The Indian herbal market is rising sharply and is expected to hit Rs 14,500-crore mark with exports reaching Rs 9,000 crore by the year 2012.

The herbal market has an annual compounded growth rate of 20 and 25 per cent, respectively. India is followed by China as the largest producer of medicinal plants having more than 40 per cent global diversity, Ayushkati Ayurved’s promoter Pankaj Naram said in a statement here.

Worldwide, the ayurvedic industry is put at $3 billion and is slowly gaining acceptance as an alternative system of medicine and health care, Naram said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has projected that the global herbal market will grow to $5 trillion by 2050.

According to the study on ‘Herbal Industry Biz Potential’, currently, the Indian herbal market is worth Rs 7,000 crore ($1.7 billion) and India exports herbal raw materials and medicines worth over Rs 3,600 crore ($902 million).

OTC (over the counter) products constitute 20 per cent of the $165-billion health care industry in the US, in India, it constitutes only 5 per cent of the Rs 19,000 crore health care industry.

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