Atrophic Rhinitis: Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies, Herbs, Medicines

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

Causative factors for Atrophic rhinitis 
Long standing rhinitis or sinusitis
Hereditary factors
Deficiency of Vitamin A or Vitamin D
Iron deficiency
Long standing viral infection


Symptoms of Atrophic rhinitis –
Nose dryness
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.

Useful herbs

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
Vamshalochana-Bambusa arundica
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

Ayurvedic formulations useful in Apeenasa (Atrophic rhinitis)-
For Nasya karma – nasal drops
Anu taila
Shadbindu taila
Pathadi taila

Proprietory products-
Cephagrine nasal drops(Charak)

Oral Ayurvedic Medicines:
Agasthya rasayana
Bharngi guda
Dashamoola hareetaki
Sitopaladi choorna
Taleesadi choorna
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)-

  1. 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.
  2. 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

Traditional references for Apeenasa: 
अपीनसः पूतिपाकौ पित्तासृक् पूयशोणितम्’ इति केचित् पठन्ति – Dalhana on  Su. Uttaratantra, 22/3 

Last drop
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.

7 comments on “Atrophic Rhinitis: Ayurvedic Treatment, Home Remedies, Herbs, Medicines

  • B.J.Trivedi.

    10/08/2016 - 11:39 am

    Your article very interesting since I suffer from frequent blockage of Eustachian Tube behind ear drum. Allopathic drugs given by ENT Doctors don’t work, at the same time they say nothing wrong in the ear after various tests. When I lie down, I hear fluid moving with pat…pat..sound. Please suggest suitable Ayurvedic medicines as this affects / lowers my hearing. I would appreciate the same. I don’t take any sugary items, cold drinks etc. Pls help.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      14/08/2016 - 1:51 pm

      Dear sir, you may please consult Dr Krishnamurthy here –

      Reply to comment
  • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

    14/08/2016 - 2:11 pm

    So sad to know. As a general rule, whenever a surgery is indicated, if the disease is not acute and life threatening or not excessively discomfort-ful, it is best to get an opinion from an Ayurveda doctor and try the medicine at least for 2 months time to see for any improvement.
    This rule does not apply to acute, life threatening conditions, of course.

    Reply to comment
    • Venkat

      14/08/2016 - 4:18 pm

      I fully agree with you, Doctor. I recently read in a book ‘The Wellness Sense’ by ‘Om Swami’ about a case, where even an advanced stage cancer was eliminated by a powerful combo of healing and Ayurveda. I feel that your suggestion to give Ayurveda a try before getting into surgery or other methods is timely and very valuable.

      Incidentally, if we consider this advise of yours as a useful tip/nugget, I see a scope for publishing a collection of such tips, itself as a separate book. I am excited to see that possibility.

      Reply to comment
  • Venkat

    06/08/2017 - 11:36 am

    The operation has sealed off my affected nose. And so, no nose, no apparent ‘atrophic rhinitis’. This said, I must be fair to the surgeon. He suggested that I opened up the sealed nose after two years (expecting some level of healing). But I refused, since I did not want to go through another surgery. So I am living with one nostril (the sealed one anyway was left partially open (with a 3 mm aperture), so some feeble breathing is still possible through that). To answer your question: The procedure has not worsened the ‘original malady’. After the procedure, I never got any flakes, dried mucus etc., except that breathing has since felt a bit incomplete always.

    Subsequently (after a few years), I also went through a short course of ‘Anu Thailam’ application (prescribed by a Vaidya Sala).

    Reply to comment
  • srinivasan

    25/09/2017 - 3:56 pm

    Dear Venkat,

    Thanks for your feedback, it would be very useful for me. For me, i can’t even think about operation as my two nostrils got affected very badly. Sometimes i am thinking I should not live with this disease, as everybody started sensing the bad smell from my nose. So, i feel very much depressed and socially pushed backward.
    What is your opinion on “Anu Thailam”? did you get any relief

    Reply to comment
    • Venkat

      26/09/2017 - 9:48 pm

      ‘Anu Thailam’ did give a good relief to the nose block. Regarding the original condition ‘Atrophic Rhinitis’ itself, I would not be able to endorse the effectiveness of ‘Anu Thaiilam’, since I underwent surgery long before I came to know of ‘Anu Thailam’. Having said this, once when I started developing such flakes on the other nostril (which is still open), my general physician prescribed irrigation (nasal wash by pumping in distilled water using syringe). Surprisingly, that worked magic and the flakes on that nostril stopped. May be Dr. Hebbar could give his advise on that.

      Reply to comment

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