What The Heck Is Nasya Oil?
Written By: Sue
March 7, 2012
Recently Dr. Oz did a show on Ayurvedic medicine. We got wind of this days before the show, which we thought was going to be about neti pots. Again! This time he surprised us with a discussion on the different aspects of Ayurvedic medicine including nasya oil. Although I think his show is a bit glittery, he does have some useful information and is bringing alternative therapies like Ayurveda to mainstream America which is great!
Before I explain nasya oil, I want to discuss Ayurvedic medicine, which is the traditional medicine of India. ‘Ayur’ means life and ‘veda’ means knowledge or science. Ayurvedic theory states that all areas of life (body, mind & spirit) impact one’s health. Those of you reading this blog may already understand this. When I discovered Ayurveda, I felt like I was coming home. I was seen as a whole person not just a body with parts. Ayurvedic theories are time tested and it is considered the oldest medicine in the world. People like Deepak Chopra and Robert Svoboda have brought it to the forefront in the US.
Nasya, an Ayurvedic therapy like nasal rinsing, helps improve sinus health and additionally does much more! The Ayurvedic Encyclopedia defines nasya as ‘nasal’ herbal therapy to be used for diseases of the throat, neck, head and senses.
Nasya, as practiced by most practitioners in the US, is made from sesame oil or ghee with medicinal herbs. There are actually five different kinds of nasya therapy that range from powdered herbs blown into the nostrils to herbal juices which are inhaled. For the purpose of this blog, I’ll only write about that which is made from sesame oil or ghee.
In Ayurvedic medicine, the nose is considered the gateway to not only our head but to our life force; our prana. Nasya oil made of sesame and ghee usually contains medicinal herbs that hydrate the nasal cavity, nourish the tissues and prevent colds. The oil is often warmed before being administered into the nostrils via a dropper. It’s inhaled to the back of the throat and often spit out.
Years ago I was given a nasya treatment and was inspired to create Baraka’s Dry Nose Oil which is similar to nasya yet different. I wanted an oil that people could use when they were on-the-go so I chose an organic sesame oil combined with 4 essential oils. While the sesame oil moisturizes, the blend of essential oils mildly decongests and rejuvenates the nasal tissues. It is a lifesaver to combat dry nose in the winter or in high or arid climates and even during plane flights.
Many people like to nasal rinse and then use a nasya oil. It is often suggested to use it in the morning and then right before you lie down in bed. How often you use it is up to you. If you have a dry nose you’ll feel its effects immediately. As with any therapy don’t over do it. Start slowly using it once or twice a day and see how that works. More is not always better!
We’d love to hear from people who practice nasya. Comment here or visit us on facebook.