Day 23 – Q 3. India’s traditional medicine and way of life hold immense trade and brand potential. Do you agree? Substantiate your views.

  • IASbaba
  • July 6, 2020
  • 0
GS 3, Sci & Technology
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3. India’s traditional medicine and way of life hold immense trade and brand potential. Do you agree? Substantiate your views. 

भारत की पारंपरिक चिकित्सा और जीवन शैली काफी हद तक व्यापार और ब्रांड क्षमता रखती है। क्या आप सहमत हैं? अपने विचारों की पुष्टि करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to write about importance of India’s traditional medicine and way of life. The question also expects students to analyse whether India’s traditional medicine and way of life hold immense trade and brand potential or not with Substantiation.


India has a very rich and diverse treasure of traditional medicine and way of life. The COVID-19 crisis underscored the importance of India’s traditional medicine and way of life, hence it holds immense trade &  brand potential but at the same time there are some concerns regarding its contemporary life application. 


Potential of India’s Traditional medicine & way of life:

  • India has the unique distinction of having six recognized systems of traditional medicine. They are-Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga, Naturopathy and Homoeopathy.
  • Synthetic drugs, surgeries have some adverse side effects with their own limitations. 
  • Traditional Indian medicines hold an advantage in this scenario as they pose no side effects and have a wide scale application because of its consonance with nature. 

e.g. Simple cure for Cough is mentioned in Ayurveda to chew the leaves of Tulsi along with Clove. 

  • Mostly traditional medicines are made from the plant extracts as they are naturally available so it proves to be more cost effective when compared with the costly allopathic medicines.
  • As these medicines stand test of time for thousands of years there is no need to invest more money and time to do new research in it. So, it increase their trade value because of reduction in cost of research and development. 

e.g. Sushrut Samhita contains description of about 650 drugs and discusses different aspects related to other surgery.

  • As this knowledge is available to all, A small household business can also be started  in the form of MSME.
  • The Indian pharmaceutical industry, currently stands at around Rs 1,00,000 crore industry. As per the estimation, the international market for traditional medicine is anticipated to acquire a market worth of US $5 trillion by the end of year 2050.
  • As per study conducted by Spain based  “Natural Products and Chemistry Research Organisation” the extent of Indian exports of the medicinal and aromatic plants has increased from 2010 to almost double the value in the year 2014. Despite India’s share in global export market of traditional medicine being 0.5%, the country still holds a great importance at global level and more so in the upcoming years.
  • India’s traditional way of life signifies living in consonance with nature. Where it focuses on habit building as per the natures rule, which in turn helps to live a healthy life 

e.g. Waking up before Sun rise helps a person to get Vitamin D from early morning sun rays.

  • Indian traditional way of life not just holds unique things about leading  a healthy life style but they hold unique things about how to live in society, how to maintain relations, how to behave with the animals,birds etc.
  • As Western civilisation is facing  crisis in terms of family values, societal relations and health; projection of Indian way of life and promoting traditional medicine in trade has potential to be the “Brand of India”.

However, there are some concerns regarding contemporary life application of traditional medicine and way of life:

  • Traditional medicines though effective, they require more time than allopathic medicines to show its effect. So, in today’s fast moving world waiting for a long period of time doesn’t seems applicable.
  • Also some of the traditional medicines need rare earth metals such as gold, silver etc, which may increase the cost of medicine.
  • Traditional way of life doesn’t suits current work culture of working late night, working for long hours, having ,meals at specific interval of time etc.
  • Traditional medicines may not stand challenges posed by new diseases  like currently the whole world is striving hard to find cure for COVID-19.

Government of India has taken steps to promote traditional medicine & way of life:

  • With the proclamation at United Nations, world started celebrating 21 June as Yoga day. So, Yoga became a global brand.
  • Government of India established Ministry of AYUSH in 2014 to ensure the development and propagation of AYUSH systems of medicine and health care.
  • Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is a pioneering Indian initiative to prevent exploitation and to protect Indian traditional knowledge from wrongful patents.


It is a well-known fact that Indian traditional medicines & way of life played an important role in meeting the global health care needs and helped people to live a satisfactory life. Hence, it is visible that Indian traditional medicine and way of life holds an immense trade & brand potential but at the same time it needs to address the needs & challenges  posed by modern lifestyle.


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