Ayurvedic Medicine in India: An Overview


Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system for wellbeing, is today emerging as a force to reckon with in the fiercely competitive Indian market. Interestingly, Ayurvedic formulations, meant for the overall wellbeing, treatment of diseases and enhancing appearances pan across the phrama-FMCG sector. With its well recorded formulations, it is one of the rare ancient treatise on human wellbeing that has translated brilliantly in modern medicine and cosmetic sector.

This was made possible only because of its constant development and evolution. Ayurvedic medicine has changed many times over the years as it loses ground and then gains some against modern medicine. Today the industry is highly specialised with big pharma as well as Ayurvedic pharma franchise India carving out their own market share.

Segmentation of Ayurvedic Industries

A surge in interest in Ayurvedic products has brought about the presence of multiple companies and segmentation of the industry. We also have companies that belong to every scale — from multi-national giants to small Ayurvedic pharma franchise India.

The very nature of Ayurveda has also benefitted in the diversification of the Ayurvedic portfolio. This ancient treatise is an exhaustive record of various illness, sickness, injuries and other maladies with a detailed description of symptoms and treatments. Some Ayurvedic texts also indicate surgical procedures such as cataract!

But Ayurveda was a not just a medicinal text. It was a compilation of various wellbeing formulations. This included general recipes for good health as well as a compilation for improving one’s appearance. In the modern era this has been adapted brilliantly by FMCG companies as well as cosmetic companies for creating natural health products and cosmetics.

As a result we now have a wide range of Ayurvedic products. These can broadly be divided in:

Over the counter products (OTC): These are sold directly to the general public and are easily available through chemists or general stores.

Biomedical: These are marketed toprofessionals like doctors, labs, physicians and pharmacists. Usually one can buy these only through a prescription.

Classical products: These Ayurvedic formulations are widely known and usually sold as an over the counter product. However, unlike most OTC products, these are considered medicinal, such as Chyawanprash and Triphala.

The Ayurvedic Market

Interest in Ayurveda has peaked considerably in the last 5 to 10 years as interest in natural remedies revived and concerns on long-term effects of modern medicine peaked. As a result, Ayurveda moved from a largely cottage industry to a more organised sector. Today the Ayurvedic market is a highly competitive sphere where small industries are faring almost as well as bigger corporations.

Some estimates place the annual total turnover of traditional Indian medicine in the domestic market at Rs. 5000 Crores. The exports are estimated at approximately Rs. 500 Crores. A bulk of this comes from Ayurveda with almost 85% of units and products coming from Ayurvedic firms. Other contenders in the tradition Indian medicine market belong to Homeopathy, Siddha and Unani.

The Motivators and Drivers

What are the driving forces in the Ayurvedic market? It is important to identify these factors so that these can be further targeted by marketing firms like Ayurvedic pharma franchise India.

  • Concern over long-term effects of modern medicine. Many modern medicines have a chemical origin, which over the years can cause harmful aftereffects. In most cases, prolonged use has serious repercussions. Ayurvedic medicines, derived from natural products, is seen as a safer alternative.
  • Modern medicines have been proved ineffective in a range of diseases — from the common cold to more chronic illnesses. However, Ayurveda has shown better results in a range of such illnesses.
  • A number of lifestyle gurus and practitioners have brought in a wave of Ayurvedic medicines that is backed by a treatment infrastructure. This has increased its acceptance in the general population.
  • Ayurvedic medicine often gives us a more cost-effective alternative to more expensive modern medicine treatments.
  • The government’s push for Ayurveda through the AYUSH ministry has helped in the formalisation of the industry — starting with more educational institutions, practitioners and funding towards research and development.
  • Increased presence in the social media and other digital platforms has increased the visibility and awareness of Ayurvedic medicine.


The ancient system of Ayurveda is alive and thriving in India. Although largely overtaken by modern medicine, Ayurveda has many loyal followers. With the efforts of industry players like Ayurvedic pharma franchise India, its market share is expected to rise in the coming few years.