Covid 19 and its impact on Ayurvedic Products

 “Ayurveda is an immortal time-tested repository of the healthcare system in the world. This panacea could certainly open new horizons of health and wellness by creating immense opportunities of entrepreneurship and business development contributing to the global economy. – Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH”

Our planet is under siege, desperate to protect itself from the deadly impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Although while battling such virulent viruses, curative medicines and vaccines are indispensable, the strongest protection lies inside our bodies.The new epidemic has greatly expanded domestic consumption of dietary supplements that help relieve fatigue, boost nutrients , foster healthy immune function  and improve healthcare threat tolerance. “In order to lead a healthy lifestyle, the World Economic Forum has recognized the significance of a strong immune system in fighting the epidemic and recommended resting well, consuming a balanced diet, exercising frequently on a reasonable basis and-depression. ”

Human wellness and consciousness of its maintenance has risen in importance. All documented civilizations of the past, such as those of Egypt, the magnificent and valuable Babylonian, Jewish, Greek and Indus valleys had their own medicine and health care services. The growth of Ayurveda in India, with the evolution and development of Indian society and culture, one of the Indian medical systems came in. During the last decade, coordinated Ayurvedic care has arisen as one of the sunrise industries in India, closely following the industries of information technology and biotechnology. The bandwagon has reached many major chains and has experienced medium to substantial success. Owing to different causes, such as the drawbacks and side effects of modem prescription drugs, more and more individuals turn to natural goods. The Ayurveda method, which has proved its usefulness in India for thousands of years, has recently drawn the attention of the world as an alternative and holistic natural health care system. The same need has skyrocketed during the ongoing pandemic where immunity is being targeted and compromised. In many areas, the impact of COVID-19 has been drastic, forcing healthcare systems to operate beyond capacity, proving to be a massive challenge for the healthcare sector around the globe. The sudden outbreak has shifted the worldwide medical community’s attention on bodily immunity, the body’s defence mechanism towards bacteria , viruses as well as other organisms that humans encounter, consume and breathe regularly, which may or may not be disease-inducing. In addition to research into the virology of SARS-CoV-2, it is important for the discovery and rational design of successful therapies to consider the basic physiological and immunological mechanisms underlying the clinical manifestations of COVID-19.The individual bodily response to COVID-19 is under study due to numerous possible variations, however, going by observations, individuals having strong immunity and quick response mechanism may continue to remain unharmed until a cure-all vaccine has been administered. However, a rather disheartening result of the pandemic’s attack has been the alarming spike in levels of psychological trauma and mental illnesses, especially in disadvantaged communities as well as frontline warriors such as healthcare workers. Such mental distress and agitation is followed by changes that impair regular functioning of the immune system, including an elevated risk of infection of the viral respiratory tract. “In our response to infectious diseases, the immune system plays a vital role. The immune system is the multi-level network of the body’s protection against potentially harmful bacteria , viruses and other organisms.”Ayurveda puts greater focus on strengthening the resilience of the mind and body to deal with multiple stressors, including infection. “The Ayurveda principle of immunity (Bala or strength) is graded as inherent (Sahaja), chronobiological (Kalaja), and acquired (Yuktikrut), analogous to innate and acquired immunity.”

Covid-19 an Opportunity for Ayurveda

The COVID-19 Pandemic has rung alarm bells and humanity has recognised the importance of safety and sanity yet again. Building immunity has become the topmost priority. “An advisory on improving immunity was also issued by the Ministry of Ayurveda , Yoga & Naturopathy , Unani , Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH). A concoction of tulsi (Indian basil), dalchini (cinnamon), kalimirch (black pepper), shunthi (dry ginger), munnaka (raisin) and golden milk (half a teaspoon of turmeric in hot milk) are among the steps proposed: drink warm water during the day, or herbal tea (kadha) “. “In online wellbeing and immunity searches, there has been a 1.2x jump”, says a new survey by Facebook India and the Boston Consultancy Company. In the next two days, 49 percent of customers are preparing to purchase more vitamins, herbs and supplements.

People around the world are leaning towards proactive and preventive healthcare, raising the market for dietary additives and immune boosters. “According to a recent Invest India report entitled Invigorating Ayurveda in the times of Covid-19, The pandemic has significantly increased domestic consumption for herbal remedies that improve nutrition, assist with relaxation and stress levels, promote healthy immune function and enhance immunity to illnesses.”  The national investment promotion and facilitation organisation adds that the global herbal supplements market has been further expanded by a increasing geriatric population and “its increased understanding of dietary standards and preventive healthcare, which is projected to rise to $8.5 billion by 2025 , with a CAGR of 6.2 percent”.The Himalaya Drug Maker, a pioneer in the diet and wellness market, reported that “there has been a considerable rise in demand for immunity and wellness products containing pure herbs such as guduchi, tulsi, amalaki, and ashwagandha, among others, along with patented formulations such as ‘Septilin’ and ‘Immusante,’ during the lockout,” the study states. India exports around 5% of its produced goods per year, according to the leading player, Baidyanath Party. The Investment India Study reports that “exports typically include ingredients or single-ingredient goods.”And how big is the market for Ayurvedic? The global Ayurvedic market was estimated at $4.57 billion in 2017, according to a 2019 study by Optimize Market Research, and was expected to hit $14.62 billion, at a CAGR of 16.14 percent.

The study states that the pandemic has reminded us “that the immunity of our body is our first and best defensive line.” For self-preservation, safe lifestyle and proper diet are important.’ “Ayurveda is poised to re-enter our lives in specific ways,” it predicts. We have been told by this ancient wisdom that “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.

Herbal Dietary Supplements Market Growth

As customers shift from curative medicine to positive and preventive healthcare, the market for dietary additives and immune boosters is growing across the globe. Instead of short-term solutions, sustainable healthcare and lifelong immunity are some of the consumer issues at the forefront, which would entail taking up radical and dynamic medical and Pharma reform measures to help bring positive and impactful solutions to these issues. Although traditional healthcare is still widely favoured, the demand for all-natural alternatives is also increasing gradually, helping to fuel the rise of the global market for herbal medicine. There are multifaceted reasons as to why consumers are beginning to favour herbal substitutes instead of regular allopathic medicines, a few of them being advantages such as reduced toxicity levels, comparatively less dosages and significantly reduced adverse effects despite extended periods of use. The global herbal supplements market has been further expanded by the increasing geriatric population and its increased awareness of nutritional standards and preventive healthcare. “By 2025, it is projected to hit $8.5 billion (Bn) and increase at a 6.2% Compound Annual Growth Rate ( CAGR) “. While there is no significant evidence on the impact of herbal or non-herbal nutritional supplements on the coronavirus that induces Covid-19, we understand that these supplements at least improve overall immunity and provide much needed nutrients. Although evidence of the success rates and impacts of  nutritive therapies that place specific focus on respiratory-based infections is still being closely examined by experts, the available and checked results indicate that Ayurveda and Ayurvedic herbs are effective in rebuilding as well as boosting immunity, strengthening and restoring our normal bodily functioning.

Pharmaceutical firms such as Himalaya, e-markets such as Grofers and Milkbasket, as well as emerging Ayurvedic health brands such as Auric, said they were registering an unprecedented and sizeable increase in revenue, a direct result of the problems caused due to the pandemic.”Sales of products such as honey, chyawanprash and herbal teas that are touted to boost immunity have increased by 17-18 percent month-on-month”, Milkbasket said. “The months with the highest sales of these goods are typically January and February, as most of North India has a winter then, said chief executive Anant Goel”. This time, however, revenues started to grow by the end of February and started in March, which is when coronavirus cases again began to rise in India. Apart from the normal market expansion, Deepak Agarwal, the founder of a company that sells Auric, a brand of new-age Ayurvedic health beverages, said “there was an extra 30-35 percent rise that he attributed to the coronavirus scare”. Instead of drinks targeted at skin rejuvenation and improving hair that used to sell earlier, the company’s immunity drink, “Body Defence”, is now driving up revenues.“People would like to look pretty sooner and then feel good,” Agarwal said. Now, the situation has been completely reversed.

The greatest influence of Covid-19 on Ayurveda has been the attitude to Ayurveda that people have. As a pharmaceutical approach, Ayurveda was considered and used as a solution to particular issues. Ayurveda, however, is indeed about proactive, holistic wellbeing. To avoid remedies, rather than cure problems, it prescribes a full , healthy lifestyle. People have become more conscious of being proactively healthy and avoiding infection with Covid-19. And Ayurveda caters to such an attitude to wellness very well. Pre-Covid, there was usually 15-20 percent growth annually in the Ayurvedic industry. In the last year, several firms, big and small, have seen growth of between 50-90 percent everywhere. The industry would have a positive effect on the implementation of Ayurveda as holistic, sustainable healthcare.

CONCLUSION

Despite having its existence rooted in tradition and documented in ancient texts,  Ayurveda is only now emerging as a competitive market segment, but it boasts of a massive capacity for rapid expansion, which can be extracted from resources in the space defined. Tapping into the ever-diverse and naturally available resources would allow Ayurveda to grow and manifest  into some kind of style that is conscious of the desires and patterns of young people. Today , the industry is more coordinated and has adopted advances in technologies, environmental improvements and evidence-based assessment approaches for providing quality treatment.Based on the availability and pre-existing consumer base of Ayurveda, these innovations will further advance the advantages of the method for the general public.The novel coronavirus pandemic has reiterated the need for guarding our body’s natural guardian against diseases i.e. our immunity system, and that no negligence should be exercised on those counts. For self-preservation, a safe and balanced lifestyle, proper diet and refusing toxic substances are important. Fortunately, with its extensive Ayurvedic history and expertise, India doesn’t have to look too hard. Ayurveda is poised to re-enter our lives in unusual ways, sailing on multiple tides of evolution. We have been told by this ancient wisdom that “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.

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