Alternative medicines include treatments other than allopathic. Alternative medicine treatments include systems with healing ability such as acupuncture, acupuncture, naturopathy, herbal remedies, and homeopathy. The medical profession does not regard these healing systems as orthodox treatment systems. Some of these treatments are accepted to be of value for certain conditions. Herbal medicines include drugs that are derived from plants. Herbal medicines are either used for therapeutic purpose, or as supplements to improve well-being or health. Herbal products are available as teas, extracts, powders, capsules, tablets, and others. These products are natural, hence considered to be safe. Herbal medicines have the ability to cure almost all the types of diseases.

Nutraceutical is a combination of the words nutrition and pharmaceutical. Nutraceutical medicines or products are fortified food or food products that provide supplementary diet and also help in prevention and treatment of diseases except anemia. Nutraceuticals are not regulated and tested to the extent of pharmaceutical drugs. These have the ability to treat diseases including ADHD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anemia, sickle cell, anxiety, aphthous ulcer, carnitine deficiency, depression, dietary supplementation, dyspareunia, eye conditions, fibromyalgia, herbal supplementation, herpes simplex, herpes simplex, suppression, high cholesterol, Huntington's disease, hypertriglyceridemia, insomnia, jet lag, muscle pain, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, short bowel syndrome, and smoking cessation.

Probiotics are live yeasts and bacteria that benefit the health of individuals. These are referred as 'healthy', 'helpful', or ‘good’ bacteria. An imbalance of natural yeasts or bacteria within the body has been associated with a range of indications including suppressed immune system, yeast infections, skin rashes, weight gain, diarrhea, and constipation. Probiotics may be taken orally to restore any imbalance in the normal urogenital or intestinal flora. These are available as contained naturally, or dietary supplements or added to foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, or yogurt. Increase in inclination toward safe and lesser side effects boosts the global alternative medicines market. Rise in side effects and adverse drug reactions due to usage of allopathic medicines drives the market. Surge in awareness about the benefits relating to alternative medicines is a key driver of the market. However, slow healing ability of alternative medicines restrains the market.

The global alternative medicines market can be segmented based on drug class, dosage form, disease indication, distribution channel, and region. In terms of drug class, the market can be categorized into herbal products, nutraceutical products, and probiotics. Based on dosage form, the global alternative medicines market can be classified into tablets, powder, syrup, capsules, teas, extracts, and others. In terms of disease indication, the market can be divided into ADHD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anemia, sickle cell, anxiety, aphthous ulcer, carnitine deficiency, depression, dietary supplementation, dyspareunia, eye conditions, fibromyalgia, herbal supplementation, herpes simplex, herpes simplex, suppression, high cholesterol, Huntington's disease, hypertriglyceridemia, insomnia, jet lag, muscle pain, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, Parkinson's disease, peripheral neuropathy, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, short bowel syndrome, smoking cessation, and others. Based on distribution channel, the global alternative medicines market can be categorized into online pharmacies, retail pharmacies, and hospital pharmacies.

Geographically, the global alternative medicines market can be segmented into Latin America, Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Middle East & Africa. North America held the largest market share in 2016 due to extensive awareness and acceptance by the large population in the region. Europe held the second largest market share in 2016 owing to increased awareness and sale of alternative medicines in drug stores. The global alternative medicines market in Asia Pacific is projected to grow at a rapid pace during the forecast period from 2017 to 2025. The market in Middle East & Africa and Latin America are expected to witness moderated growth during the forecast period due to rise in demand for food supplements and natural health.

Key players in the global alternative medicines market include Dr. Willmar Schwabe India Pvt. Ltd., GUNA S.p.a., BIORON GmbH, Ainsworth, Inc., Kanak Drishti Infotech Pvt. Ltd., and Random Beauty, Inc.

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