In India, the nose is considered the door to consciousness and a pathway to inner herbal pharmacy. Nasya (also written Nasyam) is a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma treatment to heal, strengthen or cleanse by applying herbal medications, such as herbal oils, herbal steam and smoke, powders or ghee, through the nasal cavity. The Ayurveda Nasya treatment is also called nasal oleation or internal oleation.
The treatment session can be combined with a facial massage, head and neck massage, and/or herbal steaming.
It’s thought that Nasya can, for instance, decrease stress and anxiety, stiffness or pain of the head, neck, or jaw, relieve or heal headaches and migraines, insomnia, allergies, sinus pains and congestion, toothache, nose bleeding, loose teeth, receding gums, hoarseness of voice, twitching or drooping eyelids, tingling sensations of the face, throat issues, uvulitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, speech disorders, facial paralysis, goiter, glaucoma, fainting, and depleted sexual energy.
To be clear, the list mentioned above is really just a fraction of a vast range of discomforts and ailments that can be treated with Nasya, but in general it can be said that Nasya can treat pathologies that affect the region above the shoulders.
Types of administered Nasya treatments
There are various ways and reasons to carry out the Nasya treatment. The most common are mentioned below:
- Virechana Nasya (cleansing): dry powers or herbs are blown into the nose and sniffed in.
- Bruhana Nasya (nutritive and strengthening): and tonifying substances are applied through the nose, such as salt, ghee, medicated milk, and various oils. Can be dropped into the nose and sniffed in.
- Shamana Nasya (sedative): medicated decoctions, teas, fresh juice of herbs, or medicated oils are used. These can be poured or dropped into the nose cavity.
- Navana Nasya: decoctions, fresh juices, and oils are mixed together. These can be likewise dropped into the nostrils and sniffed in. For diverse use.
- Marshya Nasya (nutritive and strengthening): ghee or oil is inserted into the nostrils with the little finger.
- Pratimarsha Nasya (nutritive and strengthening): for daily use, also by dipping the finger in an herbal oil and then dropping it into each nostril.