Nasya Karma – Types, Procedure & Benefits


Nasya karma is the best procedure for treating Sirorogas (diseases affecting the head area) like migraine, chronic headaches, sinusitis, ear, nose and throat disorders. This involves the purification of the head region of the patient. In this process, the imbalanced doshas above the neck are removed through the nasal openings. Nasal errhines are given to the patient in the form of medicinal oils, medicated powders or churnas, medicated juice/milk or medicinal fumes. The importance of this Panchakarma technique has been specified in the disease of the ear, nose and throat, mental diseases, toxicity, epilepsy, headaches, and untimely graying of the hair.
Causes of What is Nasya?
Instillation of herbal medications like oil, powder, and fresh juices through the nostrils to balance doshas from the head region especially head, nose and throat. This procedure is usually done for 3-7 days, where the prescribed drops of herbal medication are administered into each nostril.

Nasya Karma is essentially the procedure of instilling medicines through the nasal orifice. The nasal orifices are believed to be the entrance of the head. The medicine instilled through them easily penetrates the Sringataka and spreads to the Siras (arterioles) of head(shira), eyes(netra), ears(shrotra), throat(kantha) and expels out the impurities.

Efficacy of Nasya Karma
Nasya karma is believed to be best suited for the Eye and ENT ailments. Principally, there is administration of medicated oil through the nose which cleanses accumulated Kapha toxins from the head and neck region. Other focus areas for the nasal errhines or the Nasya Karma are Dentistry, Neurology and Psychiatry diseases.

Types of Nasya Karma
According to the functions the Nasya karma is of 3 types.
  • Virechana nasya.
  • Brihmana nasya
  • Shamana nasya.
Also, according to the quantity of the Nasya karma used it is of 2 types.
  • Marsha nasya
  • Pratimarsha nasya.
  1. Navana When Nasya Karma is performed for Snehana and Shodhana. This form of Nasya Karma is regarded as the commonest type. The general indications are headaches, hair fall and untimely graying of hair, tinnitus, otalgia, Bells palsy etc

  2. Avapeedana Shodhana and Stambhana. This is another type of Nasya Karma is wherein juices are squeezed in the nostrils. 4 or 8 drops are instilled in each nostril depending on the ailment and client’s condition. Avapeedana Nasya karma is generally recommended for ailments like rhinitis, epilepsy, delirium, poisoning and the condition of coma.

  3. PradhamanaIn this Nasya karma, dry powder are blown into the nostrils with the help of a narrow pipe. Or else the medicinal powder is made to be inhaled from a fine potali. Brain imbalance and mental diseases like epilepsy, unconsciousness and other psychiatry conditions are treated by this method. Generally the pungent and robust herbs like vidanga, vacha, apamarga, maricha etc are used in this Nasya karma type.

  4. Dhooma – 3 further types – Prayogik, Snehaik,and Virechanik.
    In this particular Nasya karma type, medicated fumes are made to be inhaled. The inhalation may take place both from the nostrils as well as mouth for about 3 to 5 times. The client is advised to exhale out the fumes only from the mouth.
    The Dhooma Nasya karma is generally practiced after the Vamana karma or the inducing of vomiting therapy so as to release the aggravated Kapha dosha. Of the 3 subtypes,
    1. Prayogik This is also called as Shamana as it helps to mitigate the imbalance resulting from dosha discrepancy. Herbs like Guggulu, Chandana and Jstamansi are used for this Nasya karma type.
    2. SnehaikThis Nasya type is for providing lubrication and nutrition. Jeevaniya herbs in ghee are used for this type of nasal errhine.
    3. VirechanikThis Nasya karma type is meant to provide detox and expulsion of the built in toxins. Strong herbs and natural ingredients like Hartal, Mainshila, Malkangni are used for this procedure.

  5. Pratimarsha – Snehana and Virechana
    Generally 8 to 10 drops of the medicated oil is inserted in a nostril in the procedure of Nasya karma. Yet, in case of Pratimarsha Nasya, only 2 drops are made to be inhaled.
Procedure of Nasya Karma
Nasya karma may be performed either in the sitting or lying down position. First of all light massage or abhyanga and swedana (providing steam) onto the face of the client is practiced. This practice is generally taken up for about 10 minutes with proper care for protecting the eyes by covering them. After this, medicine is instilled in the nostrils of the client as is needed. Later oil massage is given on the client’s face and shoulders and also on the soles of his feet. This follows by gandoosha (gargles with warm oil).

The ideal timings for Nasya Karma are in the morning for curing Kapha related problems, noon for Pitta disorders and evening for Vata disorders. The entire treatment of Nasya karma is usually given for 7 days. Based on the medical condition of a person, it can be given up to 30 days.

Benefits of Nasya Karma
Nasya karma commonly cures ailments like hairfall, cervical spondylitis, frozen shoulder, migraine headaches, sinusitis, memory loss and epilepsy. At Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre, Nasya karma has provided much results in diseases and disorders like Trigeminal Neuralgia, Bel’s Palsy, Improves memory & eye sight, Insomnia, Elimination of excess Mucus Hyper pigmentation in the face, Pre-mature graying of hair, Brings clarity to voice, Headaches of various origin Hemiplegia, Loss of smell and taste, Frozen Shoulder, Migraine, Stiffness of the neck, Nasal Allergies Nasal Polyp, Neurological dysfunctions, Paraplegia and Sinusitis.

Herbs Used in Nasya Karma
The common herbs that are generally used in Nasya karma are Pippali, Tulasi, Apamarg, Maricha, Vidanga, Lahsuna, Vacha, Haridra, Saindhava, Hingu etc.

Common Nasya Preparations

Anu Tailam
Shadbindu Tailam
Narayana Tailam
Marichyadi Nasya
Guraadi Nasya (Jaggary is mixed in herbs like Shunthi, Saindhava and Pippali)