Many people cutting across age groups drive down from far-flung areas for herbal products
'Herbal' is the new urban mantra with people going back to roots, literally, to find a cure for various remedies.
The humble roasted lotus seeds or 'makhana', 'sabza' or 'faluda', pure almond oil, 'gulkand', prunes and other popular healthful products, which have had patrons in the city for over 150 years, are still in demand.
Retailing Unani and Ayurvedic herbs are the numerous 'dawasaz' stores in the old city that stock varied products -- from 'kadwa badam ka tel' to get rid of migraine to the vitamin C-rich 'amle ka murabba' or gooseberry marmalade for building resistance.
It is not uncommon to find health conscious people cutting across age groups driving down from far-flung areas for these products.
Many come with prescriptions from Unani doctors and 'Vaidjis' to get the 'jadi booti' mix.
Migrants from Rajasthan
Hailing from Rajasthan and known for production of exotic herbs, most of the 'dawasaz' families migrated to Hyderabad during the early 19th century.
Today one finds the 'dawasaz' stores in Moti Galli, Afzalgunj, Gulzar Houz and now Banjara Hills with the descendants continuing the trade forward.
“My grandfather was a Persian hakeem and was certified by the Nizam himself. We started formulation for marketing in 1992 along with retailing of raw drugs. Today we export to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Malaysia and South Africa. Hair oils, herbal shampoos, facial kits, face packs, herbal medicine for diabetes and obesity are popular in the international market,” says Rohit Gupta of Lala Dawasaz Pvt Limited, in Gulzar House.
Shift to new city
Founded by Laxminarayana in 1844 at Afzalgunj, Munnalal Dawasaz has now branched to the new city owing to the demand.
“The young generation comes these days to buy beauty products such as lemon peel and bhringraj. We supply herbal products to salons in the city,” says Vikas Vijayvargi of Munnalal Grandsons, Road No. 12 Banjara Hills.
“People now read about the benefits of medicinal herbs such as ashwagandha and kapoor kachri on the Internet and come to the store.
The awareness of herbal products is high,” he adds.
People now prefer herbal health and beauty products over allopathic drugs and chemical treatments, says Mr. Gupta.