Herbal supplements or botanicals are natural non-food and non-pharmaceutical substances that are commercialized in the market to improve health. Plants and herbs have been used for the preparation of medicines and dietary supplements for thousands of years. Additionally, herbal supplements are type of dietary supplement, which are sold as capsules, tablets, extracts, teas, powders and dried or fresh herbs. However, before the introduction of CGMP regulations, herbal supplements were not strictly regulated as pharmaceutical medicinal products. People use herbal remedies to retain their health and believe that herbal products that are labeled “natural” are always good and safe for them. Nevertheless, this is not necessarily true, sometimes they might have some kind of side effects that are harmful, and hence it is recommended that before using these products an herbalist or a physician should be consulted. Currently, herbal supplements and remedies market is a profitable market venture due to high adoption rate for herbal products, which makes this industry a highly lucrative and attractive market.
Some of the herbs and products used in the production of various herbal supplements and remedies are as follows:
- Aloe Vera
- Ginkgo biloba
- Hypericum perforatum (St John's wort)
- Horse chestnut
In terms of geography, North America is the leading market for herbal supplements and remedies due to the high usage of herbal products in the production of supplementary vitamins and other dietary supplements. Europe is also grasping an admirable share of the overall market owing to the welcoming legislations and high consumer acceptance rate for herbal dietary and medicinal supplements. Moreover, acquisitions of small nutraceutical companies by established pharmaceutical companies have also played a major role in the growth of the herbal supplements and remedies market especially in the European region. However, regions such as South East Asia and Latin America particularly countries such as China, India, Malaysia and Singapore are expected to be the promising market in the near future. Due to the increasing acceptance rate for herbal remedies, increased focus on using herbal products as well as high research activities on dietary supplements, these regions and countries are expected to be the lucrative markets in the future.
The major factors contributing to the growth of this market are increasing awareness and adoption rate for herbal supplements as well as supplier innovations. Moreover, increasing customer confidence level to include herbal supplements in alternative medicine regimens and preventive health has also driven the growth of the overall herbal supplements and remedies market to a remarkable extent. Furthermore, escalating prices of medicinal and dietary products; high lifestyle and healthcare costs; tighter government budgets have driven consumers towards the safer, healthier and economical option of herbal dietary supplements and alternative medicine, to get relief from physical and mental disorders. However, stringent regulatory policies such as the recent Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) for herbal dietary supplements by the U.S. FDA; product availability and acceptance; forms of delivery and product pricings are some of the factors that might negatively affect the overall market size of this industry.
Currently, the herbal supplements and remedies market is a fragmented and attractive market due to the involvement of many established and emerging pharmaceutical as well as nutraceutical companies. Some of the companies involved in this industry are ARKOPHARMA Pharmaceutical Laboratories, Bio-Botanica, Inc., DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., i-Health, Inc., Martek Biosciences CorporationNatures Aid, Nutraceutical Corporation, Ricola AG, Sundown Nutrition, The Himalaya Drug Company and Twinlab Corporation, amongst others.
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