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  VEDIC SOCIETY » Ayurveda » Nasya Karma as per Classical Texts   
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Nasya Karma as per Classical Texts by Vedic Society

Aacharya Vagbhata: ( A. S. Su. 29)

Definition of Nasya karma: The procedure of instilling medicines through the nasal orifice is called Nasya karma.

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.

Types of nasya karma:

According to the functions the nasya karma is of 3 types.

  • Virechana nasya.
  • Brihmana nasya
  • Shamana nasya.

According to the quantity of the nasya drug used it is of 2 types.

  • Marsha nasya
  • Pratimarsha nasya.

Virechana Nasya:


It is mainly indicated in the diseases of head caused by Kapha dosha or its predominance like:

  • Heaviness of the head(adhigaurava)
  • Swelling or tumor in the head(shopha)
  • Feeling as if something sticking on the head(upadeha)
  • itching(kandu)
  • stiffness(stambha)
  • conjunctivitis(abhishyanda)
  • excess secretions(srava)
  • excess salaivation(praseka)
  • anorexia(vairasya)
  • Loss of taste(arochaka)
  • hoarseness of the voice(swarabheda)
  • worm infestation in the head(krimi)
  • coryza(pratishyaya)
  • epilepsy(apasmara)
  • loss of smell(gandha agnana)
  • cyst(granthi)
  • tumor(arbuda)
  • Ring worm infestation(dadru)
  • Blebs(kotha).

Which form of the shirovirechana drugs should be used here?

  • Decoction(Kwatha), powder(choorna),fresh juices(swarasa), unctuous substance(sneha) prepared with the shirovirechana drugs.
  • Honey(madhu), salt(saindhva), fermented products(aasava), pitta(bile juice), Urine(mootra) mixed with the shirovirechana drugs can be used.
  • Drugs and their preparations can be decided according to the disease.
  • For persons timid or fearful(bheeru), lady(stree), imatiated(krisha), tender and delicate(sukumara), the virechana nasya drug should be used in the unctous(sneha) form.
  • In the conditions like Diseases of throat(galaroga), fever due to vitiation of three doshas(sannipata jwara), excess sleep(atinidra), psychological disorders(manovikara), diseases of the head due to worms(krimija shiroroga), twitching of the eye(akshi spandana), disorders of vision(timira), krichra, Poison(vish peedita), conjunctivitis(abhishyanda), snake bite(sarpadamstra), loss of conciousness(visamjna) virechana nasya drug should be used in the powder form.

These conditions need quick acting drugs as they have highly aggravated doshas.

Powders(choorna) create vegas simply by keeping it near the nostril.

Brihmana Nasya:


  • Indicated in vataja or vata predominant diseases like-migraine( Sooryavarta)
  • hemicrania(ardhavabedhaka)
  • diseases of head due to worms(krimija shiroroga)
  • constriction of the eyes( akshi sankocha)
  • tremors of the eyes( akshi spandana)
  • defects of the vision(timira)
  • difficulty in getting up from sleep(krichravabobhaka)
  • toothache(danta shoola)
  • earache(karnashoola)
  • tinnitus(karma nada)
  • dryness of nose and the oral cavity( nasa mukha shosha)
  • difficulty in speech(vaksanga)
  • hoarshness of voice(swaropaghata)
  • diseases of nape region(manya roga)
  • orthotonos(apatanaka)
  • frozen shoulder(avabahuka)
  • insomnia(nidra naasha).

Which form of nasya drug should be selected here?

  • Unctuous substance(sneha)
  • exudation of trees or gum(niryasa)
  • meat soup (mamsa rasa) and blood(rakta) processed with sweet and unctuous drugs which are indicated in the treatment of those particular conditions are used in the above conditions.

Shamana Nasya:


  • Indicated in diseases due to the vitiation of blood and pitta ( raktaja and pittaja) like premature wrinkles(akaala vali)
  • premature graying of hairs(palita)
  • hair fall ( khalitya)
  • psoriasis of the scalp(daarunaka)
  • redness of the eyes(raktaraaji)
  • blackish discoloration on face (vyanga)
  • neelika
  • bleeding from nose(raktapitta).

Which form of the drug should be used here?

  • Unctuous substance(sneha), fresh juice(swarasa) of the drugs indicated in the treatment of that particular condition are used.
  • Milk(ksheera), water(udaka) are also used.
  • In the balanced state of the humors(samyavastha ) or in healthy condition anu thaila can be used.

Different names of the nasya karma depending on the preparation of the drug:

  • Avapeeda nasya: Virechana or shamana nasya where the paste of the drug(kalka) is squeezed into the nostril is called avapeeda nasya.
  • Pradhamana nasya: Virechana nasya where the powder(choorna) is used is called pradhamana nasya.
  • The main purpose of all nasyas is to expell the kapha dosha(Kapha virechana) from the head. So all nasya karmas are called as virechana nasya. When strong drugs are used in the virechana nasya karma it is called as shirovirechana nasya.

Marsha Nasya:

Quantity of the unctuous medicine in marsha nasya:

  • Uttama maatra ---------10 bindu
  • Madhyama maatra ------ 8 bindu
  • Hrswa maatra ----------- 6 bindu

Quantity of decoction in marsha nasya:

  • Uttama maatra --------- 8 bindu
  • Madhyama maatra ---- 6 bindu
  • Hrswa maatra ---------- 4 bindu.

Bindu: The amount of the liquid trickling down from the index( pradeshini) finger which is dipped in the liquid up to the 2nd interphalangal joint and taken out is called one Bindu.

Quantity of the powder in the pradhamana nasya:

The quantity of powder required to reach the throat (kantha) when blown through a 6angula long pipe is the quantity for pradhamana nasya. This can be repeated multiple times depending on the intensity of the doshas.


Marsha nasya is contraindicated before the age of 7years and after the age of 80 years.

Nasya Kala: ( Proper Time To Administer Nasya)

  • In Vata predominant diseases the nasya should be administered in the evening(aparaahnna)
  • In Pitta predominant diseases the nasya should be administerd in the noon(madhyaahnna).
  • In Kapha predominant diseases the nasya should be administered in the morning(poorvahnna).
  • In conditions like excessive salivation(lalasrava), talking in the sleep(supta pralapa), teeth biting(dantakatakatayana), making different sounds from the throat in the sleep(krathana), difficulty in opening the eyelids(krichronmeelana), foul odor from the mouth(pootimukha), tinnitus(karma naada), thirsty(trishna), facial paralysis(ardita), diseases of the head(shiroroga), difficulty in breathing(shwasa), cough(kaasa), insomnia(anidra), the nasya should be administered in the night(raatri).
  • In order to maintain the health(swsthavritta) and in the cold season(sheeta ritu) the nasya should be done in the noon(madhyahnna).
  • In sharad ritu and in vasanta ritu the nasya should be done in the morning(praahnna).
  • In greeshma ritu it should be done in the evening(aparaahnna).
  • In varsha ritu it should be done whenever the sun is visible(aaditya darshane) in the sky.
  • While administering the panchakarma procedures it should be done after the completion of medicated enema( vasti karma).

Contraindications For Nasya Karma:

  • One who has taken food(bhukta bhakta)
  • One who has taken unctuous substance(sneha peeta)
  • one who has taken alcohol, water, or desirous of drinking them
  • One who has gara visha in his body
  • one who has taken head bath or one who wants to take head bath
  • Siradivyadha sruta rakta( one who is bleeding due to the blood letting by puncturing the veins or any other causes)
  • One who has urge for passing urine, stools etc
  • One who is suffering from injuries(abhihata)
  • immediately after vamana, virechana, basti karma, pregnant lady, first 45days after delivery(sootika), acute coryza (navapratishyaya),breathing difficulty( shwasa), cough(kasa), amenorrhea (anartava) and durdina(inauspicious day). In these conditions the nasya karma should not be performed.

Effects of nasya in above conditions:

  • Nasya administered immediately after the intake of food makes the stimulated doshas to move in the upward direction and causes vomiting, breathing difficulty(shwasa), cough(kasa), coryza(pratishyaaya).
  • The nasya administered to a person who has taken unctuous substance or who is going to take unctuous substance will destroy the secretions of his eyes, nose, oral cavity and causes defects of the vision(timira roga), diseases of the head(shiroroga).
  • Nasya administered to a person who had his head bath causes head ache (shira shoola), pain in the eyes(akshi shoola), pain in the ears(karma shoola), diseases of the throat(kantha roga), rhinitis(peenasa), lock jaw(hanusthambha), stiffness in the nape region(manya stambha), facial paralysis(ardhita), tremors of the head( shira kampa).
  • Nasya administered to a person who is going to take bath will cause stiffness in the head, sluggishness of the head( shirojaadyatwa), tastelessness(aruchi), rhinitis(peenasa).
  • Nasya administered to the bleeding person causes emaciation( kshamata or krishata), tastelessness(aruchi), weak digestive fire(agnimaandya).
  • Nasya administerd to a person who has suppressed the natural urges(vegas) like urination, defication, etc leads to the diseases caused by suppressing those particular natural urges.
  • Nasya karma in injured person aggravates the pain.
  • Nasya karma immediately after emesis(vamana), purgation(virechana), medicated enema(bastikarma) causes breathing difficulty(shwasa), cough(kasa), destruction of voice(swara haani), destruction of sense organs(indriya haani), heaviness in the head(shirogaurava), itching(kandu), worm infestation(krimi dosha).
  • Nasya karma in pregnant lady causes hatred ness towards food( bhakta dwesha), fever(jwara), syncope(moorcha), hemicrania(ardhavabedhaka) to the mother, and causes blackish discoloration of the facial skin(vyanga), anomalies (vikalendriyatwa), mental disorders(unmada), epilepsy(apasmara) to the child.
  • Nasya karma to a lady within the first 45days of the delivery (sootika) will cause the same effects as in bleeding.
  • Nasya karma in acute coryza(navapratishyaya) will cause blockage of the channels(srotorodha), chronic coryza(dushta pratishyaya), hairfall(kesha shaata), worm infestation(krimi), itching(kandu), eczema(vicharchika).
  • Nasya in a person suffering from breathing difficulty(shwasa) or cough(kasa) aggravate the condition.
  • Nasya done on a wrong time and on a inauspicious day will lead to headache(shiroruk), tremors(vepathu), rigidity(sthaimitya), itching(kandu) and inflammation(paaka) in palate(taalu) and eyes(netra), stiffness in the nape region(manyasthambha), diseases of the throat(kantha roga), coryza(pratishyaya), boils on the scalp(arumshika).

Treatmaents For The Complications:

In case of complications the vaidya should analyze the site of the disease and aggravated doshas and plan the treatments like snehana(oliation), swedana(fomentation), shirolepa(application of the paste on the scalp), vaktra lepa(application of the paste inside the oral cavity), parisheka(pouring the warm liquid on the affected part), teekshna avapeeda, dhooma(medicated smoke), gandoosha, etc.

  • When rooksha nasya administered in the pregnant lady milk processed with punarnava, kakoli, kapikacchu or milk processed with bala, vidari, shaliparni, meda is given to drink. Ghee prepared using the same drugs is also used internally.

For shiro vasti and karnapoorana oil processed with vata pacifying drugs is used.

Brihmana (nourishing) food should be given to her.

  • In other complications the treatment of that particular disease should be followed.

Nasya Vidhi( Procedure):

Preoperative steps:

  • Select a patient suitable for the nasya procedure.
  • Identify a good day.
  • Just before the nasya procedure the patient finish natural urdes like urination, defecation, etc or the patient should be should be free of all natural urges while administering the nasya.
  • His face and the oral cavity should be cleansed.
  • He should not be hungry.
  • His head should be oileated and fomented, and the channels should be cleaned by prayogika dhoomapana.
  • Select a room which is free of breeze.
  • The person should lie on his back with extended hands and feet. The feet portion should be slightly raised.
  • His supraclavicular part of the body should be fomented with the heat of the palms(paani taapena ) repeatedly.
  • The nasya medicine should be divided into three portions and taken in silver or golden or copper or shukti container, and heated by keeping it over the hot water.

Operative steps:

  • Slightly extend the patient’s head.
  • Cover the eyes with a four folded cloth using the left thumb and little finger.
  • Slightly lift the tip of the nose using the left middle finger. The left index and ring finger are used to close each nostril while instilling the medicine into the nasal orifice.
  • Close one nasal orifice and instill the Luke warm medicine into the other nostril using the right hand. The medicine should be instilled as a uninterrupted flow(dhaara), so it should be taken in a pranaadi(a small vessej which has a pipe like projection) or a cotton swab. Repeat the same procedure on the other side also.

Post operative steps:

  • The patient should slowly inhale the instilled medicine.
  • Simultaneously his ears, forehead(lalata), Scalp(kasha bhoomi), ganda, nape region(manya), Shoulders(skandha), palms(paani tala), feet(paada tala) are gently massaged.
  • When the medicine reaches the throat he should spit it by turning to his right side or left side. He should be instructed not to swallow the medicine. Swallowing the mucus mixed medicine suppress the digestive fire and increases the doshas. Spitting by turning to only one side will prevent the medicine from spreading into all siras(arterioles).
  • Until all the medicine comes out repeat the fomentation and patient should repeatedly inhale and spit out the medicine.
  • Once instilled medicine comes out completely, repeat the procedure with 2nd and 3rd portion of the medicine after assessing the strength of the doshas etc.
  • In case of virechana avapeeda nasya in the post operative procedure one should administer sneha nasya after assessing the strength of the dosha.
  • After the completion of the procedure the patient should lie down on his back with eyes open upto 100countings.
  • Then to pacify the remaining doshas virechanika dhoomapanam should be done or which ever dhoomapana indicated in that particular condition is administered.
  • Warm water gandoosha(gargling) should be done after the dhoomapana(medicated smoking).
  • The restrictions explained for post snehapana should be followed here also. But here excess water intake should be avoided.
  • Repeat the whole procedure on the 3rd day.
  • In hiccough(hikka), derangements of the voice(swaropaghaata), stiffness in the nape region(manya stambha), convulsive disorders(apataanaka) and diseases of the head due to the vitiation of wind(vataja shiroroga) nasya karma can be done once or twice daily. The procedure can be repeated for 5 or 7 or 9 days or till the samyak nasya symptoms appear.

Samyak nasya lakshanas (Effects of proper application of nasya karma):

  • Due to the proper oleation and expultion of doshas from the head the person will experiences sukha(strain free) inhalation and exhalation.
  • He will get sneezing in proper time.
  • His sleeping and waking up will be on time without any discomforts.
  • His head(shira), oral cavity(vadana), and sense organs(indriyas) will be clear.
  • The condition for which the nasya was done will subside(roga shaanti).

Nasya ayoga lakshanas( Effects of deficient application of nasya karma):

The deficient application of nasya karma will cause vataja diseases.

Nasya atiyoga lakshanas( Effects of excessive application of nasya karma):

The excessive application of nasya karma will cause kaphaja diseases.

Treatments for the complications:

Complications have to be treated according to their respective treatments explained in the other chapters.

What are the effects of ignoring the operative steps?

  • The medicine should not be too little. The under dose of the nasya medicine will stimulate the doshas but is unable to expel them out. This causes heaviness(gaurava), tastelessness(aruchi), cough(kasa), excessive salivation(praseka), rhinitis(peenasa), vomiting(chardi) and diseases of the throat(kantha roga).
  • Excess medicines instilled into the nasal orifice causes effects of excessive application of the nasya karma(atiyoga lakshanas).
  • The complete dose of the medicine should not be instilled at once. By doing so the patient may suffer from excessive oleation of nose and throat(utsnehana), diseases of the head(shiroroga), coryzya(pratishyaya), excess moisture of the nostrils(ghrana kleda), difficulty in inhalation(ucchwasoparodha).
  • The medicine should not be too hot. Hot medicine will cause burning sensation(daha), Inflamation(paaka), fever(jwara), bleeding from the nose(raktasrava), head ache(shirovedana), weakness of the vision(dristi daurbalya), unconsciousness (moorccha), giddiness(bhrama).
  • The medicine should not be too cold. The cold medicine causes effects of deficient application of the nasya karma(ayoga lakshanas).
  • While administering the medicines the head should not be raised. The raised head during the procedure prevents the proper spreading of the medicine in the head and causes ayoga lakshanas.
  • The head should not be too low while administering the medicine. In the hyper extended head the medicine spreads fast and deep causing syncope(moorcha), sluggishness or inactivity(jaadya), itching(kandu), burning sensation(daha), fever(jwara).
  • The patient should not constrict his body while instilling the nasya medicine. The constricted body prevents the proper spreading of the medicine and proper stimulation of doshas and causes pain, stiffness.
  • If the patient becomes unconscious(moorccha) during the procedure due to incompetence of the medicine or due to the vega created by the medicine immediately cold water should be sprinkled all over body except on the head.
  • The patient should not laugh, talk, shake, or become angry, inhale the medicine in upward direction (ucchindana ) while instilling the medicine into the nostril. These actions cause headache(shiroruk), catarrh or cold(pratishyaya), cough(kasa), defects of the vosion(timira), hair fall(khalitya), premature graying of hair(paalitya), blackish discoloration of the facial skin(vyanga), mole(tilakaalaka), acnes(mukhadooshika).

Pratimarsha Nasya:


  • Weak(kshaama)
  • injury to the chest(urakshata)
  • thirst(trishna)
  • dryness of the oral cavity(mukhashosha)
  • old age(vriddha)
  • young(baalaka)
  • timid(bheeru)
  • tender or delicate personality(sukumara). Pratimarsha nasya can be administered in unseasonable time(akaala)
  • inauspicious day(durdina) and rainy season(varsha)
  • from birth to death (aajanma marana).


  • Chronic catarrha(dushta pratishyaya)
  • worm infestation and diseases of head involving multiple doshas(bahudosha krimina shiro)
  • one who drank alcohol(madya peeta)
  • weakness of the hearing organ(durbala shrotra). Pratimarsha nasya given in these conditions will aggravate the condition as the doshas are in highly aggravated state.

Time for pratimarsha nasya:

Aachaarya Vagbhata explained 15 kaala(time) along with their specialties.

  1. Praatah kaala (Morning)
  2. Bhuktavaschante(After the food intake)
    • Pratimarsha administerd in these 2 conditions leads to the clarity of the channels(sroto shuddhi), lightness of the head( shirolaaghava), clarity of the mind(manhprasada).
  3. Vit visarjanante( after defication)
  4. Mootra visarjanante(after urination)
  5. After the head massage(shiroabhyanga)
  6. Kavalante (after gargling)
  7. Anjanante (after collyrium application)
    • Pratimarsha nasya in these conditions leads to clarity of the vision(dristi prasada)
  8. After danta dhaavana(after brushing the teeth)
    • Pratimarsha nasya administered after danta dhavana will lead to strong teeth(danta dridhata), sweetness of the odour(saugandhya).
  9. Adhwagamanante( afrer long walk)
  10. Vyayamante( after the exercise)
  11. Vyavayante ( after the sexual intercourse)
    • Pratimarsha in these conditions helps in reducing the tiered ness(shrama), klama, sweat(sweda), stiffness(stambha).
  12. Divaswapnante( after the day sleep)
    • Pratimarsha nasya after the day sleep helps in reducing the sleepy feeling after waking up from the day sleep( nidra shosha), heaviness(gaurava) and gives clarity of the mind(manahprasada).
  13. atihasitante(after excess laugh)
    • Pratimarsha nasya here will pacify the aggravated wind.
  14. Charditante(after vomitimg)
    • Helps to expel the kapha dosha which is sticking inside the channels.
  15. Dinante( at the end of the day)
    • Causes srotoshuddhi(clarity of channels) and proper sleeping and waking up(sukha nidra prabodha).

Quantity of Pratimarsha nasya medicine:

2 or 1 bindu is the quantity of the medicine indicated for Pratimarsha nasya by aacharya vagbhata.

That quantity of the medicine which does not aggravate the non-aggravated doshas is considered as the correct quantity.

  • Administering the pratimarsha nasya daily gives us the effect same as that of marsha nasya, but they are not the same.
  • Thaila is the best sneha(unctuous substance) for the daily use as head is the main seat of kapha dosha.

Aacharya Sushruta: ( Su. Ch. 40/ 20 – 57)


Aacharya Sushruta has explained 2 major types of the nasyas which have 5 subtypes.

  1. Shirovirechana nasya
  2. Snehana nasya

The five folded classification is –

  1. Nasya
  2. Shirovirechana nasya
  3. Pratimarsha nasya
  4. Avapeeda nasya
  5. Predhamana nasya

Among these Nasya and Shirovirechana nasya are the two main and important ones. Pratimarsha nasya is a type of Nasya.

Avapeeda nasya and pradhamana nasya are the types of Shirovirechana nasya.

Indications Of The Snehana Nasya:

The sneha nasya is administered to make up the deficient oily matter in the head in cases like emptiness of the head(shoonya shirasa), to impart strength to neck, shoulders, chest(greeva-skandha-uraso bala jananartham), to improve the vision(dristi prasada jananartham).In conditions like the diseases of the head due to the vitiation of wind(vataja shiroroga), falling of teeth, hair of the scalp and beard(danta-kesha-smashru paata), ear ache(karna shoola), tinnitus(karna kshweda), defective vision(timira), hoarseness of the voice(swaropaghata), diseases of the nose(nasa roga), dryness of the mouth(aasya shosha), frozen shoulder(avabahuka), premature wrinkles-graying of the hairs(akaalaja vali-palita), disorders arising due to wind and fire(vatapittaja vikaras), diseases of the oral cavity(mukha rogas).


Unctous substance prepared by vata and pitta pacifying drugs.

Quantity of the medicines for Sneha nasya:

The dosage of the medicine should be decided after analyzing the strength of dosha, disease and the person.

Prathama maatra: 8 Bindus (first dose)

Dwiteeya maatra: Shukti ( 32 Bindu) (second dose)

Triteeya maatra: Paani shukti ( 68 Bindu) (third dose)

Indications For Shirovirechana Nasya:

Conditions of palate-throat-head due to the vitiation of kapha dosha(Taalu-kantha-shira effected by kapha dosha), anorexia(arochaka), heaviness of the head(shirogaurava), head ache(shira shoola), coryza(peenasa), hemicrania(ardhavabedhaka), worm infestation(krimi), coryza(pratishyaya), epilepsy(apasmara), loss of the smell sensation(gandha ajnana), diseases of the head due to kapha dosha)kaphaja shiroroga.


Unctous substance prepared by the shirovirechana drugs.

Quantity of medicines for shirovirechana nasya:

  • Minimum dosage: 4 Bindu
  • Medium dosage: 6 Bindu
  • Maximum dosage: 8 Bindu

Time of administering Sneha nasya and shirovirechana nasya:

  • These two types of nasyas should be administered during the annakala( before food).
  • In kapha diseases they should be administered in the Morning(poorvahnna)
  • In pitta diseases it should be administered in the Noon(madhyahnna)
  • In vaata diseases it should be administered in the evening(aparahnna).

Nasya Procedure:

  • Nasya should be performed when the sky is not covered with clouds.
  • Person who is suitable for the nasya karma should be selected.
  • Before starting the procedure the patient should clear his natural urges.
  • The patient should be asked to clean his oral cavity with tooth twig and medicated smoking.
  • His gala( neck), kapola(cheeks), lalata( forehead) should be gently massaged and fomented with the heated palms.
  • Then patient should lie on his back with his arms and legs fully starched outwards, in a room which is free of breeze, sun and dust particles.
  • The head should be slightly extended. Eyes should be covered with a clean cotton cloth.
  • The medicine should be taken in a silver or golden or copper or mud container and heated by keeping it over the hot water.
  • The tip of the nose is slightly lifted with the left pradeshini finger and the Luke warm oil is instilled into the nostril with the right hand. Here the medicine should be taken in a shukti or cotton swab in order to get the continuous flow while instilling. The care should be taken not to spill the oil into the eyes.
  • While instilling the medicine the patient should not laugh, shake, talk, sneeze or get angry. These actions prevent the oil from reaching to the desired places and cause cough,coryza( pratishyaya), diseases of the head(shiroriga), diseases of the eyes(nerta roga).

Post Operative Procedures:

  • The patient should spit out the medicine which has reached the throat without swallowing it, otherwise it may aggravate the kapha dosha.
  • Immediately after the instillation of the medicine into the nostrils, patient’s neck and cheeks should be gently fomented and the medicated smoke should be administered.
  • After the completion of the procedure a anabhishyandi(food which does not generate kapha) food should be given to the patient
  • The patient should avoid the exposure to dust, smoke, sun, anger, and he should not take alcohol(madya), liquids, head bath, traveling(atiyaana), anger(krodha).

Nasya yoga( samyak lakshana) of snehana nasya:

Lightness of the head(shirolaghava), timely sleeping and waking up without any discomforts( sukha swapna prabodhana), alleviation of the disease(vikaropashamana), clarity of the sense organs(indriya shuddhi), happy feeling of the mind(manahsukha).

Atiyoga symptoms of snehana nasya(effects of excess application):

Excess secretion of the kapha(Kapha praseka), heaviness in the head(shirogurutwa), dullness of the sense organs(indriya vibhrama), excess oiliness of the head.


Drying treatments should be done. (rooksha upachaara)

Ayoga symptoms of snehana nasya( effects of deficient application):

(Vaata derangement, dryness of the sense organs, non-alleviation of the diseases(roga ashanty).


Repeat the nasya karma.

Samyak yoga of vairechanika nasya(effects of proper application):

Lightness of the head(shirolaghava), clarity of the channels(srotasam shuddhi), alleviation of the disease(vyadhi shanty), clarity of mind and sense organs(chitta and indriya prasada).

After the nasya samyak yoga, a sneha nasya with ghee should be administered.

Ayoga symptoms of vairechanika nasya(effects of deficient application)

Itching(kandu),coated feeling in the head( upadeha), heaviness(guruta), excessive secretion of kapha(kapha samsrava).

Treatment :

Kapha shamaka treatment.

Atiyoga symptoms of vairechanaika nasya(effects of excessive application)

Expulsion of the brain matter(mastulugagamanam), wind aggravation(vatavriddhi), dullness of the sense organs(indriya vibhrama), emptiness of the head(shira shoonyata).


Vata shamaka treatment.

  • Nasya karma can be administered with a gap of 1day, 2days, 7days, or 21days.
  • In the patient of wind aggravation (vata rogi) it can be administered twice in a day.

Indications for Avapeeda nasya karma:

  • In the disorders of head due to the vitiation of kapha dosha and meda dhatu, a person who is unconscious due to snake bite.
  • In these cases any one of the shirovirechana drug is crushed and the juice is squeezed into the nostril and follow the other procedures of virechana nasya karma.
  • In case of weak person(kheena purusha) and raktapitta rogi the drugs like sugar(sharkara), sugar cane juice(ikshurasa), milk, ghee and extract of meat(mamsa rasa) are used for the avapeeda nasya.
  • In case of emaciated(Krisha), weak(durbala),timid( bheeru), delicate(sukumara), lady(stree), the unctuous substance processed with shirovirechana drugs or the paste(kalka) of the shirovirechana drug are used for the avapeeda nasya.

Indication for Pradhamana nasya:

In cases of derangement of the mind(chetana vikriti), worm infestation(krimi), poisoning(visha peedita).

In these conditions one of the shirovirechana drug is powdered and sprayed into the nasal orifice.

Contraindications For The Nasya Karma:

One who has just taken his meals(bhuktavan), fasting(langhana), acute coryza(taruna pratishyaya), pregnant(garbhini), one who has taken unctuous substance-water- alcohol-or any other liquids(peeta sneha-udaka-madya-drava), indigestion(ajeerni), after vasti(dattabasti), one who is angry(kruddha), gara visha, Thirsty( trisha), one who is suffering with grief(shokabhibhoota), tierd(shranta), young(baalaka), old(vriddha), one who has suppressed natural urges(vegaavarodhita), who has taken head bath(shira snata) or one who wants to have bath, amennohrea(anaartava), when the sky is covered with clouds(meghaacchanna aakaasha). These conditions are contraindicated for dhooma pana also.

Complications Of Nasya Karma (Nasya Vyapad)

Instilling the nasya drug in under or over dose, in very hot in very cold temperature, by hyper extending the head, sneezing, shaking or administering the nasya in the contraindicated conditions will lead to conditions due to increased or decreased doshas, thirst(trishna), belchings(udgaara) etc complications.

Aachaarya Sushruta has classified the complications into 2 types.

  1. Doshotklesha janita
  2. Doshakshaya janita.

Their treatments should be done accordingly.

In doshotklesha janita complications shamana and shodhana treatments should be done.

In doshakshaya janita complications brihmana treatments should be done.

Pratimarsha Nasya:


Sushruta explains 14 times to administer the pratimarsha nasya.

  1. 1. Praathkaala or talpothita(after getting up in the morning)
    • Pratimarsha nasya administered in this time helps in cleaning the mala (sticky secretion) from the nasa srotas which is collected in the night and also causes the cheer full state of the face( mukha prasannata).
  2. Prakshaalita danta(after brushing teeth)
    • Leads to strong teeth(danta dridhata) and sweet odour of the mouth(vadana saugandhya).
  3. Grihaannirgacchata(before going out of the house)
    • Keeps the nasa srotas moist and hence protects the body from dust and smoke.
  4. Vyayamante(after exercise)
  5. Vyavaayante(after sexual intercourse)
  6. Adhwagamanante(after a long walk)
    • Helps in reducing the tiered ness.
  7. Mootra vegante(after urination)
  8. Adhovatante(after defication)
    • Helps in reducing the heaviness of the vision(drishti gurutwa).
  9. Kavalante((after gargling)
    1. Anjanaante(after the application of collyrium)
  10. It helps to invigorate the eye sight(drishti prasadana).
  11. Bhuktavata(after eating food)
    • Leads to clarity of the channels(srotoshuddhi) and lightness of the body(laghuta).
  12. Charditavata(after vomiting)
    • Will create the urge to eat food by clearing the kapha sticking to the srotas(channels).
  13. Divaswapnothitena(after getting up from day sleep)
    • Helps in removing sleepy feeling(nidra shesha), heaviness(gaurava), filthy accumulations in nose,etc(mala), and hence creates concentrated state of mind(chittaikagrata).
  14. Saayamkaala(evening)
    • Person will have sukha nidra and prabodhana(helps in getting a good sleep and easy awakening).

Quantity of Pratimarsha nasya drug:

The quantity of the drug which being lightly snuffed in, reaches down into the oral cavity is deemed adequate for a dose of the Pratimarsha nasya karma.

General benefits of the pratimarsha nasya:

Cures the conditions peculiar to the supra clavicular regions of the body, causes clarity of the sense organs, imparts sweet aroma to the oral cavity.

Also helps in the prevention of premature wrinkles(valee), premature graying of hairs(palita), hair fall(khaalitya), blackish ness of the facial skin(vyanga).

Provides strength to the jaw-teeth-head-neck-trika-arms- chest(hanu, danta, shira, greeva, trika, baahu, uras).

The unctuous substance used for nasya according to the doshas:

  • In savaata kapha(conditions arising due to the combination of vata and kapha) – Thaila is used.
  • In kevala vata(conditions due to only vaata) – Vasaa is used.
  • In conditions due to pitta –- Ghee (sarpi) is used.
  • In savaata pitta(conditions arising due to the combination of vaata and pitta)—Majja is used.

Aacharya Charaka:

Aacharya Charaka explains about the drugs used for the purpose of shirovirechana and their benefits in the 2nd chapter of the sootra sthana.

Drugs use full in shirovirechana:

Apaamaarga beeja, pippali, mareecha, vidanga, shigru, sarshapa, tumburu, ajaaji, ajagandha, peelu, ela, harenuka, prutweeka, surasa, shweta, kutheraka, phaninjaka, shireesha beeja, lashuna, haridra, lavana dwaya, jyotishmati, naagara are used for the shirovirechana or nasya karma.

Their indications:

These drugs are used for shirovirechana in conditions like heavy ness of the head(shirogaurava), headache(shira shoola), rhinitis(peenasa), hemicrania(ardhaavabedhaka), worm infestation of head(shirogata krimi), epilepsy(apasmara), derangement of smell sensation(ghraana naasha), fainting(pramohaka).

(Ref : Cha. Su. 2/3,4,5,6)

Aacharya Charaka explains about the time and its benefits in dinacharya chapter.

Ref: Ch. Su. 5/56


Every year one should under go the nasya karma with Anu thailam in Praavrit(rainy season), Sharad(autumn) and Vasanta(spring season) ritus when the sky is free of clouds.

But in emergency conditions the nasya procedure can be done in other seasons also like in greeshma ritu it shoud be administered in the poorvahnna(morning), in sheeta ritu it should be done in the noon(aparahnna) and in varshaa ritu it should be done when the sky is not covered by cloudes.


  • The healthy person who undergoes the nasya karma in suitable season with suitable drugs will never suffer from the impaired functions of eyes, nose, ears. The hairs of the scalp, beard will not fall and will not turn white or grey(kapila varna). The scalp hairs will start growing.
  • Nasya karma performed in conditions like manya stambha(torticolis), shira shoola(head ache), ardita(facial paralysis), hanu sangraha(lock jaw), ardhavabedhaka(hemicrenia), peenasa(chronic coryza), shira kampa(head tremor) helps to cure those conditions.
  • Anu thaila nasya administered in the suitable season nourishes the veins(siras), joints(sandhis), ligaments(snayu), tendons(kandara) of the head and makes them strong. The person’s face becomes cheerful and well developed (mukha prasannata). His voice will be melodious( upachita), snigdha, stable(sthira), grave(mahan). It imparts clarity( vaimalya )and strength(bala) to all sense organs. It prevents the diseases of supra clavicular region of the body. Even when the person is aging his supra clavicular region will not show any symptoms of aging.

In Indriya sthana aacharya mentions about 7types of nasya , classified according to the part of the plant used. They are:

  1. Phala nasya
  2. Patra nasya
  3. Moola nasya
  4. Kanda nasya
  5. Pushpa nasya
  6. Niryasa nasya
  7. Twak nasya

Contra indications for shirovirechana: (Cha. Si. 2/ 21)

Indigestion(Ajeerni), ater food intake(bhukta bhakta), after drinking the unctuous substance(peeta sneha), one who wants to drink alcohol(madya) and water, head bath(shirasnaata) or who wants to have head bath, one who is suffering from hunger, thirst and tiered ness, intoxication(matta), Fainted(moorchita), injuired by weapon or stick(shastra or danda hata), one who is tiered due to exercise, sexual intercourse and alcoholic drinks,acute fever( nava jwara), grief(shoka), one who is under gone virechana and anuvasana vasti, pregnant lady,acute coryza( nava pratishyaya), in contraindicated seasons and durdina.

Complications of administering nasya in the contraindicated conditions.

  • Nasya in a person suffering from indigestion or who is just eaten his food makes the doshas to block the channels moving in upward direction and causes cough(kaasa), breathing difficulty(shwaasa), vomiting(chardi), coryza(pratishyaya).
  • Nasya administered to a person who has taken the unctuous substance or a person who wants to drink alcohol or water will lead to excess secretions from the nose, oral cavity and eyes, defects of vision( timira), diseases of head(shiroroga).
  • Nasya karma performed in a person who has taken head bath or if the person takes the head bath after nasya karma leades to coryza(pratishyaya).
  • Nasya karma performed in a person who is suffering from hunger will lead to aggravation of wind(vaata prakopa).
  • Nasya karma in a person suffering from thirst will lead to aggravation of the condition and causes dryness in the oral cavity.
  • Nasya karma in a person who is affected with tiered ness, intoxicated (mada), fainted(moorcha) leads to the symptoms similar to that of aasthapana vasti doshas like mental disorder etc.
  • Nasya karma in person who is injured by weapons or stick(danda) will aggravate the pain.
  • Nasya karma in a person who is tired due to exercise, sexual intercourse and alcohol intake will lead to pain in head, shoulders, eyes and chest region.
  • Nasya karma performed in a person who is suffering from acute fever (navajwara) and grief(shoka) makes the heat to circulate through the nerves of the eye( netra naadi) and causes defects of vision(timira) and aggravates the fever.
  • Nasya karma in a person who has undergone a purgation(virechana karma) destroys the sense organs due to the vitiation of the wind.
  • Nasya karma performed in a person who has under gone anuvasana vasti leads to aggravation of the kapha and causes heaviness of the head, itching, worm infestation of the head.
  • Nasya karma in a pregnant woman will block the fetus. The child will suffer from conditions like one eyed(kaanaha), hump backed(kuni), paralysis, peeta sarpi(one who crawls on his back).
  • The nasya karma performed in acute coryza(navapratishyaya) causes the disorders of that particular channel(srotus).
  • Nasya administered in improper season and on a bad day causes foetid nostrils(pooti nasya roga) and other diseases of the head(shirorogas) due to the effect of cold, heat etc of that particular season.

Indications for shirovirechana:

  • Disorders of the head and teeth
  • stiffness of the nape region(manya stambha)
  • stiffness of throat and jaw(gala and hanu graham)
  • rhinitis(peenasa)
  • uvulitis(galashundika)
  • tonsillitis(shaaluka)
  • disorders of cornea (shukra roga)
  • defects of vision(timira)
  • diseases of eye lids(vartma roga)
  • blackish discoloration of facial skin(vyanga)
  • upajihvika
  • hemicrania(ardhavabedhaka)
  • disorders of neck- shoulders- scapular region(amsa)- oral cavity- nose- ears- eyes- head
  • facial paralysis
  • apatantraka
  • convulsive disorder(apataanaka)
  • goiter(galaganda)
  • toothache(dantashoola)
  • tingling sensation of teeth(danta harsha)
  • looseness of teeth(danta chaala)
  • redness of eyes(akshi raaji)
  • tumour(arbuda)
  • hoarseness of voice(swarabedha)
  • obstructed speech(vaakgraha)
  • stammering(gadgada)
  • loss of speech(krathana )etc diseases of the supra clavicle region of the body and chronic vaata vikaras. In these conditions aacharya says the shirovirechana is the best treatment as it enters the head and expels only the vitiated doshas from the head.

References Of Panchakarma In Samhitas:

Charaka samhita:

  1. In Apaamarga tanduleeya chapter aacharya Charaka says that the vaidya should perform snehana swedana followed by panchakarma when the doshas are in highly aggravated condition.
    • “taanyupasthita doshanaam sneha swedopapaadanai Panchakarmani kurveeta maatra kaalav vicharayeth”( Ref: Ch. Su. 2/ 15)
  2. The diseases of the asthi dhaatu should be treated with panchakarma and medications.
    • “asthyshrayaanaam vyadheenaam pancha karmaani bheshajam”( Ref: 28/ 27)
  3. One of the quality of pranaabhisara vaidya is having thorough knowledge about shirovirechna etc panchakarma aushadha ganas( knowledge about the groups of drugs used in pancha karma)
    • “ shirovirechanaadeshcha pancha karmaashrayasya aushadha ganasya….”(Ref: 29/7)
  4. In siddhi sthaana the name of the 2nd chapter itself is panchakarmeeya siddhi chapter. Here he gives us a detailed explanation of indications and contraindications for panchakarma.
  5. One of the deciple of aacharya punarvasu aatreya questions that is there any disease which does not respond to the panchakarma procedures?
    • Then Punarvasu aatreya replies that Urusthambha is one disease which does not respond to the pancha karma.(Ref: Ch. Chi. 27/ 5)
  6. In the first chapter of the Siddhi sthana aacharya explains in detail about the Panchakarmas to his deciples.( Ref: Ch. Si. 1/ 3)

Aacharya Sushruta:

  1. Aacharya Sushruta while explaining the treatments for Madhumeha says to follow the certain set of the treatments to a madhumeha patient who has firm faith in medicines and desirous of existence and in whose case the curative efficacy of panchakarma has been baffled.

“panchakarmagunaateetam shraddhavantam jijeevishum” (Su. Chi. 13/ 19)

Aacharya Vagbhata:

1. Aacharya Vagbhata while explaining the contra indications for sira vyadha (blood letting by venesection) says that it should not be performed on a person who has taken unctuous substance internally and one who has under gone pancha karma procedures.

“ snehapeete prayukteshu tatha panchasu karmasu” ( Ref: A. H. Su. 27/ 9)

2. Aacharya Vagbhata says the nasya karma should be performed after the vasti karma while doing the panchakarmas.

“ panchakarmaanyaacharato bastikarmottarakaalameeva” (Ref: A. S. Su 29/15)

In Sushruta samhita, Astanga sangraha and Astanga hridaya the word PANCHAKARMA is used in very few places. Where as in Charaka samhita it has been used in many occasions.

This article was published on Friday 31 December, 2010.

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