The global herbal medicine market size was valued at USD 71.19 billion in 2016 and is expected to exhibit profitable growth over the forecast period. The increase is attributed to the increasing preference of consumers towards traditional medicines (Ayurveda, Unani and Traditional Chinese Medicine) which do not cause overdose toxicity and have fewer side effects. In addition, increasing substantial research investments and funding will support the market growth in near future.
Global herbal medicine market revenue, by product, 2014 - 2024 (USD Billion)
The global plant-derived products market is expected to gain momentum over the projected period due to the low cost of herbal medicines compared to allopathy. These drugs are witnessing significant consideration at a global level. For instance, in China, this form was used to treat severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Increasing preference for cost-effective treatment options for various medical conditions such as cold & cough, kidney disorders, digestive problems and chest congestion is anticipated to enhance the further acceptance of these medicine forms worldwide.
The herbal plants with several medicinal properties are used to treat a variety of disease conditions. Furthermore, a single plant may contain many chemical constituents such as phenols, glycosides, polysaccharides, alkaloids, resins, and terpenoids which demonstrate therapeutic activities in more than one medical conditions.
For instance, various polyphenolic compounds such as tannins, curcumin, flavonoids, and gallacatechins are considered to possess anti-cancer properties and are expected to gain popularity owing to increasing prevalence of cancer. Furthermore, high treatment cost of cancer coupled with pipeline programs revealing anti-cancer activities of plants is anticipated to increase the use of these in various therapies.
Herbal medicines are formulated in dosage forms such as tablets & capsules, powders, extracts, pastes, gels, and oils. Tablets & capsules provide dose accuracy compared to other dosage forms. Hence, the segment is expected to record the fastest growth over the forecast period. Poor regulatory framework across the globe and less number of institutes providing knowledge of herbal therapeutics due to lack of relevant research evidence are expected to hinder the market growth.
Segmentation by product
• Tablets & Capsules
The extracts segment generated a revenue of USD 27.1 billion in 2016 and is expected to reach USD 44.6 billion by 2024. Higher absorption rates of extracts in comparison with other dosage forms is supposed to drive the market over the forecast period. Properties such as spillage and bad odor limit the use of extracts. Tablets & capsules segment is expected to witness the fastest growth owing to increasing adoption of tablets over other dosage forms. Additionally, tablets are easy to carry, which gives it an advantage over other formulations and now traditionally made powders are being available in the form of tablets & capsules which provide higher dose accuracy.
Segmentation by indication
• Digestive disorders
• Respiratory disorders
• Blood disorders
Digestive disorder segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% over the forecast period owing to increasing use of herbal medicines for conditions such as indigestion, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and dyspepsia. Easy accessibility of various products for the treatment of digestive tract disorders is expected to fuel the market over the forecast period.
Blood disorder segment is projected to generate maximum revenue due to increasing prevalence of hypertension. Growing popularity of ginger, garlic and ginkgo biloba coupled with a variety of products available in the market is expected to boost growth over the forecast period.
Segmentation by region
• North America
• Asia Pacific
• Central & South America
• Middle East and Africa
In 2016, Europe dominated the global herbal medicine market and is expected to retain the share during the forecast period as well. Associations such as British Herbal Medicine Association and European Herbal & Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (EHTPA) promote the use of these alternative medicines in European region by organizing various seminars and increase the awareness regarding benefits of using herbal remedies. Furthermore, high flexibility regarding the launch of these products in the European Union is a major contributing factor for the market growth in this region.
Asia Pacific is expected to show the fastest growth over the projected period due to increasing awareness of these products which include drugs, dietary supplements, and skin care products. India and China being the major markets for herbal medicinal products in the region, these countries have a strong background.
The Ayurveda system from India has been providing treatment options for various disorders related to the respiratory system and digestive system since ages. Furthermore, the ongoing trend of traditional medication usage is expected to help the growth of the market.
The global market is highly fragmented in nature due to the presence of small players. Furthermore, the use of medicinal plants on a household level makes the industry unorganized. Presence of many domestic players confined to their region has a dominant share. Additionally, the major stakeholders in the industry include TSUMURA & CO., Dr. Willmar Schwabe India Pvt. Ltd., Blackmores and NATURE'S ANSWER.
The manufacturers are concentrating on improving the quality of herbal products. Furthermore, technological advancements such as improved extraction techniques and equipment deployed by global players as well as regional players to maintain the product quality thereby rendering market sustainability.
Research Support Specialist, USA