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Sunday June 11, 2006
SEVENTY-five years ago, the founder of the The Himalaya Drug Company, M. Manal, chanced upon a plant with anti-hypertensive properties and produced a drug from it. Since then, the company has been busy combining the best of modern science and age-old Ayurvedic wisdom to create a wide spectrum of health products.
The result is a highly-regarded range of products that is sold in 60 countries across the world.
Incidentally, Ayurveda means “the science of life’’ and it is an ancient, holistic system of medication practised in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. At Himalaya, these age-old secrets are studied, evaluated and validated by a team of more than 40 doctors and scientists who work at a research centre in Bangalore, India. Research on one herb can take up to 12 years before it is marketed.
To ensure the purity of the herbs it uses, Himalaya controls the agricultural process and has a dedicated database of herb suppliers, a nursery and an agrotech division which supplies the “raw materials’’.
Because Ayurveda is a fully developed system of medicine that includes branches of study like anatomy, physiology and pathology, as well as specialties like paediatrics, obstetrics and gynaecology, psychiatry and surgery, Himalaya has been able to develop an extensive range of products which includes supplements for men, women and children; a personal care range which includes skincare, body-care and hair care products as well as a range of pure herbs for general well-being.
Among the big sellers in the pharmaceutical range are a herbal antibiotic and a cough syrup. Its most sought after product for the liver has been a top-seller since it was introduced in 1955.
The pure herb range includes over 20 products for general well-being, and these include Brahmi which is said to improve alertness, Karela to regulate metabolism, Yasthi-Madhu for gastric comfort, Neem which alleviates skin problems and Lasuna for cholesterol protection.
The skin and body care range includes face creams, shampoos, hair oil, face packs and unbleached toothpaste. The Himalaya Revitalizing Night Cream won an award for Best Night Cream in the Woman’s Health and Fitness magazine awards in the United States last year.
These products are sold in bright and breezy stores both in Malaysia and elsewhere, and the concept the brand projects through its outlets is “a one-stop shop for the whole family’’.
Prices range between RM5 and RM20 for body-care products and RM25 and RM45 for supplements.
A mountain worth climbing
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