Nasya: Nasal Oil Drops
By Lynn Goodwin / August 16, 2015
Nasya is an herb-infused oil usually consisting of sesame oil and/or ghee as its base. Its purpose is to cleanse and lubricate the nasal passages and sinuses while also promoting clarity in the mind.
The types of herbs used in creating nasya have a special action to bring clarity, calm, stability or invigoration to the mind and to pacify imbalances such as anxiety and lethargy.
As such, nasya is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine for these reasons and is appropriate for all body/mind types.
Applying nasal oil into the nostrils is often proceeded by first using a neti pot – a salt and water mixture used to irrigate the nasal passages.
Generally speaking, in Ayurveda, oils such as ghee are frequently used both internally and externally to nourish, to promote flexibility, immunity, and stability of mind while removing toxins from our body.
The Ayurvedic purpose and benefits of nasya include
- Cleanse and nourish mucus membranes
- Alleviate dryness, particularly during fall & winter, or during air travel. Our bodies create mucus in order to protect and lubricate the nasal passages. If we are experiencing dryness due to the season, our diets, or travel, then our body’s natural healing mechanism is to generate mucus. We can then end up with a cold because excess mucus is present. The use of nasya can prevent the onset of colds and sinus infections.
- Alleviate allergies and sinus issues
- A component in Ayurvedic pancha karma as a detox therapy
- Alleviate imbalances of the mind and central nervous system
- Support the health of the entire neck and head region including sight and hearing
- Reduce respiratory allergies
As a complete system of health and healing for body and mind, Ayurveda reminds us that we experience life through all five senses. In order to ensure that we have the best possible experience, all of our sensory organs, including our nose, eyes, and ears need to be in good working order. Daily routines address cleaning the sense organs. Neti and nasya are a perfect example of this healing protocol and part of dinacharya or lifestyle therapies.
The practice of applying oil into the nasal passages supports Ayurvedic protocol of daily lifestyle routines to cleanse and nourish body and mind.
According to Ayurveda, the nasal passages are the pathways to the mind and central nervous system. Prana, or life force, enters into the body through breath. As such, it is important to keep them clear and unobstructed in order to ensure healthy flow of prana.
Tilt head back and administer a few drops of oil in each nostril. Inhale deeply so that the oil is carried into the sinuses.
Alternatively, if this is uncomfortable for you, simply apply a small amount of oil inside the nostrils using your finger.
Nasya can be used in the morning and at night.