Ghee (or Ghruta/Ghrita/Ghrta) has numerous health benefits and seemingly endless applications in Ayurveda. Ghee is a wonderful and delicious oil for cooking, baking, and spreading. In addition, ghee helps drive the benefits of herbs deeper into the body, making it a great carrier for nourishing herbs such as shatavari and ashwagandha. Furthermore, ghee can be used as a moisturizer for the face and body, as an ear oil, and even as a nasal oil (nasya). But did you know ghee can help with snoring?
First, what causes snoring?To understand how ghee might help with snoring, let’s first take a look at what causes snoring. Essentially, snoring is when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat causing a type of vibration. Snoring is a sign of obstructed breathing and the causes include:
- Nasal polyps
- Sinus infection
- Lack of muscle tone in the throat
Age and body size play a role as well, with folks who are older and/or obese being more likely to experience snoring. Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea. If you are told that you snore loudly and if you experience frequent interruptions to your sleep, best to talk with your doctor, as you may have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can have serious health consequences, such as cardiovascular strain, so best to get a medical evaluation if you suspect at all that this is the case.
How To Calm Snoring
If you or your loved one is just an everyday snorer, there are some simple home remedies that are worth a try. First, of all, dry and/or congested nasal passages can contribute to snoring. Here are a few ideas to help dry and/or congested nasal passages, including ghee for snoring.
Take a hot bath or shower before bed
This will help loosen congestion and will bring moisture to the nasal passages.
If you prefer to bathe in the morning, you can do a simple head steam before bed. This is a lovely practice both to prevent and ease respiratory ailments and obstruction. Simply fill a large bowl with steaming hot water. You can add a few drops of essential oil such as peppermint or eucalyptus. Or, throw in some whole botanicals such as a few rosemary sprigs or eucalyptus leaves. Place a towel over your head to trap the steam and breathe deeply and enjoy this aromatic steam for several minutes. (Just be careful to keep the towel away from any hot surfaces as this can pose a serious burn and fire hazard).
Try ghee in your nostrils!
As I mentioned earlier, one of ghee’s many usages is ghee for snoring. Apply a few drops of ghee to each nostril before bedtime to moisten the nasal passages. Keeping the nasal passages lubricated can help lessen snoring. You can either use a clean finger or a small glass dropper bottle to apply a couple of drops of ghee to each nostril. After applying the ghee, take a few minutes to lie back and inhale deeply so that the ghee gets absorbed. Particularly if you live in a cold place, you may want to slightly melt or warm the ghee before using it as a nasal oil. Your nasal passages will more easily absorb it this way.
The Breathe As a Carrier of Prana
It's important to remember that prana (life-force) is carried on the breath. By keeping your nasal passages free and clear, you pave the way for better breathing and more optimal intake of prana.
Greta Kent-Stoll is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner (NAMA), as well as a writer, editor, and Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher.