By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Nasya – nasal medication, is one among the Panchakarma therapies i.e. 5 cleansing therapies. Nasya includes medicines instilled through the nose. It is not just used as purification therapy. Nasya is of many kinds and different kinds of nasal medications have different types of action and benefits.
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Can nasal medications be used in fevers?
Yes, nasal medications can be used in fevers but only in the conditions and stages wherein they are specified to be used.
Types of fever
Like in any other disease, nasya has its benefits in fever too. But it is definitely not a part of regular prescription. This means to say that nasal medicines are not advised to be done or not conducted in all kinds of fevers. It is also not done in all stages of a particular fever. Therefore we can understand that nasya is selective therapy in fevers and should be judiciously used only in the conditions mentioned in the treatises.
Nasal medications shall be implemented in the jeerna jwara stage of fevers i.e. when the fevers have been ripened following the initial line of treatment.
Initially the lightning measures, mainly fasting shall be implemented. This will kindle the digestive fire and bring in lightness of the body.
Fasting, sudation, the first 8 days of the fever, gruels prepared with bitter tasting herbs – all these help in digesting the ama in acute fever (taruna jwara). Herbal decoctions shall be given on the 8th day.
After 10 days of onset of fever, gruels, ghee (for oral consumption), meat soup, light to digest foods, milk for drinking, purgation and enema should be given according to the condition of the fever, after accessing the presence or absence of ama.
Conditions for nasal medication – In spite of all these measures to digest ama in acute fevers, if the below mentioned symptoms are present in the fever, nasal medicines should be administered to combat the symptoms in mature fevers / ripened fevers. The symptoms are –
Heaviness of the head
Obstruction in the sense organs – inability of the sense organs to perceive their respective objects
These symptoms also indicate the presence of doshas in the head and the sense organs therein, even after the initial part of fever has been dealt with by above mentioned effective measures.
Objectives of nasal medicines, when they should be done and when not?
The objective of implementing the nasal medication is to flush off these doshas, to take the control of residue fever and combat the symptoms related to the head. If these symptoms are not taken care of, the doshas and the incompletely cured fever would damage the brain and sense organs and would prove fatal.
The indications of nasal medication also indicate that this therapy shall not be done in the first phase of fever (taruna jwara, first 8 days of the fever) and should be done only in the jirna jwara, when the entire ama has been digested and when the symptoms pertaining to the head and sense organs have manifested.
This also means that the nasal medication shall not be done if these symptoms are not manifested.
Shiro / Murdha Virechana – Master Charaka clearly mentions that murdhavirechana i.e. head purging / cleansing should be done in these conditions. This means to tell that head purging type of nasal medication shall be administered to flush off the doshas from the head.
The below mentioned are said to be best for administering nasal medications in fevers –
Medicines and formulations mentioned in the Bheshajadhyaya chapter (Apamargatanduliya chapter) of Charaka Sutrasthana
Medicines and formulations mentioned in the Roga Bheshaja Adhyaya chapter of Charaka Vimanasthana
The physician should skillfully make a choice of the errhines which are good for fever from the mentioned lot and administer them accordingly.
The below indicated formulations too shall be skillfully used –
Anutaila / Navanika Taila mentioned in Matrashitiya chapter of Charaka Sutrasthana
Medicated smoking wicks mentioned in the same chapter
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