Time for a tryst of India’s Ayurveda with the world?

Ever since the outbreak of the COVID – 19, a greater emphasis is being laid on a healthy immunity system. A strong immune system lowers the chance of contracting an infection. In the wake of the widely spread COVID – 19 pandemic, people are prioritizing their health & becoming conscious of maintaining a strong immune system. Even with vaccination drives being instituted around and initiatives taken by the Government to vaccinate the masses, several people are known to have developed the virus after being inoculated. In fact, people who have recovered from the virus claim to have included the Indian kitchen ingredients – turmeric, garlic, ginger and others along with the prescribed medication from doctors for faster recovery.

The Ministry of AYUSH is recommending Ayurveda’s immunity boosting measures for self care during COVID 19 crises. As per the guidelines issued, it has been advised to include spices like haldi (turmeric), jeera (cumin), dhaniya (coriander), lahsun (garlic), basil (tulsi), cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, raisins, jaggery in our daily diet. A daily intake of Chyawanprash has also been recommended.

As per the reports available, Dabur has seen a considerable rise in sale of it’s Chyawanprash. Infact, taking cue from the changing consumer preferences, Dabur has launched it’s immunity booster range which includes Giloy tablets, Giloy Churna, Ahwagandha capsules, tulsi drops.

The Himalaya Drug Company has witnessed a surge in it’s demand for it’s Pure Herbs range such as Guduchi, Tulasi, Amalaki, Ashvagandha and others. It’s other proprietary formulations such as Septilin, Immusanite, and children’s nutritional drink Quista Kidz has seen a significant increase in demand.

Turmeric milk was rebranded by the Americans as ‘turmeric latte’ a few years ago. Turmeric is known to have several scientifically proven health benefits. Mother Dairy, stepping up to this and introduced ‘turmeric milk’. Similarly, Dairy Day, an ice cream brand which is present extensively in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Hyderabad, Telengana  launched two variants of ice cream –  ‘Haldi Ice Cream’ and  ‘Chyawanprash Ice Cream’.

Restaurants and café’s are also altering their menu’s to include ‘immunity booster’ combos to keep with the current trend and attract customers.

Emerging Opportunity for AYURVEDA

India is a country with a rich culture and heritage. Ayurveda is an ancient science of medicine which originated in India more than 5000 years ago and remains widely accepted even today.

In 2014, the Narendra Modi government merged the regulation of Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homoepathy (collectively known as AYUSH) into a separate ministry. As a measure to combat the virus, PM Modi has been actively endorsing and promoting the use of Ayurveda & it’s benefits to boost immunity. This along with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of AYUSH has increased the awareness amongst the general masses about the benefits of Ayurveda.

Despite being an age old science which has it’s origins in India, Ayurveda is still at a nascent stage in India. Ayurveda is rapidly gaining recognition all over the world. Infact, India is the world’s 2nd largest exporter of Ayurvedic & alternate medicine.

Even though there is a general upward global trend, the popularity of Ayurveda differs from country to country. The Asia Pacific region spearheads the market growth due to the ready availability of raw materials and also traditional presence of Ayurveda in the region while European countries like Italy, Russia, France and Germany, in particular, reflect the growing popularity in Ayurveda.

https://www.statista.com/statistics/652418/export-value-of-ayurvedic-and-herbal-products-india/ – graph to be included here.

Invest India in it’s published  report “Invigorating Ayurveda in Times of COVID – 19”  highlights the potential for India’s Ayurveda industry and also identifies ‘standardization’ and ‘marketing’ as opportunities for this sector to help India harness international landscapes.

Ramesh Vangal, the chairman of Kerala Ayurveda Limited,  in his interview to Invest India highlighted the fact that the absence of international licensing norms makes overseas sales very complex. It becomes impossible to prove the safety, purity and efficacy of Ayurveda products which leads to insufficient market penetration.

Pradyuman Sharma, the business development manager of Baidyanath group has suggested documentation of formaulation processes to ease the licensing process. Standardization of Ayurveda medicine is good & important for the growth of the industry that will help the people understand which compound is used in the medicine & what purpose it serves.

Together with standardization, marketing is also an important tool develop & popularize this sector. It becomes imperative that masses globally should become aware of the benefits of Ayurveda. Sparking interest among people is important and indispensable in growing the Ayurveda brand. Dr. Bhattacharya, an Ayurvedic practitioner suggests leveraging digital platforms to identify target audiences and taming products to match their needs. To popularize Ayurveda, he also recommends widespread adoption by Indian celebrities who can in turn influence their followers.

Conclusion

Taking opportunity of the current crises, there isn’t a better time for India to rise upto the occasion & develop products which would be of advantage. Healthcare has become one of the largest sector – both in terms of revenue and employment. Ayurveda treatments & beauty treatments are expected to grow at around 30%. India can leverage the digital revolution and technological advancements to boost the customer base.

What is even more promising that 100% FDI is now permitted in the AYUSH sector which has opened up doors for countries around the globe to invest into this sector. In the stimulus package which has been introduced by the Government under the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan INR 4,000 crores (USD) has been allotted to the herbal sector for promotion of herbal cultivation.

A healthy immunity system is of primary importance and this has been coming down to us since century’s and the ongoing pandemic is only a testimony to this age old advice. We have finally taken recourse to our ancient ‘Indian’ medical science to heal ourselves & build our immunity system. As the world battles with the crises, it’s time that this ancient science of Ayurveda is now re-introduced to the world.

References :

https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/herbal-kadha-immunity-meals-immunity-boosters-industry-6493722/

https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/dabur-himalaya-witness-spike-in-sales-of-ayurvedic-products-amid-covid-19-120042901042_1.html

fdi.finance/sectors/healthcare

“Invigorating Ayurveda in Times of COVID – 19” published by Invest India

Guidelines issued by Minstry of AYUSH

https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/financial-crisis-2020-analytic-graphic_8114079.htm#page=3&query=Crisis&position=6