Daily Nasal Hygiene With Nasya Herbal Oils

olfactory_diagramWhen it’s clogged, stuffy, runny, itchy, we can’t think; otherwise, we don’t bother to think about it, even though our nose performs daily functions essential to our very survival. The nose is not only the gateway to our respiratory system, filtering unwanted air pollutants and particles, it also adjusts the temperature and the moisture of the air we breathe, helping maintain our overall body temperatures. And, did you also know that our sense of smell is deeply embedded with emotional and intellectual charge, associated with memories that help us navigate temporality and space? Even more, in some animal species, olfactory information is vital for daily survival and orientation. But if you look at it in terms, you will see that our nose performs an even greater task: it channels in the cosmic creational energies of Soma and Agni, and ensures the supply of prana to the sushumna nadi – our vital life-supporting spinal pranic channel.

But, the nasal cavity is exposed daily to bacterial infestations that can wreak havoc in many aspects of our health. We can develop allergic rhinitis (seasonal allergies, allergy to animals, dust, etc.); respiratory-tract infection (cold, pneumonia, etc.); chronic congestion; acute or chronic sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses); chronic dryness; bleeding; etc. Your pharmacist or medical doctor may recommend saline water to help clean and disinfect the nasal passage for daily maintenance and for alleviating nasal infections. Saline water, even though effective and many a times necessary, can be, with long term use, harsh, drying, and depleting for the nasal canals. In direct contrast to this, Ayurveda recommends the application of oil for daily maintenance. Let’s uncover the full panoply of ayurvedic options and strategies to help us maintain the daily hygiene and health of the nasal cavity.

In Ayurveda, we read about the term “nasya” – the application of (herbalized) oils into the nasal cavity. This procedure is said to not only support and balance the nasal pathways, keeping bacterial growth at bay in the nose, but it is also said to bring balance and lubrication to the brain and sense organs overall. Ayurveda lauds the use of oils for the nasal cavity, explaining that insufficient lubrication of the nasal pathways can make one dizzy, spacey, and even anxious!

Ayurveda introduces us to the daily care of the nasal cavity, suggesting different herbal preparations. In my SVA lineage, overtime, we have developed different formulas to address specific needs. Oftentimes, my ancestors had to custom-make herbal preparations based on the needs of the individual. I have perused those recipes to put together formulations that are almost fully tridoshic, and can help almost all, based on the severity of the imbalance in the nasal cavity. But before I elaborate about the ingredient-wise SVA Nasya formulations, let’s take a look at some of the benefits the reputed ayurvedic author, Bhava Prakash, lists about nasya.

 Different Benefits at Different Times of the Day

In the BhavPrakash Nigantu we read:

katu

The primary point of interest here is that there can be different benefits to oiling the nose at different times of the day. It is clear that doing it daily is the best strategy, for cumulative benefits and immediate results as well.  When applied daily, and with the proper preparation, one can expect to reap the following benefits.

Nasya in the morning is more kapha pacifying – that is: it can help relieve congestion and stuffiness, clearing up pathways. When applied in the middle of the day, it will help pacify pitta dosha – imbalances associated with pitta dosha would be inflammation, itchiness, bleeding, etc.   Dryness can also result from excess pitta aggravation, so when applied during pitta time, the dryness will also be addressed. When nasya is applied in the evening, it will pacify and balance vata dosha, also helping calm the mind. Coincidentally: applying nasya oil on the airplane just before a flight is a great way to help avert jet-lag and nasal dryness resulting form cabin air conditioning that can imbalance all 3 doshas. But it also helps calm the mind that can wonder helter-skelter while flying.

Next we have another verse from the BhavPrakash:

suga

The first line explains that nasya oil can make the body aromatic, and lubricate the head area too! If you take a look at the image of the nasal cavity, you will understand why! The nasal cavity is a large extended space in the front of our head, connected to the rest of the cranium through pathways, as well as to the lower body and body organs through a complex structure of pathways and channels. In addition, according to the ancient texts, nasya can help the sense organs evacuate daily mala-s or toxic bi-products left behind by metabolic processes. Nasya helps make the body toxin-free or ama-free. Locally, nasya keeps the mala-s of the nose from combining with garavisha (environmental toxins in the air.)  The second line of the sutra adds that nasya even improves the health of the scalp by delaying the graying, falling, and thinning of the hair.  Nasya can even help prevent the appearance of dark patches on the face. However, the key is to use nasya applications daily to get these benefits.

 Four SVA Nasya Oils to Chose From

Nasya oils are dripped directly into the nostrils, or with the help of a q-tip applicator. Maintain the purity of each oil, do not touch the dropper to the nose or any other surfaces to prevent contamination.banner breeathe

1. Ida & Pingala Oil  

ida pingala

 This oil was specially designed to balance and enliven the vibrational ida and pingala nadi-s. Its primary task is to support the nadi-s or vibrational channels, which, in this EMF era, often get into trouble. Different individuals will experience different symptoms varying from twitches, itches, dryness, burning, etc. Ida & Pingala Oil helps the nadis cope with EMF waves without getting overwhelmed. 

To get best results from this oil, follow this protocol: apply Lalita’s Age-Defying Facial Cream on the phana marma (if you do not have this cream, just massage the points gently without a cream) – the lateral marma points at the base of each nostril.  Then, tilt your neck back lying down.  Drip two drops in each nostril with the dropper.  You can do this three times a day – morning, noon, evening.  Doing nasya with this oil before meditation will balance the ida and pingala and make the sushumna nadi active for a deeper meditation experience.

2. Gymnema Nasya Oil  

Gymnema NasyaThis oil is for very specific conditions in the sinus and nasal cavity where unwanted bacterial growth may be happening due to exposure to bacteria and depleted local friendly bacteria. It will help reestablish a proper nasal environment and protect the sinus and nasal cavity from bacterial growth.

How it works:

  • we immuno-modulate the sinus cavity with kutki, guduchi, clary sage oil, benzoin, and sweet basil;
  • Neutralize sugar and carbohydrate residual molecules with gymnema, indian Kino, saptaparini, and cinnamon – these herbs effectively neutralize the food source needed by bacteria to grow in the sinuses;
  • Supply the cellular system the ability to protect against allergens with the herbs daruharidra
  • Jantughna group of herbs – oregano, clary sage, and cyprus –  have a bacteriostatic action such that bacteria can’t further multiply;
  • Channel opening black pepper, boswellia, peppermint, and neroli help the absorption of the oil and the release of toxins.

Precaution:  These herbs and essential oils make this nasya oil very powerful. If you are unsure, it is best to use under the supervision of your SVA expert.  It should be used with caution for pitta and vata types.  The mixture may be a little irritating.  Start with only one drop in each side of nose.  If you can handle that comfortably, then can go up to three drops.  May be used three times per day.  Special precautions: Do not use in following circumstances: menses (for women); immediately after eating; or when having a cough.

 3. Maha Nasya Oil with Kanchanar

Maha Nasya Oil is the more powerful version of the regular nasya oil. It will unblock the channels, nourish the nostrils, calm the mind, and support the immune system.  Best for Kapha body types or kappa congestion conditions.

  • Magnesium in the oil will nurture and detoxifyMahanasya
  • Black pepper opens channels
  • Indian sarsaparilla is anti-inflammatory and aromatic
  • Turmeric is anti-inflammatory
  •   Calamus root is calming
  • Cinnamon is aromatic
  • Nutmeg is channel opening and calming
  • Clove is channel-opening and cooling
  • Kanchanar hinders unusual growths
  • Vidanga is immuno-modulatory
  • Frankincense helps the body fight inflammation
  • Neem leaf powder is detoxifying
  • Babul is nurturing
  • Rose and vetiver are aromatic and cooling
  • Jayphal is channel-opening

Precautions: Vata and Pitta body types use with caution – if unsure, best to use under the supervision of your SVA expert.  Start with one drop to see if any irritation occurs. If there is no discomfort, you may work up to three drops.  Use this oil only in the mornings.  Special precautions: do not use in following circumstances: menses (for women); immediately after eating; or during times when experiencing or carrying a cough.

 4. Tridoshic Nasya Oil:

NasyaThis is the original SVA Nasya oil that I made available initially. Balanced and Tri-doshic, this oil can be used safely three times per day by all for all seasons.  This is the best nasya oil to help maintain the health and hygiene of the physical nasal channels on a daily basis.

  • Black Pepper & Boswelia: opens channels
  • Turmeric: anti-inflammatory
  • Cinnamon: is aromatic
  • Cumin, Sunthi, Cardamom, Large Cardamom, Tulsi, , Greater galangal, Bacopa, Lodhra, Guduchi, Kantakari, Manjishta, Saffron, Jatamansi
  • Clove leaf oil: soothing and channel-opening
  • Sweet Basil: aromatic and immuno-modulatory
  •  Sesame and Jojoba oil base.

This is your oil of choice during cold seasons, or for daily regular nasal cavity hygiene and maintenance. Daily use will give you cumulative benefits, not just for breathing, the sinus cavities, but also all the associated benefits that Bhav Prakash mentions, that we discussed earlier.

In general, however, I would definitely caution you not to use any type of nasya oil – at all – if you have one or all of the following situations and/or conditions:

  • After consuming alcohol
  • After drinking too much liquid – water or juice, etc
  • During Pregnancy
  • Presence of on-going or intermittent nose bleed
  • Presence of vomiting or nausea
  • Respiratory conditions
  • For 45 days after delivering a child
  • Presence of on-going or intermittent cough
  • Bleeding – in general

Disclaimer

The sole purpose of this blog is to provide information about the alternative healing modalities of Shaka Vansiya Ayurveda (SVA) as practiced in Vaidya Mishra's ancestral family tradition. The information contained herein is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a licensed health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. Otherwise, for more information, you may call Vaidya Mishra's Prana Center toll free in the USA at 1.888.3CHANDI (888.324.2634). or 1.818.709.1005 globally, or email us at: info@prana-center.com. You may also visit: www.vaidyamishra.com, or www.chandika.com

Comments

  1. What about use of a Neti pot in conjunction with Naysa? I generally do Neti and follow up shortly afterward with Naysa to avoid nasal dryness.

    Also, there are some Naysa oils avaliable with Brahmi. I’d like vaidya mishra to comment on this please.

    Thanks

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