11 May Nasya ( नस्य )
Breathing is one of the most basic necessities of life. If air does not enter our body, it shall cease to function in the normal way and may lead to death. One of the most important organs of the body thus is our nostrils which control and enhance our breathing. For this reason, any treatment done through the nostrils has a deep impact on our bodies.
Ayurveda has always recognized this fact and has developed ways of treatment called “Nasya” where medications of various kinds are given through the nose/ nostrils. It is said to be most beneficial in pacifying of the “doshas” besides removing accumulated toxins and clearing passages which eases breathing and the passage of blood, body fluids, and nutrients. Problems including migraine, sinusitis, issues of the ear, throat, and eyes (organs above the neck) are best treated using “Nasya”. Another condition for which Nasya could be the perfect cure is “Epistaxis” i.e., nose-bleeds. Our nostrils contain tiny blood vessels that lie close to the surface and get easily ruptured due to “Vata” conditions including dryness in the air or nose-picking or even an accident/ trauma to the nose. Nasya provides just the right moisture and lubrication which keeps the nasal skin intact.
Besides treating purely physical issues described before, Nasya is very effective in the treatment of consciousness & thought-related issues like psychiatry, neurology and even stresses of certain kinds.
Benefits derived by administering Nasya:
1. Strengthening of the chest, neck and shoulder areas
2. Sense of smell, taste, site, and sound get restored gradually
3. Hair fall and losing of hair color get reversed
4. Long-drawn issues such as sinusitis can be completely cured when infections subside
5. Clogged sinuses get cleared which results in better and deeper breathing and a feeling of intense relaxation. Bad mouth odor also gets treated when sinuses clear.
6. Kapha Dosha imbalances, especially in times of weather changes result in the build-up of mucous which if not treated may get infected. Nasya completely clears the mucous and is thus good for those with constant sinus issues.
7. The best cure for Epistaxis” i.e., nose-bleeds by providing much-needed moisture to the skin in the nostrils.
8. Headaches and dizziness caused by stress can also be treated with Nasya.
9. No side-effects! Nasya DOES NOT have side effects given that it is herb and oil-based, and does not contain harmful chemicals.
How is Nasya carried out?
Ayurveda is very unlike our present form of medication where you pop in a pill, sip water and get going. Ayurveda demands that the person undergoing treatment MUST do certain acts before, during and after the treatment. The same applies to Nasya which has three steps:
Poorvakarma: As the name suggests, the person undergoing Nasya must undergo certain pre-treatment steps like an application of steam and/ or medicated oils to the region above the neck including the neck itself, nose, eyes, ears, forehead and the mouth. By doing this, doshas which have existed for a long time in the body start to melt and flow out leaving the path open for medicines to flow easily.
Pradhanakarma: The main activity under Nasya includes placing medication (herbal oils, powders, etc) in the nostrils using the right instruments which could be a simple plastic dropper of good quality, a standard glass dropper or even a special metal nasya spoon. After giving the medicine, the areas of the forehead, nose, face, and neck are massaged lightly so as to aid in the absorption of the medicines.
Paschatkarma: Any medication given thru the nose is sure to enter the mouth. To bring back the taste of the mouth which may get affected, a glass-full of warm water is given to the person for gargling. Medicated smoke is next given needs which are to be inhaled while breathing.
The reason why Nasya is effective!
– Nasya has two elements. The first i.e., steam inhalation and slight massage helps unclog “kapha” or mucous which itself is a great thing which enhances breathing.
– Next, the main medication goes directly into the brain and its essential organs and relieves it of all its problems. Being herb-based, no harm comes to the brain or its organs!
This article is meant solely to provide information about remedies under Ayurveda and is not meant to be used for diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease.
Where the reader or any other person has chronic and/or dire health issues, it is advisable to consult a trained and certified medical practitioner for a complete and comprehensive diagnosis which can address the underlying issues effectively.
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With respect to the consumption of any herbs, fruits, vegetables and the likes mentioned here, it would be advisable where you consult a certified medical practitioner for his/her opinion before-hand.