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Stainless steel nasal dropper, United States, 2004-2005

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Medicinal oils are dropped into the nose using this stainless steel dropper in a treatment known as nasya in Ayurveda medicine. The treatment aims to reduce excess levels of doshas (forces) in the body. In Ayurvedic medicine, imbalance in the three doshas can cause illness and poor health. This treatment is especially recommended for headaches, migraines and illness of the head. Cleansing the nostrils is one of five treatments known as panchakarma, which cleanse or purge the body. The other four are vomiting, purging using laxatives, bloodletting and enemas.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: enema

A liquid injected into the anus. Enemas can be carried out for medical reasons, as a treatment for constipation, or as a way to give drugs.

Glossary: laxative

An agent that acts to encourage evacuation of the bowels

Glossary: Ayurveda

An Indian medical tradition. Literally translated it means ‘Life Science’ and promotes mental and physical health through balancing biological elements. Ayurveda focuses on exercise, massage, yoga and meditation.

Glossary: bloodletting

Puncturing a vein in order to withdraw blood. A popular medical practice for over two thousand years. Bloodletting often involved withdrawing large quantities of blood in the belief that this would cure or prevent many illnesses and diseases. The practice has been abandoned for all but a few very specific conditions.

Glossary: nasal dropper

A small container used to pour medicated oils into the nose. Allows the liquid to be applied drop by drop.