Potential of Pakistan’s herbal trade with China

By Usman Umer | Gwadar Pro Feb 17, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 17 (Gwadar Pro) - Oriental herbal medicines and the Ayurveda system of medicine is about 3000 years old. Ayurveda is derived from Sanskrit and means “the knowledge of life”. In the past, this system of medicine, health and care was sustained on traditional lines by the experts. Nowadays, this has become an industry and traditional practitioners have developed their brands which have gained international repute.

Pakistan is rich in medicinal plants. The advantage of traditional medicine is that all the ingredients are found naturally and natively in Pakistan. These are easily identified by the natives and plant experts who know the medicinal qualities of these herbs and plants. Many of these herbs and plants are exported to other countries.

Representatives of Pakistani brand Marhaba Laboratories also regularly participate in the import and export trade fair held in Shanghai, China. “We get a very good response,”Hakeem Usman said. He further told that the Exhibition in Shanghai is a great source of promotion and inspiration because their products become known to the visitors and they get orders. Chinese people also like their products. Hakeem Usman informed that Amla Hair Oil (Gooseberry Oil) and Kalwanji Oil (Nigella Seed Oil) are registered in China but other products such as Rose Water and Marhaba Henna are also liked by the people in China. Hakeem Usman is hopeful that more products can be registered in China if there is cooperation between the governments in this regard.

A major problem is that there is a lack of cooperation and guidance by the Pakistani government and the exporters do not know the rules and regulations, resultantly, the process of registration and exports becomes complex and lengthy. He further informed that their trademark was copied by some dishonest people and they are selling the products in the name of Marhaba. This is evidence of Marhaba’s quality but at the same time a serious issue on which the Chinese government must take action against the fraudulent persons and enterprises.

Talking about the top and special products, Hakeem Usman revealed that Marhaba Ispaghol Husk (Plantago) has become an identity and number one product of Marhaba Laboratories. Pakistan produces the best quality Ispaghol seed and husk. According to the government’s official reports, the Hasilpur, Chishtian and Haroonabad regions of Southern Punjab (Bahawalnagar and Bahawalpur Districts) are the hubs of Ispaghol cultivation and processing. Ispaghol Husk is used in several medicines and in raw form by the Pakistani people. Ispaghol seeds are commonly used as animal feed in the summer season. Male goats are fed with these seeds that increase their weight and protein growth. Hakeem Usman tells that these products are also exported to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, Central Asia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Canada, America, Japan, China and Europe. 

Hakeem Usman appreciates China’s cooperation with Pakistan in CPEC and business joint ventures. He is hopeful that a joint venture in herbal medicines has great potential because China is also an old practitioner of herbal medicines.  

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