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How To Start Herbal Medicine Business

Starting an herbal medicine business requires knowledge of herbs, and their effects on the human body. Depending on many factors, an herbal medicine business can grow to become very big and profitable, employing thousands of people across many countries.

Among the deciding factors is what exactly you bring to the table. Have you made an interesting discovery? Have you discovered an herb, or a combination of herbs that can cure a disease, or at least bring relief to people suffering from a particular ailment?

There is plenty of potential in this line of business; having tried orthodox medicines for many years, many are turning their attention to herbal medicine.

Why Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicine has also improved on the continent; the quality and quantity of the medicines are better controlled and monitored. Furthermore, with proper packaging and branding, herbal medicine companies can make huge sales, and establish structures that can challenge established companies.

With so much interest in herbal products, and yet so much few companies meeting the demand, this is a potentially profitable field of business both now and in the long run.

Furthermore, as a part of the conscious revolution, more people are turning away from synthetic chemicals, and choosing to go the natural way when it comes to healthcare, food, and beauty products among other things.

Another important point to consider is the cultural renaissance in Africa; Africans are looking to go back to their roots by embracing the traditional ways of doing things.

All these factors combined make this the best time to go into the herbal medicine business. The question is “how?”

How To Start An Herbal Medicine Business

Get Training In Traditional Medicine

Different countries have different protocols about how traditional medicine is practiced; but even without being told, anybody can see the importance of getting the training and the knowledge of herbal medicine before attempting to make any mixture that anybody will take into his body.

This is because herbs contain powerful chemicals which can either save lives, or end it. Some herbs can make a person see dancing cows for a week.

To avoid undesirable incidents one must therefore get training about herbs, so that the actions and effects of the various herbs are understood.

Decide What Business Model You Want

Generally, there are two models that herbal medicine business often follow. They are the herbal tea shop, or herbal products dealers.

Herbal tea shops are like regular cafes where customers stroll in at leisure and order their herbal teas or mixtures, readily prepared, and ready for consumption. Of course, teas are not the only products available at such places; they also sell herbal tinctures, and the likes.

This can be seen as an upgrade of the old style traditional medicine dealers of West Africa which still exist in abundance all over the region today.

The major advantage of this kind of business is that one can better protect any proprietary trade secrets that they have made through hard research.

Herbal Medicine Businesses are those that sell the herbal products in ways that closely resemble orthodox medicines. The products are well branded, and elaborate distribution structures are built.

Some of the products are sold as liquids, while others are sold as tablets or capsules.

This is the future of herbal medicine business because it offers the best chance of growing the business into a multinational venture, with profits in hundreds of millions of dollars. There are hugely successful herbal medicine producers from the United States, China, and other countries. These companies have built their businesses to be very valuable.

Having decided what business model one finds most attractive, the next step is to research and develop products.

Research And Develop Products

Interestingly, many who look up how to start an herbal medicine business have already developed a product, and now wish to find a way to build a business around that product. This is the most important aspect of building a traditional medicine business because this is the aspect that concerns life and death.

This is where the training in traditional medicines comes into play because it exposes one to the ancient mixtures of herbs, as well as the quantities that the body can tolerate. That foundational knowledge will also enable one to develop new products which have never been discovered before. One can then cure diseases that have previously been deemed incurable. That is where the real money is; developing something new will put one on the historical and financial maps.

It is important to note, however, that many of the pharmaceutical breakthroughs in the world came as a result of mistakes. For example; Viagra was supposed to cure baldness, but instead we have something that boosts sexual activity.

Get Approval For Your Products

Products that boost sexual activity are some of the herbal products that get approval from the authorities really quickly, and that is probably because almost every herbal company is selling the same herbs, perhaps with some changes in flavor and marketing.

Every country has an institution in charge of regulating the products that are medicinal in nature. They have to ensure that the products are safe for consumption, and that they are effective when used.

They also verify the side effects if any, and also ensure that the components of the medicines are safe.

Once the products have been approved, they will be cleared for sale to the public. Normally, when a product is approved it can be sold in every state within that country, but in order to sell it in another country a fresh approval has to be obtained in that country.

Begin Production

Production involves sourcing the herbs, storing them, processing and packaging. Production involves procuring a space to serve as the factory/base of operations. It must meet some design specifications to ensure proper ventilation and humidity, and must be thoroughly cleaned.

A good factory should have enough space to store the raw materials, and to process them individually. Processing herbs usually involves drying and blending.

To get specific products with specific effects, individual herbs have to be mixed with other herbs. The mixing formula has to be maintained with exact precision, and that is how to ensure that a consistent product is achieved.

The final packaging will involve turning the products into capsules, tablets, syrups. The usual method of selling herbal tablets and capsules are in small branded cups. Liquids are usually sold in plastic bottles of different sizes.

Production can be done by hand, but workers must be monitored to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness; including protective gear such as hairnets, nose masks, goggles, and hand gloves.

Plastic cups and bottles are locally available; materials for branding them are also available locally. When the products have been branded, they will have to be marketed.

Marketing The Herbal Products

There are two major ways via which herbal products are sold; the traditional marketing method, and through network marketing.

The traditional marketing method involves promoting the products on the media; TV, Radio, Papers, and on the internet. It also involves engaging marketers to take the products to pharmacies and drugstores from city to city.

Network Marketing is becoming increasingly popular, although there are concerns regarding sustainability. It involves getting a team of marketers who will recruit other marketers for incentives such as what the new recruits pay as membership fees, as well as percentages of the profits coming in from sales from their recruits.

Even though this creates a kind of pyramid; it is quite effective because it quickly builds an army of marketers who go to great lengths to sell the company’s products.

The Network of marketers becomes a multi-level structure in which the oldest get to be on top, while the newer ones get to be at the bottom.

Direct Selling is a third option which is rarely used is the concept of establishing a network of offices in major cities. These offices then engage and sell directly to the public.

Marketing is an important part of operating successful herbal medicine businesses; and an extra mention must be given to network marketing, not because it is justified, but because it is very effective.

Further Reading:


Starting an herbal medicine business is the easy part. The difficulty lies with successfully maintaining the business so that it grows and attains its potential. The depth of knowledge of the entrepreneur will go a long way, as well as the building of the business on sound principles such as hiring the best hands (as against hiring based on sentiments), and strict compliance to company procedure.

A company that rewards excellent performance will invariably find that its staff work hard, and exceed expectations. Furthermore, it is important to build team spirit in the office so as to ensure that people work towards the same goals.

This article does not mention funding. Most people who start herbal medicine businesses do so with their own money as seed capital; and it is after the initial success that outside funding comes in. this is not a hard and fast rule; there is a lot of room for improvisation.

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