Atrophic rhinitis is the long term inflammation of nose with atrophy (wasting, decline) of inner lining of nose, glands and the nerve supplying the nose.
Causative factors for Atrophic rhinitis –
Long standing rhinitis or sinusitis
Deficiency of Vitamin A or Vitamin D
Long standing viral infection
Symptoms of Atrophic rhinitis –
Lack of ability to smell
Obstruction to nose passage
Formation of the crust/dry substance inside the nose
Bleeding from the nose
Foul smell from the nose
Ayurvedic understanding of Chronic atrophic rhinitis-
Ayurveda explains similar condition with the name Apeenasa. This may manifest by two important phenomenon.
1. Vata and Kapha aggravating factors in long run may lead to the above condition, or
2. Complication of repeated or persisting cold and rhinitis.
Ayurveda too recognizes the same features mentioned by the modern texts like –anosmia (loss of smell), smoky sensation of the nose, repeated sliminess and dryness followed with all the features of common cold.
Quite interestingly Acharya Vagbhata explains that the patients of Apeensa will have permanent sliminess of the nose like the nose of a sheep!
Line of treatment
Line of treatment of Apeenasa (Atropic rhinitis)-
Depending upon the severity of the illness, Nasya can be carried out.
Further, if the patient is having good body strength,
Dhumapana – inhalation of medicinal fumes can be administered.
The medicines possessing Deepana (carminative), Pachana (digestive) and Grahi (absorbant) nature are recommended.
Herbs useful in Apeenasa (Atrophic rhinitis)-
Haridra-Turmeric- Curcuma longa
Brihati- Solanum indicum
Kantakari– Solanum xanthocarpum
Ativisha- Aconitum heterophyllum
Bilva- Aegle marmelos
Pippali (Long pepper)- Piper longum
Maricha (Pepper)- Piper nigrum
Pushkaramoola- Inula racemosa
Taleesapatra-Abies webbiana – Acts as anti tussive and relieves the nasal congestion.
Shunthi(Dry ginger) –Zingiber officinale-acts as adigestive and carminative and reduces the chances of formation of the crust in the nose.
Guduchi-Tinospora cardifolia-helps as a immunomodulator and pacifies Pitta dosha;also acts as bitter tonic.
Ayurvedic formulations useful in Apeenasa (Atrophic rhinitis)-
For Nasya karma – nasal drops
Cephagrine nasal drops(Charak)
Oral Ayurvedic Medicines:
Brihatyadi kashaya etc
Do’s and dont’s
Do’s and Don’ts in Apeenasa (Chronic rhinitis / Atrophic rhinitis) –
Warm food and beverages, Pungent items like ginger,pepper etc, Dadima (pome granate),Wheat products and proper rest are advised in this condition. Cold water, cold environment, AC rooms, head bath and day sleep are contra indicated.
Ayurvedic home remedies
Few home remedies useful in Apeenasa (Chronic rhinitis)-
- The fresh juice of Ginger and jaggery are mixed in equal quantity. To this a pinch of turmeric powder is added and mixed thoroughly. This is given twice a day, preferably in empty stomach and during bed time. This helps to relieve the complaint at the earliest.
- Brinjal is taken and it is incised from the middle. The 6-8 pepper seeds and 3 pinches of salt are filled inside and it is cooked well or baked(dry baking) over a pan or partially burnt over fire.This is used as a side dish along with food. This relieves the cold and associated complaints like nasal congestion, nasal blockage etc.
Traditional references for Apeenasa:
अपीनसः पूतिपाकौ पित्तासृक् पूयशोणितम्’ इति केचित् पठन्ति – Dalhana on Su. Uttaratantra, 22/3
As the common cold is a common most complaint among the people such incidences may lead to chronic rhinitis if neglected or if proper medication is not carried in time. Early treatment of common cold and avoiding the causative factors and checking the infection chances will surely help in prevention and hence even in cure of the illness.