3 N’s for the Nose: Neti, Nasya, and Nettles by Tom Wolfe
Part 2: Nasya
“Boiled with barley and eaten as a porridge several times a day, the fresh or dried leaves of sister spinster stinging Nettle loosen and bring up deep congestion without irritating sensitive respiratory tissues…Considered a specific for adults with asthmatic allergies, Nettle tincture is used for acute care, and the infusion for restorative and healing care.”
Susun Weed, Wise Woman Herbal Healing Wise p175
“The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind”
BKS Iyengar author of Light on Yoga
Nasya (or Nasya Karma) is the oleation (oiling of) the nose with medicated oils that is one of the five main therapies in Ayurveda, which together are named Pancha Karma, or the five therapies. It is the easiest of the five therapies to do in your home and unlike the other four requires no special equipment or investment of time. Nasya is simply the placing of drops of herbal infused oil in the nose in order to keep the nasal passages lubricated and to get all those wonderful soothing herbal molecules close to the brain on a regular basis so we can stay alert and chilled out at the same time. This is the concept in Ayurveda of a softer breath and therefore a “softer” mind.This is perhaps the first therapy anyone who has breathing issues should learn. The results are immediate and reliable, and the investment is 60 seconds of time daily. Basically what you do is drop 8 or more drops of oil into each nostril and then massage this oil into the mucous membranes gently. 8 drops is the minimum and one can use up to a milliliter of oil, which will then gently lubricate the throat. Start slowly, pay attention, and gently massage the oil into your nasal passages and you will have a happier throat and nose.
Nasya begins with plain uncooked sesame oil and then can evolve into a specific custom designed regimen for your body type or ailments. Any herb can be infused into sesame oil so the choices of herbal therapy for the noble nose are endless. However it is beyond the reach of this article to describe all the various herbs that can be infused into nasya oil. So the best bet for most folks is to buy already prepared nasya oil in the 30-milliliter (one ounce) size, which should retail for about $13 an ounce. An ounce is 30 milliliters or ml. each ml is 30 drops so a $13 investment is a 60 days supply at 7-8 drops in each nostril daily. I would encourage anyone who anticipates issues in their nose to begin a daily regimen of nasya. However a fallback position would be to begin a daily nasya massage at the fist sign of a cold or flu or allergic response. There are a variety of types of already prepared nasya oils, just pick the one that comes closest to your symptoms and begin to have a softer breath and mind.
Buy Nasya Oil
One more note about nasya. I am compiling case histories of congestion sufferers of all kinds who benefit from nasya so please let me know you experience with this therapy either way. It is such a simple and inexpensive therapy I want more people to know about it and case histories really help with that goal. You can send your story to me at email@example.com or post it on our Facebook page!