Veterinary ayurveda is the thread that runs through the life of Sushil Agrawal, the founder and owner of Indian Herbs. He believes that plants are far more capable of aiding the society in disease prevention and health improvement than is factually known and accepted today.
Ayurveda (the science of herbal medicine) is based on the Hindu health hygiene from India. Although assumed to be revealed by the divine cosmic spirit of Brahman, it does not have a religious inspired vision on everything that has to do with total health of body and mind. It is a
comprehensive system of medical prescriptions and practical actions that are not always supported by modern (medical) science. As a pioneer Sushil Agrawal has delivered distinguished and exceptional services over the last 40 years for developing veterinary ayurveda (the science of herbal veterinary medicine) as a science of animal health care which has richly received recognition on a national level in India. This innovative work has now become an internationally recognised science and also has evolved as an industry not only in India, but in more than 35 other countries also and the number is increasing.Although China holds the no. 1 position in the world market of herbal human health care products, the notable work of Agrawal has put India in the no. 1 position as pioneer in the world market of herbal veterinary products and which other countries are now trying to follow.
Even after the country became independent in 1947, the animals were not treated or cared for well, as almost all allopathic veterinary medicines were being imported, making them less available and treatment was very expensive. Under these circumstances, Agrawal decided to dedicate his life to developing herbal medicines for animals and the foundation was laid for Indian Herbs as a research, development and manufacturing company.
Starting from 1968 Agrawal shaped the concept of herbal veterinary products as veterinary ayurveda, on modern scientific lines including pharmacological and toxicological studies and controlled clinical trials, which apply for scientific development of any modern synthetic medicine. More than 50 ayurvedic veterinary products were developed in the two following decades for treatment of ailments of dairy animals, pets and poultry. All these products are now being prescribed and used by veterinary practitioners in government and private veterinary hospitals, dispensaries and farms all over the country. Agrawal is currently the chairman of Indian Herbs group of companies.
As ayurvedic veterinary products were found more effective, safe and very economical, they soon became very popular amongst vets and farmers. Agrawal’s Indian Herbs achieved 4thranking in 1994 overtaking leading multinational pharma companies such as Pfizer, Rhone Poulenc, Cynamide, ICI, Roche, and leading Indian companies like Alembic, Wockhardt, Cadila and Ranbaxy. Since then, it continues to be one of the top four veterinary pharma companies in India.
Agrawal developed the concepts and project plans and personally associated with original research on herbal veterinary products at his own R&D Centre as well as at almost all veterinary colleges, agricultural and veterinary universities and veterinary and dairy research institutes in India and also in other countries. As of today, 18 veterinary scientists have obtained a PhD degree for doing research on herbal veterinary products of Indian Herbs and also 170 post graduate research studies have confirmed the science of veterinary ayurveda. So far 750+ research papers have been published by numerous veterinary scientists in different research journals in India and abroad with a great treasure of scientific knowledge on veterinary ayurveda.
The journey is continuing to attain higher levels of excellence. Now the Department of Ayush, Ministry of Health, Govt. of India is going to establish a “Veterinary Ayurveda Research Institute” (VARI) which amply demonstrates the importance and the official recognition of veterinary ayurveda as a science of animal health care.
There were no prescribed standards and methods of analysis from the Indian government or any other country at that time for ayurvedic human and veterinary medicines. Therefore Agrawal also has the honour of developing suitable methods of analysis and standardisation for herbal veterinary products with the help of sophisticated laboratory equipments, which are now recognised by European and other countries.
In tune with modern scientific developments, studies are also conducted on cultured animal cells (primary cell culture and/or continuous cell line), at different research institutions in India and abroad, to ascertain the bioactivity of herbal veterinary drugs at cellular level.
Vitamins and amino acids
Looking to many draw backs and limitations of imported and expensive synthetic vitamins and amino acids and their increasing needs in poultry and livestock feeds, the modern R&D Centre of Indian Herbs succeeded in developing better and economical alternatives through natural herbs, e.g. herbal vitamin C, E, choline as well as natural amino-acid supplements to replace synthetic DL-methionine and lysine.
These unique developments have been widely acclaimed all over the world and manufacturers of animal feeds, premixes as well as poultry and livestock farms in India and other countries are using them with very encouraging results and satisfaction.
Agrawal was also the first to introduce the concept of herbal growth promoters and production enhancers in poultry and livestock which are now being used in place of hormones, antibiotics and other chemical substances, not only in India but in many other countries. Until now Agrawal has developed around 200 herbal products as medicines and feed supplements for use in animals and 30 products for use in humans.
The monetary benefits to the farmers and national economy by using ayurvedic veterinary medicines and supplements over synthetic products for treatment of animals and improving their health and production are estimated to be more than Rs.5000 Crores (approx. € 775 mln) annually, besides many other hard to monetise advantages, such as savings in foreign exchange with reduction in imports of basic chemicals and earning of foreign exchange from exports. Besides that, the herbal treatments have no side-effects or adverse reactions in recommended dosage and can be used safely in pregnant and lactating animals and very young to old animals, with no residue problems or withdrawal periods, and no prescriptions required. There are many innovative ayurvedic products, for which no equivalent synthetic product is available, particularly for improving productivity of livestock and poultry.
For an organic livestock production that is growing rapidly throughout the world, it is necessary to use feed additives and health care products of natural origin only, but they are often not easily available. No surprise that Indian Herbs are very pleased that many of their herbal products have been evaluated and approved by EU authorised agency QC&I in Germany for use in organic farming in the EU. When the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) organised their first international conference for organic animal farming at University of Minnesota, USA, Agrawal was invited for a presentation on veterinary ayurveda and relating innovations of Indian Herbs.
Indian Herbs has earned foreign exchange worth more than Rs.700 mln (€10.78 mln) during last six years only from the export of its herbal veterinary products to 37 countries. As such the concepts also work as a great image builder for India. Agrawal or Indian Herbs appeared on television programmes in the UK and India to further spread the concept of veterinary ayurveda. Agrawal widely travelled to around 50 countries of the world making scientific presentations to veterinary practitioners and consultants, feed mills, animal nutritionists and farmers. Already 38 countries have granted registration or approval for marketing and use in animal farming of ayurvedic veterinary medicines and supplements.