Ayurveda means the science of life. In modern days, it implies herbal medicines prepared from ancient formulae. Ayurveda is the only surviving and widely accepted form of ancient medicine.
Its origin can be traced to the highly debatable Aryan influx into India. Nomadic tribes from Europe escaping glacial melting are believed to have fled towards the east.
Termed Aryans, they settled in parts of India. Aryans brought four canonical texts of the ‘Sanatan’ religion, known today as Hinduism. These were Rig Veda, Sam Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.
Antiquity of Ayurveda
Research proves that Ayurveda was practised in the Indian subcontinent at least 5,000 years ago. A large section of the Atharva Veda speaks about magical cures and herbal remedies for various medical conditions and serious diseases. This section is called Ayurveda.
Skilled practitioners researched on various parts of plants to perfect the science. Sadly, not many researches were documented due to fears of misuse. Instead, knowledge was passed over generations. The science was adapted to use locally found herbs rather than depend upon those grown in remote areas. All medicines were handmade.
Over centuries, Ayurveda survived the onslaught of foreign invasions of the subcontinent. Today, it is a very popular form of healthcare and beauty treatments worldwide.
Top 12 Ayurveda Companies in India
1. Shree Dhootapapeshwar Ltd
The oldest Ayurveda Firm in India, Shree Dhootapapeshwar Ltd was founded in 1872 in Mumbai. Legend has, the firm was opened by a local Ayurveda practitioner dwelling in Girgaon area of Mumbai.
The era saw migrant workers arrive in Mumbai to work in mills and factories established by British colonials. Excellent treatment and superior quality medicines shot Shree Dhootapapeshwar to fame.
2. Dabur India Ltd
Visionary Dr.SK Burman launched a small herbal medicines company in Kolkata in 1884.Since the last 123 years, Dabur has grown from strength to strength. Dabur is also one of the oldest and trusted Ayurveda companies in India
It is the first Indian herbal and Ayurveda based medicines to diversify. Dabur is well known for its nutritional supplement ‘Chayanprash.’
The company is worth millions of dollars today and known internationally too.
3. Arya Vaidya Sala, Kottakkal
The pioneer of India’s commercial Ayurveda industry. Arya Vaidya Sala is located in Kottakkal, Kerala.
Arya Vaidya Sala was founded by Vaidyaratnam PS Varier in 1902. It began as a village clinic. The popularity of Varier’s treatment spread far and wide.
Patients from various parts of Kerala and neighbouring areas began pouring into this nondescript village for medical treatment. With a history of over 115 years, Arya Vaidya Sala now operates around 30 branches in India and abroad.
Its products are sold by about 2,000 pharmacies worldwide. The multi-million dollar company has about 1,000 healthcare and beauty products.
4. Sandu Pharmaceuticals Ltd
With a history spanning over 100 years, Sandu Pharma is one of the greatest Indian Ayurveda companies. Sandu Pharmaceuticals is best known for its speciality preparations for women and childcare.
It specializes in liquid preparations called ‘asavas’ and ‘kadhas’. The company has several Ayurveda based herbal medicines to cure chronic ailments.
The company Shree Baidyanath Ayurved Bhavan Ltd of Kolkata was founded in 1917. Baidyanath pioneered several researches in Ayurveda. Baidyanath is a very popular Ayurveda companies in India
The company offer specialized preparations to treat various ailments as well as powders and extracts of herbs. Baidyanath also promotes healthy living with Yoga and other ancient Indian sciences.
6. Himalaya Wellness
The company’s website has an interesting legend about its inception. “ Himalaya’s story began way back in 1930. A curious young man riding through the forests of Burma saw restless elephants being fed the root of a plant, Rauwolfia serpentina, which helped pacify them.
Fascinated by the plant’s effect on elephants, this young man, M Manal, the founder of Himalaya, wanted to scientifically test the herb’s properties. With no money and only a pocketful of dreams, he pawned his mother’s jewellery to buy a hand-operated tabletting machine.
He spent his days learning about herbs from neighbourhood healers and his nights working on the machine to make a few hundred tablets. His vision was to ‘bring the traditional Indian science of Ayurveda to society in a contemporary form’.
Himalaya took Indian Ayurveda worldwide. Some 30 million units of Himalayan’s products are consumed worldwide every year.
7. Charak Pharma
Founded in 1946, Charak Pharma is the brainchild of brothers DN Shroff and Dr.SN Shroff.
The company was launched with a vision to position Ayurveda based medicines and herbal products in Indian and foreign markets.
Charak has a wide range of proprietary medicines, beauty products and nutritional supplements.
8. Zandu Ayurveda
Every aficionado of Bollywood has heard the famous song ‘Juhi Badnaam Hui’ from movie ‘Dabbang’. The song explicitly mentions ‘Zandu Balm’ which has become a byword in Mumbai jargon for many things.
Zandu Balm is perhaps the most renowned product of this company named after Zandu Bhatt, the personal physician of erstwhile ruler of Jamnagar.
Zandu Ayurveda is a multi-million dollar Indian company. Its products range from Ayurveda based medicines to cure complex ailments from poor memory to uterine cyst.
The company’s products have been endorsed by top Indian cine stars and cricket players.
9. Vicco Laboratories
In 1952, KV Pendharkar, an Ayurveda expert founded Vicco Laboratories.
In an era where fluoride-based toothpaste made by multinationals were ruling the market, Vicco launched Vajradanti, a herbal toothpaste.
The brand was an instant hit. Shortly, Vicco came up with its new product Vicco Turmeric skin cream, the herbal cosmetic. Vicco Vajradanti and Vicco Turmeric are in great demand in India and abroad.
10. Patanjali Ayurved
Five years ago, consumers would have balked at the idea of an Indian company becoming global super-brand. Nobody could imagine a ‘Made In Bharat’ tag. Patanjali Ayurved changed this rapidly.
Founded by dynamic Yoga guru Baba Ramdev, today Patanjali is a household name in India and abroad. Patanjali has taken Ayurveda to a whole new dimension. Modern consumer products such as instant noodles, jams and jellies, biscuits and cosmetics are made in conformity to traditions of Ayurveda.
In less than three years, Patanjali Ayurved has developed a network of over 50,000 franchise stores across India. Its products are found in every major e-retailer.
Products of Patanjali and its sister firm Divya Pharmacy can be bought online from the company’s e-commerce portal. Pharmacies and supermarkets also stock Patanjali Ayurved products.
11. Nagarjuna Herbal Concentrates
NHCL manufactures proprietary Ayurveda based medicines and over the counter (OTC) Ayurveda and herbal products.
The product portfolio consists of more than 570 products providing head to heel healthcare and wellness solutions. Nagarjuna R&D has developed specialties medicines for cure and better management of core group of diseases.
People seeking Ayurveda treatments can find neighbourhood clinics run by the company in 19 states. The website also provides live chat facility for consultation.
12. SriSri Ayurveda
The newest entrant in Ayurveda based medicines and beauty treatment is Sri Sri Ayurveda.
The company was founded by Art of Living Foundation of spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravishankar. Within a few months, SriSri Ayurveda has emerged as a leading contender in the herbal medicines, healthcare and beauty field.
SriSri Ayurveda products are highly demanded worldwide. Products reflect the quality hallmark of Sri Sri Ravishankar, who created the ‘Sudarshan Kriya Yoga’ for National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).