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Opportunity Knocks in the Herbal Revolution

Business / 03 May 2019

Herbal medicines are naturally occurring substances derived from plant sources without industrial or chemical intervention of any kind. In other parts of the world they have long been used, for instance in Africa some eighty percent of the population use it at least on occasions, whilst the Chinese are considered pioneers of what we term alternative medicine.

The pharmaceutical industry is understandably skeptical, but growing awareness of alternatives coupled with a similar escalation in mistrust of corporate science has let to an explosive growth in the use of natural remedies in the developed world.

Alternative treatments are not confined to medicines per se. Homeopathy and acupuncture are also becoming increasingly popular in the western world, and the influential Sci Dev Net reports that medical students in the US are increasingly of the view that natural and chemical solutions to medical problems should be integrated, embracing a more holistic and positive approach. Interestingly, an “ethical analysis” by the World Health Organization (WHO) comes to fairly much the same conclusion.

Natural Remedies and the Law

Of course the pharmaceutical industry is not the only entity with which the herbal revolution has found itself in conflict. The movement to legalize medicinal and sometimes even recreational cannabis has met with varying degrees of success and failure depending upon jurisdiction. Sites such as have tentatively, and responsibly, promoted cannaboids and CBDs within the boundaries of what is permissible.

In other areas the weight of organized scientific authority, rather than the law, is sometimes the obstacle. Drug companies have invested huge amounts of time and money in scientific research and the manufacture of synthetic remedies and perhaps understandably challenge the claims of alternative medicine as being unproven and in many cases without any foundation in fact.

Market Opportunities from Herbal Remedies

Nevertheless the herbal market has opened up huge opportunities for new businesses, which can quite easily source and repackage the raw product without incurring a great deal of expense and thereby provide it with a whole new brand identity.  Thousands of small to medium enterprises have emerged, online and in store, as part of this relatively new movement. Health food shops abound on the high roads and many have an online operation, as of course do thousands of independent ventures.

For those who don’t wish to store produce there are plenty of opportunities to act as a virtual franchise, soliciting and receiving orders which can then be passed on the main supplier in exchange for a percentage without the need for the intermediary to take ownership of any hard stock.

Neither are remedies for ailments the only products to emerge from the alternative market. Clothing, toiletries, cosmetics and beauty products from cruelty-free ranges have their own growing fan bases and are likely to grow still more as sustainability becomes increasingly important to an increasing number of people. Alternative medicines and other related produce are likely to be around for a long time to come, as are any small businesses that choose to commit themselves to servicing this exciting market.

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