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Ayurveda as an alternative to modern medicine

Written by , May 2, 2019 in Industry

Turmeric_MilkModern medicine has been extraordinarily developed with the amalgamation of technology in the field of diagnostic, prognostic, and curative procedures. However, Ayurveda existed past 5000-years ago and has been time tested. Many Ayurveda practitioners are proud to be a part of this age-old science.
Let’s take a Q&A approach to simplify:-

1) Where does the Ayurveda industry stand in today’s age of modern medicine?
A. Efforts are being made to update the age-old scientific wisdom in various aspects by focusing on its pharmacological and therapeutic potential. Scientists are directed towards herbal research including the development of new active principles beneficial in various disorders. Department of Ayush is creating awareness about the strengths of these systems, expanding outreach and ensuring affordable services for everyone. It is showcasing a high level of efficacy towards the system of preventive cure. It is working on to integrate Ayurveda health care delivery systems in National healthcare programs hence we reckon Ayurveda is coming up in a strong way for the next generation.
B. The government of India is showcasing a high level of interest in Ayurveda. A typical health insurance covers hospitalization expenses incurred during the treatment procedure. However, insurance companies now acknowledge the necessity of traditional and alternative medicine like Ayurveda and include them in health insurance cover. In India, there is an ever-growing interest found in those who prefer Ayurvedic medicines and are not keen on western medicines. Since Ayurvedic treatment have their foundation in natural treatments, it becomes lucrative to Indian masses. By including traditional medicines in individual plans, health insurers are covering a niche segment. The treatment has been showing positive remedial effect hence the requirement by insurers for accepting the claim has been on an increase.
C. Ayurveda is a preventive health care lifestyle system which enables one to take care at home, at work, during holidays or at business trips. Among household chores, daily commute to office and back comes the stress of everyday life wherein you hardly find time to pamper. Ayurveda provides a wealth of knowledge and understanding on ‘DIY tips’ on how to take care at home. You always don’t need to run to your nearest detox centre. India has known the age-old tradition of massage which has been received extremely well by the west now. There is an ever-growing thirst for Ayurvedic facial masks and hair to do at home. The very popular ‘Haldi Doodh’ is now being perceived and sold by Starbucks in US & UK as ‘Turmeric Latte’. Ayurveda is not just about herbal remedies. It is a way of life. It is about embracing lifestyle habits that will turn you into the most beautiful version of you

2) What is the current size of the industry and the rate at which it is growing?

In 2018 the Ayurveda sector saw a landmark achievement, touching a gross market size of $ 4.4 billion, or roughly Rs 30,000 crore and it is projected to record a CAGR of 16 per cent until 2025.
According to the study, as much as 75 per cent of the $4 billion Ayurveda market is accounted for by Ayurveda products and only a quarter of the market size is contributed by services. $4 billion domestic market comprises ethical, classical, over-the-counter, personal care and beauty products. It also includes services like medical, well-being or medical tourism services. Estimates vary about the growth of Ayurveda industry into the future, but two different estimates put the industry size at being 13 billion by 2025.

3)What are the factors favoring the industry?

A key finding of the study is that India’s ageing population and the rise of a young population that is health conscious will drive the growth of the Ayurveda sector. The size of the Indian Ayurveda industry at Rs 30,000 crore per anum compares well with the overall market size of the wellness industry which is put at Rs 85,000 crore. Ayurveda and Yoga are branches of the system. Perception towards Ayurveda is changing, people are attracted towards the science of natural medicine and it is being perceived as a preventive and health promotive approach which takes into consideration the whole body, mind and spirit while dealing with the maintenance of health, treating ailments in a holistic way.

4)What are hurdles coming in the way of growth of Ayurveda industry and how can they be overcome?
The government is showing increased interest in growth of this sector. Any visible changes within industry functioning due to the steps taken by government?

Some hurdles and how to overcome
a. Historically speaking, it has been concentrated only around Kerela in India but now with the ever increasing demand, we find Ayurvedic centers across exotic locations in various parts of the country.
b. Allopathic medicine has made great strides in acute conditions, infection, and surgical interventions, but treatment options are limited to the growing epidemic of non-communicable and lifestyle-related diseases. Here comes Ayurveda which has the potential to address these conditions.
c. Both allopathy and Ayurveda medicine systems are not rival to each other, they can coexist to promote the well-being of people. Insurance coverage has been extended to Ayush treatments and 27 companies are offering 140 health policies to beneficiaries in India. This will hardly have any impact unless allopathic doctors take initiative in referring patients for traditional medicine
d. Until sometime back, the health insurance would cover only allopathy treatments. Insurance companies have now started providing a comprehensive plan. The policy holders have started including various types of treatments in their cover including Ayurveda. Also, as Ayurveda is one of the most common alternate solutions to allopathy, there is an increasing requirement to cover the treatment under the general insurance.

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