The global complementary and alternative medicine market size was valued at USD 82.27 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 22.03% from 2021 to 2028. The market is set to gain momentum in the coming years owing to the changing regulatory scenario, coupled with robust government initiatives, resulting in the establishment of strong transnational connections across healing pathways linking global, national, and local movements regarding alternative medicine. Additionally, government initiatives exploring norms related to the right to health in all its forms are set to supplement the participation of service providers and users in the field of alternative and complementary healthcare. Government initiatives play a major role in propelling the demand for integrative health and complementary medicine practices by strengthening targeted expenditure, setting up government facilities, and releasing guidelines to ensure appropriate usage of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).
Regulatory bodies are also focusing on the promotion of medical tourism as it attracts people from other places and helps them seek world-class alternative medical treatment. For instance, Indian regulatory authorities have made significant investments in the development and standardization of alternative medical facilities in some of the states. A government body, “Ministry of Ayush” has been set up that overlooks education, product, development, research, and other facilities of yoga, Ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathy in India.
Additionally, research-oriented toward the use of traditional medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 individuals is set to gain traction in the coming years. The government authorities across the globe are keen on promoting traditional alternatives for the treatment of COVID-19 individuals, however, it is imperative to cater to the conventional research standards devised for all the other drug candidates.
This trend has specifically emerged after research studies performed on the potential of different medicinal plants to offer effective treatment to the COVID-19 individuals, which is expected to have a positive impact on the CAM market growth. Lack of clinical data to support the claims of natural medicine practitioners has emerged as a restraining factor for alternative medicine practitioners. However, robust funding for clinical studies along these lines is expected to overcome this limitation in the near future.
Traditional alternative medicine or botanicals dominated the market with a share of 38.48% in 2020. Botanicals are the most widely used alternative medicines in both developing and developed countries. They are used in the form of herbal supplements, homeopathic medicines, and other natural products. In the majority of the countries, they are used extensively in the form of dietary supplements along with standard food and medicine.
Other products like herbal oils and tea have gained popularity across industrialized economies. In countries like India and China, the adoption of herbal products is high, and this trend is expected to continue, in turn boosting the market growth. Medicinal plants and herbs have gained significant popularity as these can be processed as well as transported in different formulations, including tablets, ointments, teas, syrups, and whole herbs.
High demand for bio-magnetic therapy and magnetic resonance therapy is expected to increase the popularity of magnetic CAM intervention. The magnetic resonance therapy segment is estimated to expand at the fastest CAGR of 23.23% through the forecast period owing to its wide acceptance among doctors, naturopaths, and patients as a largely beneficial form of complementary and alternative medicine therapy.
Moreover, the concept of bio-magnetic therapy has gained considerable traction among industry professionals and customers as a bio-magnetic intervention has become one of the most promising means of therapy. The transition from chemistry-oriented healthcare to surgery-oriented healthcare strengthens the revenue generated by the bio-magnetic therapy segment.
Direct sales accounted for the largest revenue share of over 73.0% in 2020. Treatment provided through direct sales is expected to lead the market in the coming decade owing to the tremendous growth in medical tourism. Government funding to improve treatment facilities and promote alternative medicine further supplements this trend. Different local acupuncture and Ayurveda practitioners and entities aim at exploring the direct distribution of complementary medicine along with alternative therapies to expand their businesses.
These entities focus on doctor/practitioner-patient interaction and therapeutic approaches that improve profitability. For instance, articles published by Michelle Grasek of Seneca Falls Acupuncture PLLC on the frequency of successful treatment approaches conducted in an acupuncture practice highlight the significance of patient’s response to particular acupuncture therapy and their will to attend follow-up visits or further recommendations.
The distance correspondence segment is expected to exhibit the fastest CAGR of 22.90% from 2021 to 2028. Increased preference toward distance education and training programs for yoga and meditation and rising adoption of distance mind healing techniques by most of the practitioners are among the primary factors contributing to the robust revenue generated by this segment.
Moreover, practitioners are showing an inclination toward providing acupuncture services and natural remedies from a distance, aiming to increase the salability potential of such offerings. For instance, SUN AND MOON HEALING, located in Asheville, North Carolina offers virtual acupuncture services. Other such entities offering novel distance acupuncture therapies include Tree of Life Acupuncture and Resonation Acupuncture (Katie Briggs).
Europe held the largest share of 33.35% in 2020. Complementary and alternative medicine has gained immense popularity across Europe, including a wide range of procedures less dependent on modern medication, such as acupuncture. A significant increase in the number of hospitals offering complementary and alternative medicine, especially acupuncture, has been observed in Norway since 2000.
As early as 2008, more than 40% of the hospitals in Norway provided acupuncture therapies. In addition, acupuncture remains the most widely adopted and demanded complementary and alternative medicine treatment in Norway across both outpatient and in-patient hospital settings.
The Middle East and Africa is expected to expand at the fastest CAGR of 24.78% from 2021 to 2028. The region has witnessed significant elevations in the number of alternative medicine practitioners. Several research studies have been conducted to analyze the demand for herbal medicines in Middle Eastern countries. These studies perform targeted analysis of factors, such as consumption, availability, and affordability of medicinal plants, across the region, thus boosting the market growth.
The expanding pool of numerous medium and large-sized players has led to the fragmentation of the market in recent years. Distinct strategic initiatives including marketing programs, strategic business expansions, and portfolio expansions have been adopted by market entities to sustain the intensifying industry competition.
For instance, in December 2019, Modern Acupuncture inaugurated a new clinic in Pinecrest, Florida- the second Modern Acupuncture clinic in Florida and 54th in the U.S. This is expected to expand the reach of acupuncture services offered by this clinic in the country, strengthening its market presence. Some prominent players in the global complementary and alternative medicine market include:
Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute
The Healing Company Ltd.
John Schumacher Unity Woods Yoga Centre
Sheng Chang Pharmaceutical Company
Pure encapsulations, LLC.
AYUSH Ayurvedic Pte Ltd.
Market size value in 2021
USD 100.04 billion
Revenue forecast in 2028
USD 404.66 billion
CAGR of 22.03% from 2021 to 2028
Base year for estimation
2017 - 2019
2021 - 2028
Revenue in USD billion and CAGR from 2021 to 2028
Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Intervention, distribution method, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; MEA
U.S.; Canada; France; Germany; Switzerland; Austria; Spain; Norway; Denmark; Sweden; Belgium; Netherlands; U.K.; Ireland; Japan; China; India; Australia; Hong Kong; Singapore; New Zealand; Brazil; Mexico; Argentina; Israel; UAE; South Africa
Key companies profiled
Columbia Nutritional; Nordic Nutraceuticals; Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute; The Healing Company Ltd.; John Schumacher Unity Woods Yoga Centre; Sheng Chang Pharmaceutical Company; Pure encapsulations, LLC.; Herb Pharm; AYUSH Ayurvedic Pte Ltd.
Free report customization (equivalent up to 8 analysts working days) with purchase. Addition or alteration to country, regional & segment scope
Pricing and purchase options
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This report forecasts revenue growth at the global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends and opportunities in each of the sub-segments from 2017 to 2028. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global complementary and alternative medicine market report on the basis of intervention, distribution method, and region:
Intervention Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2028)
Traditional Alternative Medicine/Botanicals
Bach Flower Therapy
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Traditional Korean Medicine
Traditional Japanese Medicine
Traditional Mongolian Medicine
Traditional Tibetan Medicine
Zang Fu Theory
Spiritual Mind Treatment
Magnetic Resonance Therapy
Distribution Method Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2028)
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Billion, 2017 - 2028)
Middle East & Africa
b. The global complementary & alternative medicine market size was estimated at USD 82.27 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 100.04 billion in 2021.
b. The global complementary & alternative medicine market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 22.03% from 2021 to 2028 to reach USD 404.66 billion by 2028.
b. Direct sales distribution dominated the complementary & alternative medicine market with a share of 73.86% in 2020. This is attributed to the fact that most frequently performed complementary and alternative therapies require direct interaction with the patient.
b. Some key players operating in the complementary & alternative medicine market include Nordic Nutraceuticals, Columbia Nutritional, Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Herb Pharm, John Schumacher Unity Woods Yoga Centre, Pure Encapsulations, LLC., The Healing Company Ltd, AYUSH Ayurvedic Pte Ltd, and Sheng Chang Pharmaceutical Company.
b. Key factors that are driving the complementary & alternative medicine market growth include wide acceptance of alternative treatments among the general population, further causing an upswing in the number of yoga studios, meditation centers, spas, and complementary wellness facilities.
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Multiple therapeutic regimens are being followed across the globe in attempts to come up with a reliable treatment for Covid-19. One line of treatment includes the use of hydroxychloroquine, while a second treatment line focuses to use antiviral drugs used in the disease management of HIV. Both these approaches have surged demand from advanced antivirals and antimalarial drugs. This impacts the drug manufacturers as an off label indication for these drug classes has to be worked upon. At the moment, the WHO has not prescribed any of these approaches, neither they have commented if one is better than the other. The report will account for Covid19 as a key market contributor.