Scope and future prospects of Herbal Drug Industry

Scope and future prospects of Herbal Drug Industry


At the end of this lecture, student will be able to

       Explain the scope and future prospects of  herbal drug industry

       Identify  the research institutions  involved in herbal drug research

Scope of Herbal Drug Industry

       Worldwide herbal drug industry is growing up at a fast speed

       Herbal Medicine is defined as branch of science in which plant based formulations are used to alleviate the diseases

       In the early twentieth century, when synthetic analgesics and antibiotics were not yet widely available, herbal medicine was the predominant mode of treatment

       With increasing use of allopathic system of medicine, herbal medicine gradually lost its popularity among people

        Almost a century has passed and it has witnessed limitations of allopathic system of medicine  

       Lately herbal medicine has gained momentum and it is evident from the fact that certain herbal remedies are more effective

       Substances derived from the plants remain the basis for a large proportion of the commercial medications used today for the treatment of heart disease, high BP, pain, asthma, etc

        For example, Ephedra is a herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for more than two thousand years to treat asthma and other respiratory problems

       Another example of the use of a herbal preparation in modern medicine is the foxglove plant

       This herb had been in use since 1775

        At present, the powdered leaf of this plant is known as the cardiac stimulant to the millions of heart patients

       Usage of herbs to treat a variety of different ailments is universal, and exists in every human culture on Earth

       Because of the high costs involved with manufacturing modern medicines, many people living in developing nations simply do not have the financial resources to pay for them

       As a result, they are forced to use natural herbs as an affordable alternative

       In recent years, many people living in developed countries have begin taking a second look at herbal medicines due to the rising cost of medicine and healthcare in their own nations


 Herbs are crude drugs of plant origin that are used in the treatment of disease states, often of a chronic nature, or to attain or maintain a condition of improved health


Advantages of herbal drugs:

       Non – toxic

       No/less side effects

       Easily available

       Affordable prices

India is one of the major producer of medicinal plants, because

       Availability of vast areas

       Wide variations in climate, soil, attitude

       Presence of rich flora

       China and India are the two great producers of medicinal plants – 40%

       Global traditional market – 7-15 % annually

       According to NMPB, Govt of India , India has 17,000-18,000 species of flowering plants

       6000-7000 species have medicinal properties that are of use in folk and documented in Ayurveda, Siddha etc

        960 species – Traded

       178 species – Annual level consumption level in excess of 100 metric tonnes

       Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas and Andaman and Nicobar island

       India – World’s Herbal Garden

Medicinal plant based industries

       Products based on Indian system of medicine – Ayurveda, siddha and Unani

       Plant products and extracts

       Essential oils


       Nutraceuticals – Herbal teas, anti-oxidants, probiotic, prebiotic etc

       Herbal cosmetics

Future prospects of herbal drug industry are very bright in India

       WHO has stressed on the need of better utilization of the indigenous system of medicine which is based on the local availability of medicinal plants in the country. Therefore there is tremendous  increase in the use of plant derived products

       Drug development from medicinal plants is cheaper as compared to synthetic drug development

       Agro climatic conditions in India, which vary from mild temperate to tropical regions with abundant  rains and sunshine make it an ideal place for the growth of the flora

       India is enriched with 25% of the biodiversity  of the world and there is no short of herbal raw materials for herbal drug industry

       There has been increased demand of raw medicinal herbs of Indian origin from western countries

       India has an impressive medical heritage, which comprises various systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Homeopathy

       India is the source of cheap labour and skilled man power, which readily absorbs and adopts technological change

       Being strategically located in the world map, India could become a  potential supplier of phytopharmaceuticals  an raw medicinal herbs in near future for the growing world market

Herbal Drug Industries

          Name of the company

         Examples of products

Himalaya Drug Company

Liv 52, Bonnisan, Mentat, Septilin

Dabur Pharmaceuticals

Chyawanprash, Hajmola, Pudinhara

Emami Drugs

Navaratna oil, Boroplus, Fast relief


Chyawanprash, Mahabhringharaj oil

Pankaja kasturi Pharmaceuticals

Pankaja kasturi breath, Mygrane oil

Zandu Pharmaceuticals

Triphala Guggul, Pancharista, Keasri jeevan

Cholayil Pharmaceuticals

Rumacide G, Medimix, cuticura talc

Research Institutions/Centres



CCRAS (Central  Council  for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha)

New Delhi

NBRI (National Botanical Research Institute)


National Institute of Ayurveda


National Medicinal Plants Board

New Delhi

Regional Medical Research Centre


CDRI (Central Drug Research Institute)


National Buraeu of Plant Genetic Resources

New Delhi

FRHLT (Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions)



Ø  Herbal Medicine is defined as branch of science in which plant based formulations are used to alleviate the diseases

Ø  Botanical medicine or phytomedicine

Ø  Herbs - plant origin that are used in the treatment of disease states, No/less side effects, easily available, affordable prices

Ø  Future prospects

Ø  Herbal drug industries and research institutions


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