Administration of medicines through the nose either to subside congestion or to expel vitiated Doshas out of the body systems is known as Nasya Karma or Shirovirechan. The word Shirovirechan literally means method of purification of the systems above clavicular region. The medicines, which are used for this procedure, include oil, pastes, powders, plant juices, decoctions, infusions, as well as inhalation of medicinal smoke. Since the nose is the main orifice, connected directly to brain, nasal cleansing is considered very effective for ailments of the head including the five sense organs (Indriyas). In this procedure, the aggravated Doshas above the region of clavicle (in the head and neck) are eliminated through the nose. Before beginning with the nasal therapy, the preparatory procedures such as localized Snehan (Oleation therapy) and Swedan (diaphoresis) should be applied on the affected area.
This therapy is specially advised for head and neck diseases such as dental disorders, tonsillitis, diseases of eye, facial paralysis, baldness, graying of hair, etc.
Persons suffering from digestive disorders, fever, coryza; immediately after physical exertion; pregnant women and persons who have recently undergone oleation therapy, should not take Nasya therapy.
If medicinal powders are used, these should be used as insufflation. Nasal drops are put in the dose of 2-3 drops in each nostril after making the patient lie down. The medicine, which enters throat, should be spitted out along with cough.
Post Nasya procedure
After Nasya karma, smoking of medicinal cigarettes (Dhuma Pana) is advised. Patient is advised to drink warm water and eat light diet; to remain in a place, which is not very breezy.
Complications of improper Nasya Karma
When nasal therapy is not given properly, it causes heaviness of head, coryza, rhinitis, headache and other diseases of eye, ear and head.
It is given with medicated oils and it is given every day to healthy individuals. It works as nutrient for eyes, ears and nose. Nasal insufflation is given for purification of Doshas, which are accumulated above clavicular region.