The journey in health care began for Himalaya in 1930 when a young man with a very curious mind pondered the idea of presenting herbal medicine in a contemporary form. Mr. Manal, our Founder, while traveling through the forests surrounding Dehradun, saw villagers pacifying restless elephants by feeding them the root of the plant Rauwolfia serpentina.
His fascination with what he observed and four years of rigorous research into this special botanical led to Serpina®, the world's first anti-hypertensive drug, in 1934. His vision and belief in contemporizing Ayurveda led to discovering and perfecting the process of making tablets using herbs and herbal extracts over 90 years ago. To make herbal medicine mainstream, he adopted a modern drug discovery paradigm used in all future product development processes. When traditional medicines were offered only in powders, tinctures, and decoctions, our Founder made Ayurvedic medicines available in widely accepted formats like tablets and syrups. The success of Serpina® strengthened his faith in well-researched herbal medicines and led to some of our landmark contributions like Liv.52®, Cystone®, and Septilin®, which have gone on to become household names as safe, efficacious, and dependable herbal wellness solutions.
In 1955, Himalaya introduced Liv.52®, a formulation that ensures optimum liver function. With more than 250 clinical studies attesting to its efficacy, Liv.52® is the only herbal medicine to be ranked among the top 10 pharmaceutical products in India. In addition, a great deal of dedication and focus was put into the research and development of our herbal medicines, including Cystone®, Septilin®, Geriforte®, and Bonnisan®.
In 2003, Himalaya was awarded ISO-9001:2000 certification for the design, manufacture, and marketing of herbal health care products, a rare feat unheard of then in the herbal health care industry. Himalaya has adopted innovative and holistic herb extraction technologies and has been a pioneer in introducing Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC) fingerprinting technology, which is followed as a benchmark for herbal drug quality. TLC is an analytical tool that helps to identify key compounds in herbs and serves as a useful tool to identify, authenticate, and standardize herbs.
Our scientists have partnered with prestigious regulatory agencies such as United States Pharmacopoeia (USP) in setting up quality standards for some commonly used botanicals. Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are adopted for the cultivation of medicinal plants and Good Field Collection Practices (GFCP) for the sustainable collection of plants. We are one of the first companies to develop DNA Barcodes for over 50 herbs. Our scientists have published DNA sequences of 45 herbs in the prestigious BOLD Database in Canada and GenBank, NCBI, NIH, USA.
In addition, the Himalaya R&D team is extensively working to develop innovative, effective, and affordable health care solutions for the challenges ahead, especially in the field of metabolic and lifestyle disorders (such as diabetes, dyslipidemia, hyperuricemia, hypertension), functional gastric disorders, migraine, allergic conditions, neurocognitive conditions, and women's health.
Many herbal formulations at Himalaya find their roots in classical Ayurvedic texts. A team of botanists and Ayurveda Experts at our R&D Center review these scholarly texts and shortlist suitable herbs for further research. Himalaya's phytochemistry team studies the geographical and seasonal variations of the marker profiles of these herbs. Phytochemical profiling is established from different seasons and geographical locations to ensure batch-to-batch consistency, high quality, and standardization. The quality of herbs is further maintained either by cultivating plants under the supervision of agricultural scientists or by practicing sustainable collection and harvesting practices under the supervision of trained botanists (in case of herbs sourced from the wild). Herbs have to further pass through stringent quality checks as per internal specifications laid out by our scientists.
Himalaya's scientists are adopting bioassay-guided fractionation and purification technology to identify active fractions. This ensures that the herbal preparation is standardized, and the formulation has the required levels of bioactive compounds to elicit the pharmacological response. This technology is being leveraged for innovative treatments of ailments, including liver health, allergy, cancer, diabetes, and mental health issues, as well as for specialized products in Skin Care, Oral Care, and Hair Care.
Super Critical Fluid (SCF) extraction, a fast-growing technology to extract herbal materials, is being utilized for the extraction of beneficial bioactive compounds. This ensures that there are no solvent residues in herbal preparations while delivering safe and efficacious products.
Extracts from a single herb or a combination of herbs are initially tested on disease models of cell lines to evaluate the drug's efficacy. Once efficacy is confirmed, these extracts undergo rigorous toxicity tests and mutagen studies to ensure that testing on humans is safe. The extracts are formulated into the desired dosage forms (capsules, tablets, caplets, syrups, and drops) and then entered into human clinical trials. All clinical trials follow Indian and international norms on human subject testing.
Himalaya has always been in the forefront to adopt new, innovative, challenging, consumer friendly, and technologically superior formulation platforms in herbal health care. Our vision is to develop and excel in new formulation technologies to meet the requirements of the next generation. Capsule-in-capsule, a unique multiple release drug delivery platform, was introduced to deliver prebiotics, probiotics, and herbs for gut health. An innovative rapid release, mouth-dissolving drug delivery platform was developed to offer quick, on-the-go, clinically tested health care solutions for common ailments such as acidity, indigestion, nausea, cramps, and immunity.
We have launched gummies and chews containing our active herbal ingredients. Effervescent tablets, which fit into the dynamic contemporary wellness needs of customers, are currently under development. These new dosage forms have high customer compliance and meet the needs of their daily well-being.
In addition, we have expanded our portfolio with new, exciting herbal supplements which are made with superior and effective herbal ingredients, are 100% excipient-free, vegan friendly, and free from preservatives, harsh chemical excipients, and allergens like gluten, soy, and dairy. In fact, Himalaya was the first to offer an excipient-free USDA certified organic range of supplements in tablet dosage form in the US market, way back in 2009.
Himalaya offers the Hello range of products that were specifically developed to address the mental well-being needs of our customers. Hello Peace, Hello Energy, Hello Joy, Hello Calm Mind, Hello Alert Mind, and Hello ZZZs are the products that have been designed and developed to address various stress-related disorders such as anxiety, disturbed and irritated mood, fatigue, restlessness, loss of focus and alertness, forgetfulness, and disturbed sleep. With the ongoing focus on reducing stress and promoting mental well-being, these products have become a critical tool for maintaining daily wellness.
Himalaya has a range of products which are ethically promoted through prescription from general physicians and specialists. Our clinical trial design and research complies with stringent international norms, such as ICH-GCP guidelines and the Helsinki declaration. To date, we have conducted more than 1,250 clinical studies. The clinical studies have been conducted both by qualified doctors as well as by Ayurvedic experts across different medical institutions and hospitals of repute. These studies have been carried out in different countries, which further supports our global outreach to validate the safety and efficacy of our products. Our products are endorsed and prescribed by doctors in over 100 countries, and we have also set up robust pharmacovigilance and risk management systems for the identification of adverse events as a precaution.
We are proud to say that today over 250,000 doctors around the world prescribe our therapeutic products, confirming the trust and confidence they have in the safety and efficacy of Himalaya products.