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          Sunday, October 22, 2017

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Ayurveda Goes Global
By  Agantuk

“Ayurveda continues to grow rapidly as one of the most important systems of mind-body medicine, natural healing and traditional medicine," says Dr. David Frawley and adds: "as the need for natural therapies, disease prevention and a more spiritual approach to life becomes ever more important in this ecological age." No wonder, Ayurveda accounts for $ 60 billion of a $ 120 billion "global herbal market".

The herbal market has been boosted by increasing demand for natural alternative medicines. Disillusionment with conventional medicines is growing and customer perceptions of the health benefits of herbals and botanicals are under going major change. WHO has forecasted that the global market for herbal products would be worth $5 trillion by the year 2050. Ayurveda, and allied herbal remedies, take a chunk of it. St John's Wort, an herbal antidepressant medicine, for example, has recorded the fastest growth with sales increasing in one year by 2800% in US.

The demand for herbal products worldwide increased at an annual rate of 8 percent during the period of 1994 to 2001. Global sales of herbal products are expected to reach $ 23.2 billion dollars in 2002. Europe and the United States are the two major herbal products markets in the world, with a market share of 41 percent and 20 percent respectively. That is a figure from a WHO report.

The demand for medicinal plants is increasing everyday and the World Health Organization (WHO) has projected that the global herbal market will grow to $ 5 trillion by 2050 from the current level of $ 62 billion.

According to the presentations made at an International Conference on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in India recently, the world is waking up to the pharmacological properties of herbs, spices and ethnic food products of India.

More people are showing interest in economical, natural and safer herbal remedies rather than the expensive chemical drugs that have many side effects. Consequently, the herbal markets continue to grow at the rate of 7 to 30 per cent annually.

On the whole, India is stated to have 45,000 plant species. Out of these, about 3,500 species are of medicinal value. Harnessing this potential, according to experts, will not only boost our exports but also go a long way in the development of dry land agriculture in the country.

The success of Ayurveda, say analysts, lies in the fact that it is meant to diagnose and treat the entire person, not one part of his or her body. And the principle behind its treatments is vital..

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