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Nasya: Ayurvedic Therapy to Detoxify the Head

Nasya is one of the 5 panchakarma (Ayurvedic detoxification therapies) techniques.

It is the application of herbal substances into the nose. The nose is the gateway into the head, the sinuses, and deeper into the lungs. The most common Nasya treatment includes the application of Ghee or Oil, sometimes with additional powdered herbs.

Nasya eliminates excess doshas (metabolic waste product) from the head and when applied with oil or ghee it nourishes as it cleanses. Oil is deeply nurturing, it gently clears and softens as it passes through the tissue. This process allows for a smooth flow of oxygen and prana, eliminating any stagnation or blockages causing symptoms or discomfort.

The 2 Types of Nasya

The different types of Nasya come under two main categories which are Shamana Nasya and Shodana Nasya.

  1. Shamana
  2.  Nasya helps to pacify an imbalance and is generally more calming and nourishing to the nervous system.
  3. Shodana

 Nasya helps to remove the imbalanced excess from the body, therefore more detoxifying and clearing to the channels of the head.

how to do ayurvedic nasya at home

The Benefits:

When Nasya is performed correctly it can:

  1. Enhances mental and sensory acuity
  2. Promotes mental clarity and emotional happiness
  3. Clears the nose and sinuses of obstruction
  4. Promotes cleansing and flow of lymphatic fluid
  5. Bestows a clear voice
  6. Promotes lightness of the body
  7. Soothes dryness in the nose
  8. Eliminates the symptoms of disease

With continuous usage it can:

  1. Improves skin texture and complexion
  2. Stops or delays graying hair and alopecia
  3. Increases the flow of prana through Ida and Pingala nadis
  4. Strengthens the neck, shoulders and arms


Nasya is indicated for:

  1. All chronic disorders of the head and neck
  2. Disorders of the brain and central nervous system
  3. Chronic upper respiratory disorders
  4. Chronic headaches and migraines
  5. Disorders of the eyes, ears, mouth, throat
  6. The glandular structures of the head

How To Do Nasya at Home?

Nasya can be administered by an Ayurvedic practitioner combined with Abhyanga (oil massage) of the head. Once you’ve received a session you’ll have the proper understanding of the procedure and Nasya treatments can be done at home on a daily basis or as prescribed.

This procedure can be contraindicated for the following conditions:

  1. Directly after or before meals
  2. Acute indigestion
  3. Acute intoxication of all drugs, including alcohol
  4. Having wet hair 1 hour before/after the procedure
  5. Immidiate stress, such as excessive excercise or emotioal melt down
  6. Suffering form fever or other acute infections
  7. Pregnancy and postnatal

Proper Procedure:

  • Wake in the morning, wash face, eliminate bowel contents and cleanse the mouth.
  • Warm medicated oil or plain sesame oil by placing the oil in a glass dropper bottle and then placing the dropper bottle in a cup full of boiled water allowing the oil to heat from the transference of heat through the glass.
how to do ayurvedic nasya at home
  • If doing Abhyanga then perform it now. If not doing full body abhyanga then place a drop of oil on the fingers and gently massage the sinus cavities and around the eyes. The main purpose here is to warm the sinus cavities for increased opening and penetration of the oil.
  • Lay down on your back with a pillow under your thoracic spine so your head is gently tilted back and your nose facing skywards. Place 

2 drops of the nasya solution up each nostril (or as prescribed) and relax for 2-5 minutes while the oil penetrates the sinus cavities, lymphatic channels and the nervous system.

how to do ayurvedic nasya at home
  • Rise to an upright position and inhale the nasya so that you can spit it out through your mouth. 
  • Do not swallow the nasya as this solution will now contain bodily toxins, doshas and other influences that you want to eradicate from the body.
  • Gargle and rinse the mouth out with warm water.
  • As there is some irritation of the mucous membranes, for some people there may be continual cleansing over the next couple of hours. This is a good sign of effective treatment and you should continue to spit out whatever comes up. If it lasts more than a couple hours then you should consult your qualified health practitioner for guidance.

Mini Procedure for days where there is limited time:

  • It is ideal to warm the oil which increases penetration and effectiveness. Although it can be skipped in warm weather, it is still important for cold body types to warm the oil.
  • Place one drop of the warmed oil on the tip of your little finger. Before it begins to drip down your finger insert it into your nostril and gently massage the inside of your nose going as deep as is 
  • comfortable. Do not use objects smaller than your little finger.
  • While blocking the other nostril gently inhale and then spit if any fluid comes into your mouth.
  • Continue with the other nostril.
  • Rinse the mouth with warm water.

This procedure for Nasya is a healing treatment and all posts in this category are designed as guidelines and reference for my patients who have already received a recommendation that this procedure is beneficial for their healing. 

As such this is not just a disclaimer and I highly recommend that all posts in the healing section of this website should be used in conjunction with a qualified health practitioner that has recommended for you to perform this procedure because it is suited to your individual healing process.

Wishing you health and prosperity,


PS: This for its proper procedure was designed and written by Kimmana Nichols. If you would like to join Kimmana's 7 days Ayurvedic Detox Retreat, where Nasya will be part of our daily treatment, please visit this page to learn more.