Underlining that the sector of traditional medicine is expanding continuously, Prime Minister Modi recently urged the stakeholders to take full advantage of every possibility unfolding in the sector.


About Traditional Medicines

  • Traditional medicine refers to a diverse range of health and healing practices used by Indigenous peoples that incorporate plants, animals, and the spiritual realm for the diagnosis and treatment of illness, or maintenance of health and well-being.
  • Traditional medicine is a key pillar of health care delivery systems and plays a crucial role in maintaining good health and well-being.
  • Traditional Indian medicines
      • Traditional Indian medicine is one of the oldest medical sciences in the world. India has been known to be rich repository of medicinal plants.
        • The forest in India is the principal repository of large number of medicinal and aromatic plants.
      • About 8,000 herbal remedies have been codified in AYUSH systems in India.
      • Ayurveda, Unani, Siddha and Folk (tribal) medicines are the major systems of indigenous medicines.


What is the market size?

  • The market for medicinal plants in India stood at Rs. 4.2 billion ($ 56.6 million) in 2019 and is expected to increase at a CAGR of 38.5 percent to Rs. 14 billion (US$ 188.6 million) by 2030.
  • The export value of ayurvedic and herbal products amounted to about $539 million from India in 2021.
  • Overall, Ayush exports have reached $18 billion from $3 billion before 2014.
    • AYUSH stands for Ayurveda, Yoga, Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy.
  • About 40,000 MSMEs are active in the Ayush sector.
  • There are immense possibilities of investment and innovation in supply chain management, AYUSH-based diagnostic tools and tele-medicine.


Steps taken by government

  • New Ministry Formed — In 2014, the Union government established the Ministry of AYUSH, a separate ministry dedicated to traditional medicine and treatment.
  • National AYUSH Mission —
    • Department of AYUSH, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had launched National AYUSH Mission (NAM) during 12th Plan.
    • The basic objective of NAM is to promote —
      • AYUSH medical systems through cost effective AYUSH services, strengthening of educational systems,
      • facilitate the enforcement of quality control of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani & Homoeopathy (ASU &H) drugs and
      • sustainable availability of ASU & H raw-materials.
  • Recent Steps —
    • The new category ‘AYUSH Aahar’ introduced by the FSSAI in its regulations will help the producers of herbal nutritional supplements.
    • The AYUSH Export Promotion Council has been set up recently to encourage exports and help find foreign markets.
    • The government is going to create a network of AYUSH Parks to encourage research and provide a new direction to AYUSH manufacturing.
    • An incubation centre developed by the All-India Institute of Ayurveda was inaugurated by the Ministry of AYUSH.
      • This will encourage start-up culture in the field of traditional medicine.
  • WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (GCTM) —
    • The WHO Global Centre for Traditional Medicine (WHO GCTM) has been established in Jamnagar, Gujarat.
    • The centre was established to support WHO’s efforts to implement the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023.
    • It is the first WHO GCTM in the world.