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AYUSH ECONOMICS | The Rise and Rise of the AYUSH Market

By Herama Reddy

The combined AYUSH(Ayurveda, Yoga, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy) market of India received a major boost when a Ministry with independent charge was set up exclusively for traditional medicines by the NDA government in 2014. Shripad Yesso Naik, the first Minister of Ayush pledged to revive the fortunes of traditional medicines in India to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst Indians.


8 years later in April 2022, the present Ayush Minister Shri. Sarbananda Sonowal has claimed that the Ayush market in India has grown 4.6 times since 2016. This is the story of the revival of India’s traditional medicinal systems.

The Below Table Shows the Growth of the Ayush Industry Over the Years in India




% Growth


$10 Billion


$18 Billion

Appx 15% / years


$20.6 Billion



$23.3 Billion


A Vibrant History and The New Age Medicine

India’s traditional medicinal systems especially the Ayurveda, Yoga, and Siddha medicinal systems have a continuous history dating back thousands of years. Patanjali, the founder of Yoga is said to have lived 2500 years ago. Yoga and Naturopathy as a system of medicine are considered even older, as ancient sages like Agasthya, Tholkapiyar, and even Aadhiyogi Shiva are credited with using this system as a way of life.

Siddha systems are largely credited to the 18 Siddhars who lived in the region of what is today Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and parts of Southern Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are credited with this system of using meditation, lifestyle, and locally available herbs to lead a happy and healthy life.

Ayurveda is the more complex and mainstream of the three. It has no single founder, though it is associated with Bhagawan  Dhanvanthari by some historians. Throughout the year many Indian kings from the Gupta, Chalukya, Chola, Hoysala and other major dynasties have contributed to its growth by encouraging research and development in Ayurveda. Ayurveda is a standalone system i.e most ayurvedic medicines can become standalone cures without necessary lifestyle support unlike in the case of Siddha and Yoga.

These three medicinal systems along with Unani and homeopathy were widely used in India until the 18th century. Then with the advent of modern medicine and its patronization by the British Indian government, all these traditional medicinal practices were pushed to the back. Independent India under the veil of a modern vision continued the policy of the British government with respect to medicine, keeping traditional medicines on the back foot.

The Emergence of AYUSH

It was only in 2014, that the Government of India once again started actively promoting traditional medicines by setting up a dedicated ministry. Even during the back foot years, the traditional streams of medicine made significant progress thanks to the patronage and support of the people. The common folks in India always believed in these medicinal structures which evolved over thousands of years. To add an appeal most of these traditional medicines were 100% sourced from natural ingredients and were 100% cruelty-free to animals.

Since the setting up of the AYUSH ministry, there was an active push with dedicated bureaucrats and a department to take Ayush medicines to the global stage.

The Pandemic Performance

Even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, many dangerous cases of flu were treated effectively with Ayush medicines even as modern systems pondered over developing solutions. For instance, preventing and treating the nipah virus outbreak with Nilavembu Kudineer, a Siddha medicine was quite successful.

During the Covid-19 pandemic immunity boosters and health tonics from Ayurveda played a significant role in helping the country fight the pandemic. During the first wave of covid-19, there was widespread use of Ayush medicines which made India one of the best performing countries with respect to covid-19 management.

Then there was a lapse in taking precautionary measures with Ayush medicines. This eventually lead to another spike, in cases. It was observed by many experts that, India’s covid-19 cases were related proportionally to the consumption of Ayush preventives.

So Ayush medicines were heroes in India’s fight against covid-19 and gave the Government of India enough time to procure  and mass administer vaccines

Current Growth and Future Projections

In around 2015, The Ayush market was valued at $10 billion. This has risen to $18 billion at the time of the pandemic and is projected to finish at around $21 billion in 2021 and above $23 billion by the end of 2022.

In the subcategories, nutraceuticals projected a 20.5% year-on-year growth for 2022, with pharmaceuticals growing by 15.8% and 14.7% for plant extracts. So with a multidimensional development, India is planning to actively market its traditional medicines to a global audience. This will increase profits for Ayush companies and also popularize Indian traditional medicines across the globe.

Business Opportunities in Ayush

The Government plans to invest around Rs.9000 crore to boost the Ayush industry which is expected to generate around 5.5 lac jobs over the years.

The Incubation Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) was launched by Ayush Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to promote innovative start-ups and business launches in the Ayush industry.

The Global Centre for Traditional Medicines was set up in Jamnagar, in Gujarat as a first step to promote traditional Indian medicines across the globe.

 The Road Ahead

The awareness about the efficacy of Ayush medicines has reached across the country. The citizens are more aware than ever before that the medicinal systems handed down by their ancestors have the potential to cure diseases with high effects. So the consumption of Ayurvedic and other Ayush products will only increase over time creating a very compelling market and forcing investors and business leaders to create supplies.  This is a bull that looks like it will not slow down any time soon!


Ayush sector gets investment commitments of Rs 9,000 cr (eastmojo.com)


‘Ayush’ business to grow 15% yearly: Study – Times of India (indiatimes.com)


Ayush Ministry launches nationwide distribution campaign of herbal medicines – BusinessToday


AYUSH market has grown at 17% in 2014-20 to reach $18 billion: Sonowal – BusinessToday


Market share of Ayush sector has grown 4.6 times since 2016: Sonowal | Business Standard News (business-standard.com)


Nilavembu Kudineer (civilserviceindia.com)


A glimpse of Ayurveda – The forgotten history and principles of Indian traditional medicine – PMC (nih.gov)

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