Dabur, Baidyanath, and Zandu, are the key suppliers in Ayurveda accounting for 85% of India's domestic market.

Dabur India Ltd.  is India's largest Ayurvedic medicine supplier and the fourth largest producer of FMCG. It was established in 1884, and had grown to a business level in 2003 of about 650 million dollars per year, though only a fraction of that is involved with Ayurvedic medicine. Last year, about 15% of sales volume was pharmaceuticals, the remaining 85% were mostly non-medicine items such as foods and cosmetics. Dabur's Ayurvedic Specialities Division has over 260 medicines for treating a range of ailments and body conditions-from common cold to chronic paralysis. These materials constitute only 7% of Dabur's total revenue (thus, less than 50 million dollars). Dabur Chyawanprash (herbal honey) has a market share of 70% and chewable Hajmola Digestive Tablets has an 88% share. Other major products are Dabur Amla Hair Oil, Vatika (Shampoo), and Lal Dant Manjan (Tooth Powder).

Sri Baidyanath Ayurvedic Bhawan Ltd. (Baidyanath for short) was founded in 1917 in Calcutta, and specializes in Ayurvedic medicines, though it has recently expanded into the FMCG sector with cosmetic and hair care products; one of its international products is Shikakai (soap pod) Shampoo. Baidyanath has a sales volume of about 350 million dollars, but most of the product sales are in the cosmetic range. The company reports having over 700 Ayurvedic products, made at 10 manufacturing centers, with 1,600 employees. Included items are herbal teas, patent medicines, massage oils, and chyawanprash.

Zandu Pharmaceutical Works was incorporated in Bombay in 1919, named after an 18th-century Ayurvedic. The company focuses primarily on Ayurvedic products (in 1930, pharmaceuticals were added, but the pharmaceutical division was separated off about 30 years later). However, today Zandu has a chemicals division and cosmetics division. Its total sales volume is about 45 million dollars. One of its current projects is to develop a dopamine drug from a plant extract, applying for new drug status in the U.S.

The Himalaya Drug Company was established in 1934 in Bangalore. It currently has a business level of about 500 million dollars and has a U.S. distribution division (Himalaya USA). It is known in the U.S. for the product Liv-52, marketed as a liver protector and therapy for liver diseases like viral hepatitis; the product was first marketed in India in 1955.

Charak Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1947, and currently has three distribution centers in India; it produces liquids, tablets, and veterinary supplies. It has gained a large advantage with its new product Evanova, a preparation containing 33 herbs and minerals and non-hormonal active ingredients used as a menopause treatment alternative to HRT. Soya is one of the main ingredients in this product. The product also contains Ayurvedic herbs that act like selective estrogen receptor modulators as well as asparagus root (shatavari), which reduces the frequency and intensity of hot flashes.

Vicco Laboratories was established in 1958. It mainly produces topical therapies based on Ayurveda and is best known internationally for its toothpaste product, Vajradanti, which has been marketed in the U.S. for more than 25 years.

The Emami Group, founded in 1974, provides a diverse range of products, doing 110 million dollars of business annually, though only a portion is involved with Ayurvedic products, through its Himani line; the company is mainly involved with toiletries and cosmetics, but also provides Chyawanprash and other health products.

Aimil Pharmaceuticals Ltd., incorporated in 1984 and engaged in manufacturing and sale of both generic and proprietary Ayurvedic medicines, with a business level of about 20 million dollars annually. Its wide range of Ayurvedic herbal formulations, covering most therapeutic segments, was honored by the Indian government's National Award for Quality Herbal Preparations and National Award for R & D in the year 2002. It is known for its proprietary formulas for hepatitis, diabetes, menstrual disorders, digestive disorders, and urinary diseases.  

The market for Ayurvedic internal medicines is dominated by Chyawanprash, an herbal honey comprised of about 3 dozen ingredients, with amla (emblic myrobalans) as the key ingredient. The leader in this field is Dabur, which had a 69% market share at the end of 2002; followed by Baidyanath, with nearly 11%, and Zandu and Himani (Emami Group) with about 7.5% each. A variety of individual herbs, traditional formulations, and proprietary medicines make up the rest of the health products section involving internal remedies, while the remainder of the market is taken up by toothpastes and powders, skin creams, massage oils, shampoos, and other topical preparations. Aside from Chyawanprash, the following are among the major traditional remedies:

 Formula Designation


Main Uses  

Three Myrobalans
 Terminalia chebula, Terminalia Belerica, Emblica officinalis  Rejuvenative tonic, harmonizer, treatment for intestinal disorders
Three Pungents

 Piper longum, Zingiber officinale, Piper nigrum

 Spicy stimulant to digestion
Three Fragrants
 Ellettaria cardaomomum, Cinnamomum arundinacia, Eugenia caryophylla  Aromatic base for numerous formulations
 Gokshuradi Guggulu  Triphala plus Trikatu plus Tribulus terrestris, Commiphora mukul, Cyperus rotundus  Treatment for urinary tract disorders
 Sitopaladi churna  Bombusa arundinacia, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, Elettaria cardamomum Piper longum  Alleviates cough and associated respiratory disorders

Two of the largest companies involved with providing traditional medicine products, such as the above, are Himalaya Drug Company and Universal Medicaments (in Nagpur). Universal Medicaments has a joint venture for research and manufacturing of herbal products with Cipla Ltd. and Lupin Ltd, two leading pharmaceutical companies of India. Universal is engaged in manufacturing and exports of both pharmaceutical formulations and research-based herbal medicines.

Exports of Ayurvedic medicines have reached a value of 100 million dollars a year About 60% of this is crude herbs, about 30% is finished product shipped abroad for direct sales to consumers, and the remaining 10% is partially prepared products to be finished in the foreign countries (see Appendix 1 for examples of Ayurvedic distribution from India with products available worldwide).