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What is Nasya in Panchakarma?

Updated: Mar 10

Nasya in Panchakarma | Shreshtha Ayurveda

Nasya is administering medicines through the nasal cavity. It is a preferred form of Panchakarma for the diseases above the shoulder. It can also be done as a preventive measure.

The nasal route of administration has been used for different therapeutic and prophylactic purposes for millennia. The drugs, which are administered through the nose, act Sthanika (locally) as well as Sarvadaihika (systemically). The dose of drugs required is very minimal. The metabolism of the drug is not required through the digestive passage and the action of the drug is faster and effective. Modern medical science too has started the administration of drugs through the nasal route by inhalation of vaporized, nebulized, powdered, or aerosolized drug, as well as by direct instillation.

What are the different types of Nasya?

Virechana Nasya– This is a cleansing nasya. It is used in all the diseases above the shoulder caused by Kapha imbalance. Like Sinusitis, Anosmia (lack/reduced sense of smell), Stiffness and pain in the neck, Epilepsy, Nasal block and hoarseness of voice. For virechana Nasya, oil processed with strong penetrating drugs, decoctions, powders, fresh juices are used. Eg. Apamarga taila

Brimhana Nasya– This is a strengthening nasya. It is mostly used in Vatha diseases like migraine headache, Tinnitus, deafness, aphasia, insomnia, Cervical spondylosis. The medicines used are nutritive in quality like Kshirabala tailam, Kalyanaka ghrita etc.

Shamana Nasya– This is a palliative nasya. This is mostly used in Pitta diseases like hairfalla/greying, skin pigmentation and Haemorrhagic diseases. The medicines like Anu tailam are used.

Just like the other Panchakarmas, nasya too has Purvakarma, Pradhana karma and Pashchat karma.

For Purvakarma (preparatory procedure), snehana and swedana need to be done.

  • Oil massage should be done on the face, head, neck, shoulders and thorax.

  • Steam needs to be taken to all these parts with the eyes closed.

  • The nasya medicine should be warmed slightly

  • Pradhana karma: The medicine is poured into each nostril in a single stream by closing the other nostril gently

  • Pashchat karma: The patient will feel the medicine in the throat. It must not be swallowed and should be spit out immediately.