Ayurveda Medicine originated in India over 5,000 years ago and is considered the most comprehensive medicine recorded on earth. Ayurveda views human beings as the composition of body, mind and spirt, interacting with the environment. Ayurveda is Sanskrit and means “the Science of Life.” The Ayurvedic perspective of life is that we must be in harmony with self and environment to have perfect health. Written in ancient Sanskirt text, Ayurveda medicine is as applicable now as then.
Nasya is the Ayurvedic procedure in which medications are administered through the nostrils in order to purify the head and neck region. Ayurveda describes the nose as the doorway to the brain. Nasya cleanses and opens the channels of the head and improves oxygenation which has a direct and highly beneficial influence on brain functioning. The nose being the gateway to the head, Ayurveda understands this as an effective way of healing diseases of the head and neck region including the five sense organs (eyes, ears, smell, taste, and hearing).
Nasya is one of the five main procedures that are used in Ayurveda medicine to purify the body called Panchakarma. Nasya is specifically for the head and neck region of the body. The benefits of Nasya therapy according to Ayurveda’s most famous medical text called Caraka-Samahita, are that it cures diseases, such as headache, rhinitis, facial paralysis, Torticollis, hemicranias and tremors of the head (1). While Ayurveda Nasya treatments have been used for centuries in Ayurveda medicine for curing head and neck disease, Nasya has not been used by Western or natural medicine.
To understand how Nasya oil can work, it is important to understand the anatomy of the nasal and sinus system. There are multiple sinuses surrounding the nose. They have many small openings into the nose. Mucus flow is a cleansing system of the nose and sinuses. When all is healthy, the mucus flows well and clear. A normal, healthy adult produces two quarts (within 24 hours) of thin mucus within the sinuses and nose that drain out of the sinus into the nose, down the back of the throat and into the stomach and digestive system. The mucus is beneficial when it is light and clear. When mucus flow slows, it becomes thicker, resulting in congestion of nasal passages and we feel as post nasal drip. There can be many causes for the mucus flow to slow and thicken, such as low hydration, infection, medications, excess mucus forming foods, allergies, viruses, chemicals, structural (anatomy causing blockage) or environmental conditions. As the openings narrow or plug up, the mucus flow slows down or stagnates and toxins begin to build up. Infections begin to happen.
The nasal and sinus system is all about flow. In an Ayurveda understanding Nasya oil helps to liquefy and open up channels of the sinus system, and maintain the flow. At Ambika’s Ayurveda, we prepare Ayurveda Nasya oil in a recipe which is prepared and cooked in a Sesame oil base with Ayurveda herbs such as calamas, brahmi, and tulsi and western herbs eucalyptus and skullcap.
People who are using Nasya oil report decreased problems during the allergy season, migraine relief, improved hydration in the nasal, eye, and ear area, improved breathing and improved energy. With clear flow through the sinuses there is less congestion and oxygen can circulate through the sinuses and head for more clarity. Nasya oil may be the one ancient practice that can help with this.
The only cases in which Nasya oil is not indicated is with severe sinus infection, fever, pregnancy, menstruation, before or after eating and under age eight years of age.
Procedure – How to Use Nasya Oil
- Nasya oil bottle is warmed sitting the Nasya bottle into a cup of hot boiled water.
- Prepare to lie down with your head tilted back on a pillow
- Fill an oil dropper ½ full, insert into the right nostril, close left nostril, and sniff strongly; then follow same procedure for the left nostril
- Remain on your back 20 minutes
- Each morning and night take 2-3 drops of Nasya oil per nostril; tilting your head back and sniffing strongly after each nostril (no warming necessary).
Nasya Oil at Ambika’s Ayurveda
We produce and sell our specially formulated Nasya Oil in multiple sizes, including 1 oz, 2 oz, and a 4 oz refill bottle.