Raw Material – Big Problem With Ayurvedic Medicine Making

With ever growing costs, getting good quality raw materials for manufacturing of Ayurvedic Medicine is becoming increasingly Herculean task. This is especially hurting the cause of small scale Ayurvedic medicine manufacturers.

With respect to Ayurvedic medicines, many good companies are preparing genuine Ayurvedic products, as per the GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice rules and regulations. As per the guidelines, big manufacturing companies collect raw materials from the farmers following GAP – Good agricultural practices. A genuine raw herb yields medicines of best quality. If the raw herb itself is not of good quality, then we cannot expect a finished product of high standards.

Due to competition, some of the Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing companies are preparing low quality products. For example,
Ashtavarga Dravyas –
Jeevaka – Malaxis acuminta D.Don syn. Microstylis wallichii Lindl syn. Malaxis wallichii Deb.
Rishbhaka – Microstylis muscifera Ridley,
Meda – Polygonatum verticillatum (L.) All. syn. Convallaria verticillata L. syn Evallaria verticillata Necker,
Mahameda – Polygonatum cirrhifolium (Wall.) Royle,
Kakoli – Roscoea procera Wall. formerly Roscoea purpurea or Fritillaria roylei Hook.f,
Kshira kakoli – Lilium polphyllum D.Don,
Riddhi – Habenaria edgeworthii H.f. and
Vriddhi – Habenaria intermedia D.Don syn. Habenaria arietina H.f..

At present, these herbs are available only in very minute quantities. They are very costly as well. Hence, they are quite often substituted with other herbs.
Jeevaka and Rishabaka are usually substituted with Vidari (Pureria tuberosa).
Kakoli and Ksheera Kakoli are substituted with Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Riddhi and Vriddhi are substituted with Varahi Kanda –  Dioscorea bulbifera
Meda and Mahameda are substituted with Shatavari – Asparagus racemosus.

The black pepper which was costing 350 INR per kg, one year back, is now costing  INR 900. With such rate hikes and non availability, companies are forced to either lessen the quantities of these rare / costly ingredients or substitute them with easily available, similar quality herbs. This ultimately is causing deterioration in the quality of the product.

Whereas, big Ayurvedic medicine manufacturing companies, who are preparing medicaments as per GMP, do not feel the heat of this problem. Because, they have direct tie up with agriculturists or they have their own lands in which required herbs are grown.
Especially companies with export business, are bound to follow GMP regulations within India and also in the importing companies. Hence, bigger companies often avoid substitution of herbs.


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Comments

  1. shanthala says:

    I totallt agree with you here.

  2. austere says:

    Well said. The race for quantity by some companies is also affecting quality. I wonder what must be happening with herbs that are subject to chemical fertilizers and pesticides… a cousin on chemo had a bad urticaria flare up after she began making amla juice and drinking it…

    Recently there was a scare about the presence of lead in some leading brands– such news does not help….

  3. haridatt says:

    i perfectly agree with you. we have no choice even to find out what we are buying. we just buy whatever the shop keeper gives.

  4. the ashtwarga herbs have been scarce for even the kings and I my self try to get these every year before winter but I never got all eight herbs in last 35 years. omly three or four items are all that I had during. I have read the labels of some chyavanprash manufacturers who claim all these as ingredients of their product.I am confused about their claim.Is their manifesto regarding ingredints is factual?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      I do not think the manufacturers add Ashtavarga herbs. Even if they add, it might be just one or two, even if all eight, it should be in very less quantity than prescribed. The substitutes of Ashtavarga herbs are mentioned in the text book of Bhavaprakasha. So, since many centuries, they are scarce, so very less chance of getting them now.

  5. Kruthika S says:

    Hello. I’m an architecture student & I’m planning an ayurvedic centre in Agumbe area for my thesis. I wanted information on how the initial raw material is taken & treated before the manufacturing process (for example, methods of drying, making of powder).
    Any information that I should keep in mind while planning the building will be helpful.
    Thanks

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