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Nasya Therapy (Healing Nasal Treatment)- Panchakarma of Ayurveda

Abstract

Nowadays many simple and easily curable diseases are becoming complicated and incurable just because of mismanagement. As an alternative therapy then the patients in the last stages bow down to the Ayurveda with great hopes, but even in this stage many patients get better improvements and are living normal life because of panchakarma therapy. There is a wrong notion among the people that this therapy is useful for only vata vyadhi, but it is very important therapy in almost all diseases in fact at every stage of the disease. In healthy individual the provocated doshas are purified in respective seasons such as management of vata dosha with basti in varsha ritu (June and July), the management of pitta dosha with virechana or raktamokshan in sharad ritu (August and September) and management of kapha dosha with vamana or nasya karma in vasant ritu (February and march). Acharya Vagbhatta has described five varieties of purificatory procedures that is Vamana (Emesis), Virechana (Purgation), Basti (Enema), Nasya (Medications through nostrils) and Raktamokshan (Bloodletting). So today we will read about Nasya Therapy briefly in this article.

Nasya Therapy, Nesal, Panchakarma, Ayurveda, Sinus

Introduction

औषधम औषधसिद्ध स्नेहो वा नासिकाभ्यां दीयते इति नस्यम।। (Su.Ch.40/21)

Nasya therapy is a procedure in which the medicated swarasa (Fresh juice extract), churna (Powder) or oil is applied into the nostrils (Nasamargas). Nasya is very beneficial in the various diseases of the E.N.T. Nasya is a very easy procedure to perform as it works through the nose. It has a therapeutic effect on all doshas and sub doshas as it pacifies Prana Vayu immediately. Prana then balances all other doshas. Once the doshas (Vata, pitta and kapha) are balanced they are eliminated through the nose. The medicines which are applied through the nostrils will transfer to all the cells and organs and remove the vitiated doshas. In Pancha Karma Nasya is also called Shiro Virechana - shiro (head) + virechana (purgation).

Nasya: Therapeutic Cleansing Of The Head Region

This procedure purges and rejuvenates the tissues and organs of the head and neck. It administered the medicated powders and oil through the nose. It eliminates the toxins (Ama) through the nose, mouth, larynx, paranasal sinuses, eyes, ears and pharynx. Ayurveda told the nose a way to reach the brain. Nasya opens and cleanses all the channels and provides enough oxygenation that is prana vayu (air)- which has a direct and highly beneficial influence on brain functioning. Nasya is indicated from age eight to eighty. It improves sensory functioning and attention deficit disorders, and helps with degenerative brain conditions.

Importance of Nasya Therapy

  • Nasyakarma can be performed without the availability of the panchakarma hospital. 
  • This therapy has no complications and side effects.
  • Among all the purification methods of panchakarma, nasya is very useful in management of E.N.T. problems and other systemic diseases.
  • It is beneficial for the whole body.
  • It is stimulating the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and olfactory cortex.
  • It provides a soothing effect on the brain and produces sound sleep. 
  • If a patient is hesitant for nasya therapy then asked to put the finger in ghee, medicated oil, tila oil or coconut oil and apply two drops in each nostrils that prevent many problems like pharyngitis, tonsillitis and sinusitis etc.

Nasya Drugs

  • Apamarga (Achyranthes aspera)
  • Pippali (Piper longum)
  • Maricha (Piper nigrum)
  • Vidanga (Embelia ribes)
  • Sarshapa (Brassica nigra)
  • Shunthi (Zingiber officinalis)
  • Haridra (Curcuma longa)
  • Sireesha (Albizia lebbeck)  
  • Jyotishmati (Celastrus paniculata)
  • Ajamoda (Carum roxbur)
  • Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum)
  • Nimba (Melia azadirachta)
  • Hing (Ferula narthex)
  • Vacha (Acorus calamus)
  • Ativisha (Aconitum heterophyllum)
  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
  • Saptaparni (Alstonia scholaris)
  • Madanaphala (Randia dumatorum)
  • Lahsun (Allium sativum)

Indications

  • Manyastambha (Stiffness in neck/cervical spondylosis)
  • Dantashoola (Toothache)
  • Hanugraha (Stiffness in mandible joint)
  • Peenasa (Sinusitis)
  • Netra Roga (All types of ophthalmic diseases)
  • Ardhavabhedak (Trigeminal neuralgia)
  • Amsashool (Frozen shoulder)
  • Mukharoga (Buccal cavity problems)
  • Shirashool (Headache)
  • Ardit (Facial paralysis)
  • Apatantraka (Hysterical convulsions)
  • Galaganda (Goitre)
  • Arbuda (Tumors)
  • Vakgraha (Aphagia)
  • Unmada (Insanity)
  • Apasmara (Epilepsy)

Contraindications

  • Ajeerna (Indigestion)
  • Peeta sneha (Immediately after snehapana)
  • Peeta madya (Alcoholic person)
  • Garbhini (Pregnant woman)
  • Vyayama (After exercise)
  • Kshudharta (At the time of hunger)
  • Navajwara peedita (Initial stage of fever)
  • Virikta (Immediately after virechana)
  • Anuvasita (Immediately after anuvasana basti)

Classification

According to Charaka:-

  1. Navana nasya
  2. Avapeedana nasya
  3. Dhmapana nasya
  4. Dhooma nasya
  5. Pratimarsha nasya

According to Sushruta:-

  1. Nasya
  2. Shirovirechana
  3. Pratimarsha
  4. Avapeedana
  5. Pradhamana

1. Navana Nasya

Medicated oils are poured in the nostrils with the help of dropper or cotton swab is known as Navana nasya and it is also said to be sneha nasya. Following has mentioned doses for navana nasya.

Dose

  • 4 drops - Avara
  • 6 drops - Madhyama
  • 8 drops - Uttama

Time

  • Kaphaj disorder - Morning/ Before noon
  • Pittaj disorder - Noon
  • Vataj disorder - Afternoon/ Evening

2. Avapeedana Nasya

This is a procedure by which the extract of pulp of fresh medicated leaves is poured into nostrils is known as Avapeedana (Squeezing) nasya. This cleanses and soothes the paranasal sinus area. The astringent juices of common grass, for example, can be used to stop a nosebleed. Ayurveda employs avapeedana for insomnia, headache and anxiety. It is said to be two varieties:-

  1. Stambhana
  2. Shodhana

Dose

  • 4 drops - Avara
  • 6 drops - Madhyama
  • 8 drops - Pravar

3. Dhmapana Nasya

This is a procedure by which the medicated powders are blown into the nostrils with the  help of a tube known as Dhamapana Nasya. It has strong cleansing action and gives immediate relief from dizziness, fainting, severe headaches and disorientation. In this powdered herbs are blown into the patient’s nose through a tube while the patient inhales deeply.

Dose

Powders which can pick up with the help of thumb and index finger (Mucchuti.

4. Dhooma Nasya

Inhalation of medicated smoke with the help of an instrument is known as Dhooma nasya.

5. Marsha-Prati Marsha Nasya

Marsha nasya and prati marsha nasya, are milder procedures than the previously described nasyas because they utilize fewer and weaker herbs and are not propelled as deeply into the nasal passages. Most of the herbs are decocted and applied in a sesame oil base. Marsha nasya introduces two or four drops of medicated oil into the nostrils every two hours.

In prati marsha nasya, the patient himself applies the medicated oils frequently during the day. He inserts his little finger into warm oil and gently massages the inside of the nasal passages. In both cases, once the oil has been inserted, the head is tilted back and the patient gently sniffs. This treatment cleans, lubricates and strengthens the mucous membranes, keeps the nasal passages open, and increases resistance to foreign substances.

Marsha-Prati marsha treatments are the same with different doses. It is said to be very safe and free from side effects and can be given any time and any season. Prati marsha nasya is very useful for children, old aged persons and delicate persons.

Dose

Marsha:-

  • 10 drops - Pradhana
  • 8 drops - Madhyama
  • 6 drops - Avara

Prati Marsha:-

  • 2 drops

Procedure

Poorva Karma (Pre-Operative Procedure)

The patient who is to be treated with nasya karma should apply warm medicated tila oil externally to the neck, face, ears, head, etc. Do light massage and fomentation.

Pradhana Karma (Operative Procedure)

The patient who has undergone poorva karma should lie down on bed comfortably after evacuation of urine and stool. The patient’s head must be lowered to facilitate easy administration of nasya dravya into the nose. The medicines which have been selected for nasya must be warmed by keeping it in hot water. With the help of left hand fingers the nostrils should be opened and then 4 to 6 drops of medicine must be dropped into each nostril. To avoid the itching sensation of the nose do light massage with the help of fingers. When we are doing shodhana nasya the nasya powder should be blown into the nostrils with the help of a rubber bulb or paper pipe. Patients should lie down for 10 minutes, meanwhile if the patient gets secretion in the mouth or nose they may be allowed to clean.

Paschat Karma (Post-Operative Procedure)

After 10 minutes of nasya the patient should be allowed to clean the mouth and nostrils with warm water. Later on the fomentation should be done on the face and neck then advised to take complete rest. He should not be exposed to sun or wind directly for half an hour to one hour.

Adequate Nasya Symptoms

  • Sound sleep
  • Lightness in the body
  • Cleaning of channels
  • Mental happiness
  • Lightness in the head
  • Sensorial happiness
  • Improve strength of the sense organs
  • Proper breathing without any obstruction

Inadequate Nasya Symptoms

  • Blurring of vision
  • Emaciation
  • Dryness of mouth and nose
  • Itching
  • Heaviness in the body
  • Hypersecretion from the channels
  • Dryness of sense organs

Excessive Nasya Symptoms

  • Protrusion of brain matter
  • Increased vata dosha
  • Emptiness in head
  • Anorexia
  • Itching
  • Heaviness in the head
  • Rhinitis
  • Excess salivation
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Giddiness

Nasya Vyapat (Complications) And Management

When nasya is administered to contra-indicated persons they will get side effects known as vyapat (Complication). Swasa (Respiratory distress), Kasa (Cough), Peenasa (Sinusitis), Agnimandya (Anorexia), etc complications may occur when nasya is administered after meals and ajeerna (indigestion) persons etc.

Treatment

Therapy that is against the kapha should be given such as ushna (Hot) and tikshna (Sharp) drugs.

  1. Tribhuvan Kirti ras - 250 mg TDS
  2. Naga guti - 250 mg TDS
  3. Trikatu churna - 500 mg TDS

When nasya is given dry (ruksha sharer), after virechana, garbhini stri  (Pregnant lady), after heavy exercise may get vata prakopa (vata imbalance) diseases.

Medications that balance vata dosha, brihana (nourish the tissues), snehana (oleation), swedana (fomentation) and milk with ghee orally.

Conclusion

In this article we read about nasya therapy in which medications are given through nostrils. It is very effective in brain related diseases because the nose is said to be a door to reach the brain. It is indicated in various diseases like migraine, sinusitis, facial paralysis, insanity, epilepsy, toothache, trigeminal neuralgia, etc. There are various herbs used in nasya therapy such as pippali, maricha, tulsi, hing, nimba, brahmi, etc. These herbs are very potent in nature. This therapy helps in quick relief from nasal congestion.

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Author Bio:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor - Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

Dr. Meenakshi Chauhan

MD (ALT. MEDICINE)

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Reviewed By:

Best Ayurvedic Doctor in Mohali - Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

MD (AYURVEDA)

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