after massage and sweating help in easy evacuation of loosened toxins.
Modern steam therapy with essential oils is not recommended on a daily basis for healthy people. Whereas, Nasya therapy with minimal dose, is recommended as a healthy daily routine.
Is it a good idea to use essential oil steam therapy, ahead of Nasya treatment?
After oil massage, before nasya treatment, sweating therapy is advised as per Ayurveda. The sweating treatment on face can be given with a towel dipped in hot water. Not only this, even herbal teas are also used for sweating treatment. Hence, it is fine to use essential oil sweating treatment ahead of Nasya therapy, with the following conditions
The essential oil should be very mild.
Only one drop of it can be used.
It should not cause eye irritation.
Do not use it everyday. Use it only once a week.
Ghee As Nasal Drops
Can ghee be used as nasal drops?
Ghee is frequently used as nasal drops – Nasya therapy.
Ghee balances Vata and Pitta Dosha. Hence for many Vata and Pitta related complaints, such as –
lack of sleep etc. issues, ghee nasya is suitable.
For nasya, cow ghee can be used directly or herbal ghees can also be used.
Maha Kalyanaka, brahmi ghrita are useful to improve brain functions, in psychiatric disorders.
Saraswata ghrita is speech improvement.
Read more about cow ghee benefits here
Migraine – Nasal Drops
For Migraine , Which medicine can be used as nasal drops?
The choice of oil for migraine cure depends on the nature and intensity of the migraine.
If there is severe pain in the face, neck, sensitivity to sound, scalp tenderness (pain on touching the head), then Vata Dosha is more dominant. In such a case, Mahanarayana tailam or Shadbindu oil or Anu oil is useful.
If there is aura, blurred or impaired vision, seeing flash of light, burning sensation increased warmth, redness of eyes, nausea and vomiting, then Pitta is more dominant. In such a case, Varanadi Ghritam (herbal ghee), Ksheerabala 101 oil are useful.
Warming the Liquid
Should the Nasya Oil be Warmed Before Administration?
Usually, oil or ghee used for Nasya is slightly warmed just above normal room temperature before administration. Lukewarm oil absorbs faster and quickly spreads in the body.
How to warm it?
Nasya oil or ghee is a very heat sensitive product. The blend of oil and herbs is very delicate. Direct heating may cause loss of medicinal principles from the oil. Hence, it is best to warm it in a water bath. take a wide mouthed vessel. Take water in it. Bring it to around 50-60 degree Celsius. Then dip the nasya oil or ghee bottle in the water for 1-2 minutes. Before using the oil, test the oil for its temperature. You can do this putting a drop of the oil on to your hand. It should not be very hot.
With Sesame oil
Sesame oil is sweet, bitter in taste and has astringent sub-taste. It has the capability to enter into minute body pores and bring about soothing action. It is hot, strong and piercing in nature.
Below-mentioned benefits of sesame oil can be expected when it is used as nasal drops.
Lekhana – scraping action – Useful in case of sinusitis
Deepana – improves digestion strength
Sroto Vishodhana – clears and cleanses body channels
Tvachya – good for skin, useful in dry facial skin, dry hairs.
Vayasthapana – anti aging, rejuvenating, improves qualities of hair and face. Avoids early graying of hair, hair fall and wrinkling of skin
Medhakara – Improves intelligence
Smrithikara – improves memory
Time gap for food
In the morning, better to do it on empty stomach, wait for 30 minutes, then have your morning beverage or breakfast.
If you do it in the evening, maintain a gap of at least 30 minutes between nasal drops and food.
It is always good to do nasya before food. Doing it after food can cause vomiting and increased chances of weak digestion strength due to Kapha accumulation.
Snuff, Errhine , Sternutatory
Synonyms of nasya –
- Shiro virechana, murdha virechana and shiro vireka – term virechana means purgation, thus nasya is a treatment of purging head of its impurities. Shira means head.
- Nasta prachardana – here prachardana means to cause emesis. Nasya is to expel doshas accumulated in head by a similar procedure as that of emesis, it is like causing head to vomit and expel its doshas. Since kapha is main dosha located in head, term prachardana could have been used synonymous for nasal medication. This treatment is equally useful in combating vata and pitta aggravation in head.
- Navana – also means sternutatory
It is an important type of Nasya, which can be used always.
It can be mainly classified into Snehana and Sodhana.
Scholar sushrutha called it as Snehana nasya.
Navana is administered by instilling the drops of a medicated oil in the nose. Anutaila is used for this type of nasya.
In this type of nasya the pichu of karpasa is made and dipped into Sneha, the drops, formed after taking the pichu out of the Sneha, are dropped into the nostrils. Navana is gererally a sneha nasya and is known as nasya in general.
The naavana nasya is indicated in following conditions:
Types of Nasya:
Charaka has classified nasya as follows:
Charaka Siddhi Sthana
Navana: Snehana and Shodhana
Avapida: Shodhana and Stambhana
Dhumapana – herbal smoking
Dhumra nasya: Prayogika; Virechaniya; Snehaniya
Pratimarsha: Snehana and Virechana
The above mentioned 5 types of nasyas are grouped according to their actions in the following three classes.
Charaka also described 7 types of nasyas on the basis of the usable parts of the nasya drugs:
Phala nasya – using fruits
Patra nasya – leaves
Moola nasya – roots
Kaanda nasya – stem
Pushpa nasya – flowers
Twak nasya – bark
Niryaasa nasya – extract / exudate
All the above mentioned drugs can be used for nasya in the form of Churna, kalka, swarasa, ksira. Kwatha, sara, udaka, dhuma, mamsarasa, siddha taila, Ghrita, Madya etc.
Acharya Sushrutha classified nasya as:
Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 40/21)
1. Shiro virechana
Each type is further classified into
Vaagbhata has classified nasya having in views their actions into the following 3 types:
According to scholar Sharangadhara:
Nasyabhedo dvidha proktho rechana : snehanastatha|
Rechanam karshanam proktham snehanam brahmanam matam| (sha.sam.u.k 8/2)
Rechana nasya (karshana) – 2 sub types – Avapeeda and Pradhamana
Snehana (Brmhana) -2 sub types – Marsha and Pratimarsha
Vataja Shiroroga – headache, disorders pertaining to head and brain due to Vata Dosha imbalance
Danta patha – loss of teeth
Kesha patha – hair loss
Smasr patha – moustache loss
Tivrakarna Shula – excess earache
Karnachweda – ear disorder
Timira – night blindness, eye disorder involving blindness
Swedopaghata – side effects of Swedana
Nasa roga – nasal disorders
Mukha Shosha –dry mouth
Avabahuka – Frozen shoulder
Akalaja Valee – premature skin wrinkles
Akalaja palita – premature greying of hairs
Vata pittaja Mukharoga – oral disorders of Vata and Pitta Dosha.
Navana Kala, Matra
Navana kala – Su. Ch. 40/241 and Dalhana: Time for administration of Navana Nasya:
In Kaphaja roga – Forenoon
In Pittaja roga – Noon
In Vataja roga – Afternoon
Seasonal administration of Nasya to a healthy person:
Sheeta kala – Noon
Sharad and Vasanta – Morning
Grishma rutu – Evening
Varsha rutu – When the sun is Visible
Navana matra – Su. Ci. 40/36: Dose of Navana Nasya:
Best dose – Uttama – 8 drops
Medium dose – Madhyama – 6 drops
Low Dose – Hina – 4 drops
Example:- Shad Bindu Taila
Read related: Shadbindu Tail – Benefits, How To Use, Ingredients, Side Effects
Avapeeda nasya is the nasya consisting of the extract (juice) of a drug, administered through nasal passage.
Four, six, eight drops of the Swarasa are recommended to be put in each nostril. Depending upon the pharmacological action of drugs used for Avapida nasya.
It is of two types.
Avapida nasya is indicated in the following conditions:
Vishabhighata – toxicity, poisoning
Sanyasa – syncope
Muurcha – unconsciousness
Apatantraka – neurological disorders
Mada – intoxication
Apasmara – epilepsy
Shirobhedana – headache
Krodha – anger
Bhaya – fear
Manasa roga – mental disorders
Chittha Vyakulawastha – anxiety
Krusha Roga – weak patient
Bhiiru – fearful
Sukamara persons – soft people
Stri – women
Raktapitta – bleeding disorders like nasal bleeding, Ulcerative colitis and menorrhagia etc.
Dhmapana or pradhamana nasya:
Pradhamana is a specific sodhana nasya.
In pradhamana nasya, churna (powder of drugs) is administered ( inhaled ) by nasal passage with the help of nadi yantra. Its dose is described by scholar Videha as one mucyuti (a pinch).
The drugs generally used for Pradhamana Nasya –
Saindhava lavana – rock salt
Lashuna – garlic
Guggulu – Commiphora mukul
Maricha – Black pepper
Vacha – sweet flag etc.
These are mixed in equal parts and powdered along with the gall stones of a fish and kept dry. The powder may be used as pradhamana nasya.
Pradhamana nasya is indicated in following conditions:
Example :- Katphala nasya – Su.u. 26/22.
Fine powder of katphala twak (Myrica nagi Thumb) should be blown into the nostril through a pipe 6” long. Katphala nasya is indicated for kaphaja Shirorogas.
Dhuma nasya is defined as medicated fume taken by nasal route and eliminated by the oral route. If dhuma is taken by oral route is eliminated by the nasal route, is harmful for the eyes.
Dhuma nasya is of 3 types
Its indications are as follows:
Length of Dhumra netra:
For Vairechanika nasya – 24”
Snaihika nasya – 32”
Prayogika nasya – 36”
Marsha, Pratimarsha Nasya
Both consist of introduction of Sneha (taila) through the nostrils. It is well tolerated and is a very much convenient procedure. Pratamarsha and marsha are in principles the same but they have the following distinctions:
Pratimarsha, marsha Nasya differences
Preventive in nature
Never produces complications
May produce complications
Dose: 2 drops morning and evening
Dose: 10 drops, 8 drops, 4 drops as Uttama, Madhyama and Hina matras respectively
Can be performed on people of all ages and in all seasons
Needs consideration of Rutus and Vayas
Slow acting and less potent
Quick acting and highly potent
Consists of less sneha dravyas
Consists of more sneha dravyas
Pratimarsha nasya is application of just two drops of nasal oil, multiple times in a day. It is a form of mini detoxification done throughout the day.
The below mentioned type of Nasya is called Pratimarsha Nasya.
It can be applied
After head massage
After Gandusha (gargling)
After Anjana – collyrium,
After brushing teeth,
After bouts of laughing ;
Pratimarsha indications, Timings
Pratimarsha nasya Kala – Reference: Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana 40/51
Talpothita kala – after getting up
Praksalita danta kala – after brushing teeth
Gruhat niragachata kala – just before going out of home, as a protective nasal layer against dust, smoke and pollution
Vyayamottara kala – after exercise, to bring back the breathing to normalcy
Vyavayottara kala – after sex, to bring back the breathing to normalcy, as a way to clean oral and nasal cavities,
Adhva parisranta kala – after walking a long distance – to counter Vata aggravation
Mala Mutra Visarjanottara kala – after defecation and urination – to counter Vata aggravation
Kavalottara kala – After mouth gargle / oil pulling – to eliminate any remnant mucous / sputum that might be sticking to oral / nasal cavities.
Anjanottara kala – After anjana treatment (collyrium) – to counter any Vata Dosha aggravation
Bhojanottara kala – after food – to clean oral and nasal cavities
Vamanottara kala – after Vamana (emetic) therapy – – to eliminate any remnant mucous / sputum that might be sticking to oral / nasal cavities.
Divaswapnottara kala – after getting up from day sleep – to counter aggravated Kapha dosha in the nasal / oral cavities
Sayankala – Evening – to counter Vata dosha, which naturally aggravates in the evening time
Sirobhyangottara kala – after head massage
Hasyottara kala – after excess laughter – to counter aggravated Vata Dosha.
Nasal drops just before going to bed?
Is it a good idea to put Ayurvedic nasal drops just ahead of sleep, to improve sleep?
Dr JV Hebbar
There are two types of Nasal drops in Ayurveda.
Marsha Nasya – higher dose done only once a day, for healthy people and done maximum twice a day, for certain patients.
Pratimarsha nasya – 2 drops to each nostrils, done many times in a day, to protect the inner layers of the nostrils and to detoxify organs of head, neck and respiratory tract.
Usually anu taila or sesame oil is used, but based on the need, cow ghee, milk, certain herbal juices, decoctions etc. are also used as nasal drops.
The idea of nasal drops is, the medicinal drops enter into the nasal cavity, and reach a marma point between the eyebrows, called Shringataka marma, which is connected with all sense organs and brain. So, the medicinal principles spread from this marma, reach the target organ and do healing action.
As you can above, about the timing of nasal drops, there is no mention of just ahead of bed time.
So, it is not a good idea to put the nasal drops just before going to sleep.
You might argue, it may improve the quality of sleep and in some cases decongest the nasal cavity.
It is true that Brahmi taila / Kalyanaka ghrita as nasal drops are administered during evening or night time to improve the quality of sleep. But it is not like applying a couple of drops of it makes the person sleep instantly. The way it works is by gradually relaxing the mind, soothing the nerves, decreasing unnecessary thoughts, calms down Vata Dosha and then improves the quality of sleep. It may take at least 10-30 minutes to show this action.
Saline water is used as nasal drops as a decongestant at night. But these are not to be used just ahead of bed time.
If some drops remain in the nasal cavity, it can lead to congestion, difficulty in breathing etc.
It is best to maintain at least a gap of 30 minutes between bed time and the nasal drops.
Commonly used nasal medicines
Nasya Ausadhi kalpana – commonly used:
Churna – kalpana
Katu tumbi Churna
Excessive phlegm after nasal drops?
After putting anu taila, I feel excessive phlegm collection in the nose, causing blockage.
In extreme winters and spring and in Kapha dominant people, this is a common issue.
Here are the remedies:
Make sure to do sesame oil face massage and mild sweating therapy of face by mopping the face with a towel dipped in lukewarm water or lukewarm water wash or gentle steam. This is essential to loosen up the toxins and Kapha Dosha, ahead of nasya treatment.
After nasya treatment, gargle with hot water and spit out for 2 minutes.
Avoid nasal drops prepared with coconut oil as base oil. It is a coolant and can increase Kapha Dosha. Prefer nasal drops prepared with sesame oil.
Take half a teaspoon of turmeric powder. Add just a small pinch of black pepper powder, mix it with ghee, burn and inhale fumes. This will dry up the remnant Kapha, leftover after nasya.
If you are okay with spices, taking 1 gram of Trikatu powder with honey should also be useful.
With all these, if still the symptoms are persisting, it is better to consult an Ayurveda doctor in person.
Some of the Nasya Kalpas indicated by Sharangadhara —
Gudadi nasya: – It is indicated in diseases of eyes, ears, nose, head, neck, lower jaw, throat, shoulders and back.
Madhuka saradi nasya: It is indicated in apasmara (epilepsy), unmade (insanity) sannipatha (severe fevers) and apatantraka (tetanus)
Saindavadi nasya: It relieves excessive drowsiness, tandra.
Marichadi nasya: It forms a good pradhamana nasya.
Brahmana nasya kalpana: It is indicated in diseases of head, nose, eyes, suryavarta, ardhavabheda, dantarogas, for debilitated persons. In those suffering from diseases of neck, shoulders and arms, Mukhashosha, Karnanada, disorders of vata and pitta, Premature greying and falling of hairs and moustaches.
Kukuma nasya: It is indicated in disorders arising from vata and rakta, pain in the forehead, temples, head, ears, suryavarta and ardhavabheda.
Mashadi nasyam: It relieves pakshaghata associated with kampa, ardita,
Manyasthambha and apabahuka.
Vibhitakadi nasya: It cures palita (greying of hairs)
Nasya medicine pathway
Nasal cavity -> Olfactory epithelium -> Olfactory nerve -> Cibriform plate of ethmoid bone -> Anterior cranial fossa -> Medial and lateral olfactory area of cerebral cortex.
Fate of drug:
Nasta : karma cha kurvita shirorogeshu shaastravidha|
Dvaram hi shiraso nasa tena tad vyapya hanti taan || (Cha. Si.)
Aushadhamoushadasiddho va sneho nasikaabyam diiyate iti nasyam| (Su. Chi)
Nasyam tatkathyate dhiirairnasagrahyam yadoushadham
Navanam nasyakarmeti tasya namadvyam matam|| (Sha. U)
A suitable Nasya Yantra may be devised according to the need depending upon the following outlines described in the text for Dhuma Nasya.
Tikshna or Virechana Nasya 24 angula
Snaihika Nasya 32 angula
Prayogika or Shamana Nasya 36 angula
Observation of atura – Vaya and Kala:
Rutu:- Nasya should be given in pravrt, Sharad and Vasanta Rutus. Time schedules in different seasons should be as follows
Grishma Rutu Before noon
Sheeta Rutu Noon
Varsha Rutu Day should be clear.
Age:- Nasya should not be given in persons below 7 years and after 80 years. Thus Nasya is indicated between 8 and 80 years of age.
However the following exceptions have also been admitted.
Pratimarsha may be administered at any age between birth to death while
Dhuma is indicated after 12 years of age. Sneha pana should not be given immediately before Nasya karma
Nasya Karma procedure
Procedure of Nasya karma:
atura, Mala – Mutradi Vega Nivrtta
Diet should be given
After sometime tooth brush
Patient should lie down on Nasya Saiya
Put oil on scalp for massage
Mrudu snehana on head. According to Ayurveda texts swedana should not be given on the head. But it is only done for elimination of Dosha and liquification of Doshas
Tapa sweda should be given in following regions i.e. Shira, Mukha, Nasa, Manya, Griwa, Kanta
After Swedana smooth massage should be applied on following regions eg. Gala, Kapola and LalataPradesha
During Nasya the patient should close his one nostril and should inhale the drug through the other.
Determination of Dosage in Nasya karma:
Scholar Sharangadhara describes the following dosage schedule for Nasya karma:
Tiksna aushadhi Matra
Churna – herbal powders – 1 Shana (24 Rattis) – 1 – 2 grams
Drava (liquids) – 8 Bindu (8 drops)
Hingu – Asafoetida – 1 Yava (1/2 Ratti)
Saindhava – Rock salt – 1 Masha (6 Ratti)
Dugdha (milk) – 8 Shana (64 drops)
Jala (Ausadhi Siddha) 3 Tolas
Sharkara and other Madhura guna dravyas – sweet substances including unrefined sugar – 1 Tola (12 grams)
According to Sushruta nasya should be given for 21 days or till the appearance of adequate effects on the other hand according to Vagbhata, Nasya should be given for 7 days.
Nasya Vyapada (complications):
The complications Nasya karma are many and they occur due to administration of Nasya when it is contraindicated due to technical failure
These complications occur through following two modes:
Doshotklesa — which can be managed by Shodhana and Shamana Chikitsa
Dosha kshaya — which has to be managed by Bramhana Chikitsa
When nasya karma is done adequately the following benefits can be gained
Prevention of eye disease
Prevention of ear disease
Prevention of nasal disease
Prevention of pinasa, Ardhawabhedaka, Shirahshula, Ardita, Hanugraha.
Provides strength to scalp
Prevention of urdhwajatrugala Roga
Pleasant oral smell
Give strength to head, danta, shira, trika, bahu and uras
Prevention of vali, palita, khalitya and vyanga etc.
Can oil nasya and neti done together?
Oiliness + coldness is not useful in many conditions.
With anu taila nasya, we are making the nasal passage oily. Along with it, if jalaneti is done, it will make the area cold. This can lead to worsening of cold, cough, sinusitis etc.
Hence, I would not recommend doing anuthailam nasya and jala neti together.
At least there should be half an hour gap between these two.
Nose, throat irritation side effect
What should be the exact posture of the head when putting shadbindu oil in nose? Also what is the exact procedure? Please clarify, since I have noticed that as soon as I use this, my nose and throat gets irritated.
Today, we will discuss Nasya procedure and popular Ayurvedic formulation ‘Shadbindu taila’ which is used for Nasya treatment.
Let us discuss Nasya first. Nasya is nasal administration of medicine. According to Ashtaanga Hrudaya, the definition of nasya is –
नासायां भवं नस्यं ।
nāsāyāṃ bhavaṃ nasyaṃ |
Naasayaam Bhavam nasyam
The treatment which is performed through the nose is known as “Nasya”.
ऊर्ध्व जत्रुविकारेषु विषेशान्नस्यमिष्यते ।
नासाहि शिरसो द्वारं तेन तद्व्याप्य हन्ति तान् ॥
ūrdhva jatruvikāreṣu viṣeśānnasyamiṣyate |
nāsāhi śiraso dvāraṃ tena tadvyāpya hanti tān ||
Ashtanga Hrudayam Sutrasthana 10/1
The shloka means, for the disorders affecting oordhva jatru, that means, for organs of head and neck, such as eyes, ears, nose, throat, brain etc., nasal drops therapy is suitable.
Nasa hi shiraso dvaaram – means, nose is the door or entry point for the head. Hence, medicines administered through the nasal route help to target the diseases of head and neck.
Generally, nasal drops are administered to relieve nasal congestion. But Ayurvedic nasya procedure is quite different from the usual practice and the purpose of the treatment is just not limited to relieving nasal congestion.
Nasya… is one among the Panchakarma procedures, which is done by nasal administration of medicated oil, ghee, powder, fresh juice of herbs etc.
The person who wishes to undergo nasya, should undergo gentle facial massage with a suitable Ayurvedic oil and then mild fomentation is given to forehead, face and neck.
Then, he should lie down in a supine (sUpine) position on a nasya table. His head should be slightly down and legs raised.
His Head should be slightly hanging, without excessive extension.
A small pillow or folded towel can be kept under the neck for support.
This helps in easy passage of the oil/medicine in the downward direction (derection ) inside the nose. Eyes should be covered with a clean cloth or a cotton pad. Then the nasya medicine is instilled into the nostrils, drop by drop.
Maintaining a proper posture is very important while performing nasya, especially the position of the head. If proper head posture is not maintained, there is a chance of nasya medicine entering in different directions, causing complications.
‘Shadbindu taila’ is an herbal (erbal) nasya oil.
It is mainly used in complaints related to teeth, hair, vision and
cervical spondylitis etc.
The word Shad… bindu means 6 …drops, which suggests that the common dosage of this oil is six drops.
But, the dosage can be increased or decreased according to the patient’s strength or disease condition. It can be used for a few days to several weeks.
Sesame (sesame)oil and the goat milk are the two familiar ingredients used in preparation of this oil. Castor, ginger, rock salt, cinnamon etc. are the other main ingredients.
Coming to the question of nose and throat irritation after nasya,
Usually in this treatment, the patient feels the irritation. This is normal because of some of the ingredients used in the nasya medicine. But, if the irritation is severe or persists for a longer period, it is advisable to contact your doctor immediately.
So. It is always advised to undergo nasya treatment under the supervision of a qualified Ayurveda practitioner.
Precautions for nasya during pregnancy
About Nasya Bindu and drops
Q: No classical text says about drops. Bindu and drops are different. Sneha nasya Bindu pramana has been already standardised. Kindly update it. https://www.jaims.in/jaims/article/view/909
The mentioned research paper is just a small study on bindu and it cannot be standardized just with one single study with small number of patients.
Like drops were non existent in ancient India, metric system was also non existent. Also, volume of the bindu changes with each liquid with different densities – ghee, castor oil, decoction water etc.
Considering all these, it is safe to explain concepts in terms of drops.
Charaka Samhita Dr. Ramkaran Sharma and Vaidya Bhagwan Das
Sushrutha Samhita Kaviraj Kunjalal, Bhishagratna
Sharangadhara Samhita Prof. K.R. Srikantamurthy
Bhaishajya kalpana Vijnanam Dr. Ramachandra Reddy
Text book of Bhaishaja kalpana Dr. Shobha G. Hiremath
Bhaishajya kalpana Dr. Siddhinandan Mishra
Bhaishajya Ratnavali Govinda Das Sen
Position of head during Nasya procedure:
Watch youtube video here