With ever growing costs, getting good quality raw materials for the 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.