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Nasya

Nasya

by Vasant Lad, BAM&S, MASc

Nasal Administration of Medications

The nose is the door to consciousness and the pathway to our inner pharmacy. Medications that are administered via the nasal passages affect the mind, prana vata, tarpaka kapha, sadhaka pitta, and majja dhatu. Administer nasya on an empty stomach an hour before or after a shower or exercise. Lie down with the head tilted back and put 5 drops of nasya in each nostril. Sniff deeply, then remain lying for a minute or so, to allow the nasya to penetrate.

 

General Indications General Contraindications
Stiffness or pain of head, neck, or jaw
Headache and Migraine
Sinus pain and congestion
Toothache, loose teeth, receding gums
Hoarseness of voice
Twitching or drooping eyelids
Tingling sensations on face
Obstruction in throat
Uvulitis, Tonsillitis, Laryngitis, Pharyngitis
Speech disorders and loss of speech
Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis)
Goiter
Glaucoma
Pituitary or space-occupying tumor
Unconsciousness/fainting
Depleted sexual energy
Any disorders above clavicle area
Children (under 7)
Old age (over 80)
Pregnancy
Menstruation
Just before or after shower/bath
Indigestion or full stomach
Diarhhea
Hunger or Hypoglycaemia
Thirst or Dehydration
Exertion
Intoxication
Physical exercise
Acute fever
Grief
Just having done purgation or basti
Same time as neti pot nasal cleansing 

Types of Nasya

1) Virechana (cleansing) nasya: dry powers or herbs are blown into the nose. Commonly used substances include vacha (calamus), brahmi (gotu kola), and jatamamsi.

Specific Indications

Kapha disorders
Headache or heaviness in the head
Cold
Sticky eyes
Runny nose, sinusitis, chronic rhinitis
Hoarseness of the voice due to kapha
Cervical lymph congestion
Attachment, greed, or lust
Adenitis
Bacterial infections
Epilepsy
Skin diseases
Drowsiness
Parkinsonism

Additional Contraindications

Hunger
Same day as rakta moksha therapy
1 month post-partum
Cough
Asthma
Facial paralysis
Emaciation

2) Bruhana (nutritive) nasya: especially good for vata dosha. Strengthening and tonifying substances are administered through the nose. Commonly used substances are ghee, salt, shatavari ghee, ashwagandha ghee, medicated milk, and various oils.

Specific Indications

Vata disorders
Vata-type headache or migraine
Dryness of voice
Dry nose or sinuses
Nervousness, anxiety, fear, negativity
Dizziness or emptiness
Ptosis
Bursitis
Stiffness of the neck
Cervical spondylosis
Insomnia

Additional Contraindications

Kapha disorders

3) Shamana (sedative) nasya: medicated decoctions, teas, the fresh juice of herbs, or medicated oils specific to the dosha are used. Substances used include brahmi ghee (for pitta), vacha oil (for kapha or vata), and tikta ghee (for vata or pitta).

Specific Indications

Pitta disorders
Blue patches on skin: infradermal hemorrhage
Alopatheia
Blephritis
Psoriasis

Additional Contraindications

None

4) Navana nasya: decoctions, fresh juices, and oils are mixed together and administered according to the aggravated dosha. Used for pitta-vata or pitta-kapha disorders. Among the substances used include brahmi juice (for pitta) and vacha juice (for kapha or vata).

Specific Indications

Aggravated doshas

Additional Contraindications

None

5) Marshya: A little ghee or oil is inserted into the nostrils with the little finger. This, along with gentle massage, helps to relieve stress and opens the deep tissues. It can be done on a regular basis or occasionally as desired.

Prati marshya: Marsha done on a daily basis.

Specific Indications

Stress
Dryness

Additional Contraindications

None