Nasya Ayurveda Panchkarma therapy

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                                                                                          ‘Nasayam praniyamanam aushadham nasyam’

It means that medications instilled by the nose are called as Nasya. The literal meaning of the word Nasya is the thing beneficial to the Nose. This treatment is not only beneficial to strengthen the nose but also it cleanses Urdhvang i.e parts located above clavicular region.

Nasya is one of the important therapy among Panchkarma in which administration of medicated oil /herbs through nostrils in order to eliminate vitiated dosha. It removes toxins from the sinuses, throat, nose or head parts. If these toxins are not removed for a long time they start irritating the local parts which creates disturbance in daily work. Later on, it gets converted into major illnesses like allergic rhinitis, bronchial asthma etc.

Ayurveda emphasizes preventive care therefore Nasya therapy is actually advised for maintaining the healthy status of urdhvang.

Sage Sushruta wrote that “Nasa hi shiraso dwaram!! It means nose is the main doorway to the brain and in turn to our consciousness. It has a similar impact on our complete nervous system too.

When to do Nasya therapy 

According to the Hindu calendar, there are six seasons in a year namely Vasant Ritu i.e. spring, Grishma Ritu ie summer, Varsha Ritu i.e. monsoon, Sharad Ritu i.e. autumn, Hemans Ritu i.e. pre-winter and Shishir or Shita Ritu i.e. winter.

People who are healthy can be given Nasya therapy according to the following seasonal schedule.

 

Season (Ritu)

Nasya Kala

1

Winter

Noon

2

Autumn and Spring

Morning

3

Summer

Evening

4

Monsoon

Only when the sun is visible

Nasya therapy should ideally be done in Grishma Ritu, Sharad and Varsha Rutu during morning time when the sky is clear.

The unhealthy should be given Nasya therapy per the following schedule.

 

Disease

Time

1

Kaphaja Roga

Forenoon

2

Pittaja Roga

Mid-day

3

Vataja Roga

Afternoon

 

Medications used in Nasya are in the form of Kwatha, Swarasa, Kalka, Sneha etc. and is based on the constitution of each person. It must be taken under expert guidance.

Purvakarma - The drug absorption can also be enhanced by massage and local fomentation through snehan and svedan. The patients should be counselled to remain relaxed at the time of administration of Nasya. Speech, anger, sneezing, laughing and shaking of head should be avoided during treatment.

The absorption of medicines happens in three ways. One, through mucous membrane & then transfer (absorbed medicine enter inside system through) in blood circulation. Two, direct into the venous sinuses of brain via inferior ophthalmic veins. Three, absorption directly into the cerebrospinal fluid.

Process of Nasya therapy

Start with Snehan i.e. head massage. It should be done on scalp for 3 to 5 minutes by medicated oil. Next is Swedana i.e. mild steam & fomentation should be given on forehead and neck region in a gentle way.

Main Karma - The person lies down on the therapy table in the supine position with head tilted back side with neck support. Eyes should be covered with flower petals or rose water cotton gauze. The respective medicine should be instilled into an alternate nostril carefully as per prescribed dose by the doctor.

Paschat Karma - After the administration of Nasya, person should be in lying position and asked to count up to 100 numbers or just concentrate on breathing for approximately two minutes. Again feet, shoulders, palms, and ears should be massaged.

Mild fomentation should be done on forehead, cheeks, and neck for pacifying Vata Dosha. The person should be asked to spit out the medicine. Gandusha (holding warm water in the mouth) and Dhoomapana, Kavala (warm water gargling) play an important role in Paschat Karma. It also helps to expel out the residue mucus lodged in the throat & maintain hygiene of oral cavity.

The procedures like lowering of the head, elevation of the lower extremities and giving mild fomentation positively impacts blood circulation to the head, receive stimulation and increases blood flow to the brain.

Samsarjana karma - Person should take proper rest in a warm place and follow sattvic lifestyle. Avoid exercise (Vyayama), smoke, sunshine, anger etc for next minimum 7 days.

Types of Nasya Karma 

According to Charaka, classification of Nasya depends on various factors like form of drug, mode of action such as rechan, navan, tarpan etc.

Types of Nyasa according to various ancient sages are – 

Sushruta - 5 types - Shiro Virechana, Pradhamana, Avapida, Nasya, Pratimarsha

Vagbhata - 3 types - Virechana, Brimhana, Shamana

Kashyapa – 2 types - Shodhana, Poorana

Sharangadhara - 2 types - Rechana, Snehana

Descriptions – Types of Nyasa

1. Virechan/Pradhaman or Cleansing Nasya - In this Nasya dry powders such as Brahmi etc, as per disease conditions, are blown into the nose using a tube under expert supervision.

This is indicated by Kapha Disorders like headaches, cold, nasal congestion, chronic diseases like cervical lymph adenitis and tumours, skin diseases, epilepsy, mental dullness & lethargy and forgetfulness.

2. Bruhana Nasya or Nutrition Nasya - In this Nasya ghee, oils, salts and medicated milk etc used for Nasya. It also includes many Rasayana (rejuvenation) herbs and its oil such as Shatavari, Bala, Shankhpushpi, and Ashwagandha.

This is indicated by Vata disorders like headaches, migraine, dry voice, anxiety and dizziness, stiffness in the neck, dry sinuses, stress and depression and Kapha dosha obstructed by Vata disorders such as heavy eyelids and lack of concentration.

3. Shaman Nasya or Sedative Nasya - In this Nasya herbal medicated decoctions or medicated oils which are having cooling effects are often used as medicine to calm down aggravated dosha. Herbs like Vacha, Punarnava, Neem, and Ginger etc are used.

This is indicated mainly by pitta disorders like grey hair, hair fall, thinning of hair, conjunctivitis, and ringing in the ears (Tinnitus) etc.

4. Marsha & Pratimarsha Nasya (Ghee or Oil Nasya) - Sneha ghee/oil is used for nasal administration. It is well tolerated by all. The main difference between them is of dose. In Pratimmarsha Nasya it is 1 to 2 drops and in Marsha Nasya dose is 6 to 10 drops. 

This is indicated for children, old people, injured & thirsty people, any illness, mouth dryness, and physical imbalance etc.

5. Navana Nasya (Decoction Nasya) - In this Nasya mixture of decoctions like fruit juice and medicated oils etc having the quality of enhancing unctuous &  helps for lubrication are used. This Nasya can include the Bruhana Nasya or the Shaman Nasya.

This is indicated by Vata-pitta or Kapha-Pitta disorders namely nervous system disorders, sleep issues, ear ache, mental rejuvenation & emotional clarity.

Interval of Nasya therapy

An interval depends on the condition of the patient and the disease he is suffering. According to Sushruta the gap should be 1, 2, 7 days and Vaghata gap should be 3, 5, 7, 8 days.

                                                            The Dosage of Nasya Karma

 

Type of Nasya

 Drops in               

Each

Nostril

   

Hina

Madhyama

Uttam

1

Shamana Nasya

8

16

32

2

Shodhana Nasya

8

12

16

3

Avapida Nasya (Kalka Nasya)

4

6

8

 

General Indications

According to Charaka following are general indications -:

Shirasthamba, Griva Roga, Manyasthamba, Skandharoga, Dantastamba, Mukharoga, Danta Shula, Karna Shula, Hanu Graham, Nasa Shula, Pinasa, Akshi Shula, Gala Shundika, Shirashula, Gala Shaluka, Ardita, Sukla Mandala Gataroga, Apatantraka, Timira, Galaganda, Vartmaroga, Danta Harsha Vyanga,Netraraji , Upajihvika, Arbuda, Ardhavabhedaka, Swarabheda, Suryavarta, Gadgatatwa, Apabahuka, Kesadosha, Apasmara.

Nasya should not be given before bath, during menstruation & pregnancy, before age 7 or after age 80, during illness like high fever or diarrhoea, general breathlessness & irregular heartbeats, up to 1 hour before or after meal immediately and finally avoid Nasya directly before going out into the cold weather.

Benefits of Nasya Karma  

  • Gives stimulation & strength to brain centers (by Shodhana & Bruhana karma). 
  • Nasya karma ensures proper and healthy growth of hair. Also hair routes get stronger. It is helpful in the treatment of severe dandruff & hair fall.
  • The therapy enhances the activity of sense organs and protects the person from diseases related to the Ear, Nose & Throat.
  • Aging pre-maturely is effectively prevented by regular administration of Nasya karma.
  • There are a total of 72 diseases of eyes mentioned in Ayurveda which can be treated with Nasya.

Most health problems related to the head and neck can be cured by Nasya therapy. It is thus highly recommended and the easiest panchakarma therapy to boost structural and functional parts of the supraclavicular region.

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