How COVID-19 fuels the demands for Tongkat Ali and other scientifically proven herbal supplements

With so many societal challenges that COVID-19 has posed, contemplating on the positive aspects of it can seem impossible. But believe it or not, the pandemic does come with a big silver lining: it forces urban dwellers to redefine their priorities in life and put their health and wellbeing on top of the list. 

Interestingly, the shift in perspective is showing in the way that the global demand for scientifically-backed health supplements has generally increased post-COVID-19. 

The global herbal supplements and remedies market, which is presently worth an estimated USD 166.2 billion in size this year, is expected to reach a revised value of USD 166.2 billion by 2027 with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%.

The numbers should not come as a total surprise. More than two in five of dietary supplement users in the United States today have altered their routines to include more types of supplements, take their everyday supplements more regularly, or increase the daily doses of their usual supplements.

In India, meanwhile, the need for immune system protection has entailed a spike in requests for immunity boosters such as vitamin C supplements and Siddha concoctions.

And in Malaysia, where medicinal plants are abundant, concerns about the coronavirus have inspired citizens to find holistic protection from local plant-derived resources, including Tongkat Ali.

So with more and more consumers wanting to take matters of their immunity into their own hands, Biotropics Malaysia ensures that high-quality herb extracts are more accessible than ever before. 

It’s all in our track record. Our premium patented Physta® extract, for one, has enabled many partners in the global herbal supplements industry to market it in Malaysia and various other locations across the world, including the United States and Japan.

Besides a pandemic-driven reprioritisation of health, what are the other reasons why this industry is rapidly expanding? We dig deeper into the case. 

Other factors that foster the growth of the herbal supplements and remedies industry

Sure, the coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly escalated the growth of the herbal supplements and remedies industry by leaps and bounds. But the industry was already poised to grow, nonetheless, thanks to these following factors gleaned by our researchers.

1. Changing consumer behaviour

Even before the COVID-19 crisis began, health-driven consumerism was already on the rise. Due to rapid advances in both the medical and information technology (IT) industries in the last decade, it is now much easier for consumers to get informed about the availability and effectiveness of current health treatments. 

Also, the fact that public health information is now a Google search away has motivated people to seek more insights into their states of health and wellbeing. As their self-autonomy grows, so to their desire to protect their bodies and minds at home. 

Also, due to the Internet’s emergence, the healing properties of natural plants and herbs are now common knowledge and no longer confined to the domains of mythologies and folklores. So it is only inevitable that people would eventually seek quality herbal supplements to boost their health. Understanding them to be a daily commitment, many look for affordably-priced ones.

2. The normalisation of quality herbs manufacturing

Given the increase in health literacy and democratisation of public health information, quality herb extractions are no longer elusive. Their status as superfoods is increasingly normalised that producing and distributing them are increasingly expected.

Taking heed of the demand, Biotropics has been a key player contributing to the entire development. For the past decade, our company has been overseeing and gatekeeping the quality of traditional herb extractions, which include lab-tested, patented Tongkat Ali roots. 

Our ethos remains to turn yesterday’s traditional approach to health and wellbeing into tomorrow’s innovative health solutions via carefully practised scientific verifications.

3. Increased research and development efforts

The growth of the market could not have happened without the efforts that key industry stakeholders have put into studying medicinal plants and herbs.

Our company is a known one-stop turnkey manufacturer in Malaysia due to our commitment to the necessary processes that help us manufacture high-quality natural performance ingredients. 

At the same time, we also have our own in-house research and development (R&D) team at work. This intended feature allows us to immediately ensure that all herbal ingredients leaving our labs and factories satisfy global market standards.

We measure, record, and archive the performance levels of our herbal extracts from root to capsule. All ready-to-consume Biotropics supplements available in the market have all undergone strict rounds of discovery studies and clinical tests.

4. Available variety of performance ingredients

With the benefits of natural performance ingredients increasingly realised and acknowledged, it’s no wonder why the herbal supplements and remedies industry is growing exponentially. 

How does Biotropics fit the big picture? Well, our products provide solutions that address consumers’ health holistically and wholly, from all angles. 

Let’s start with our water-soluble Physta® extract; it is known to increase energy and vitality. Birthed from Biotropics’ collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), this performance ingredient delivers the immunity-boosting properties of Tongkat Ali in maximum capacity.

According to a study by both Biotropics and the Tokyo Medical & Dental University, a daily dose of 200 micrograms (mg) of Physta® can significantly increase the CD4 cells. Also known as the T cells, these immune cells are a type of white blood cells that help fight against infections.

But Tongkat Ali is not the only natural ingredient that Biotropics is championing. Besides Physta®, our company also oversees the manufacturing and distribution of two other key quality performance ingredients: Acnaed® and Biokesum™

Equipped with antimicrobial properties, Acnaed® helps tackle acne and other sebum-driven dermatological problems. Clinical skin patch tests led by Korea’s Ellead Skin Research Center revealed that the performance ingredient could reduce the visible appearance of acne by 48% after eight weeks of application. Subjects tested with it showed a 75.3% decrease in their number of pustules and a 58% rate of papule count reduction. Their overall sebum secretion rate fell to 21.4%.

Our water-soluble Biokesum™ extract, meanwhile, is derived from a Malaysian plant called Persicaria minor or polygonum minus that is also known in the Malay language as kesum or laksa leaves. Its two cognitive markers, quercetin-3-glucuronide and Quercitrin, help improve the brain’s memory and cognitive functions, while also protecting the body with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-ageing properties. In the United States, this extract takes the name Lineminus™.

With a scientifically proven selection of quality performance ingredients available, it is no wonder why the market for herbal health remedies is bigger than ever.

Join the herbal revolution with Biotropics

Are you inspired to contribute to the global growth of the herbal supplements and markets industry? Our experts and researchers are here to assist your brand, every step of the way.

Why should you put your trust in Biotropics? We are, after all, recognised as one of the country’s top six commercialised research companies listed the Economic Planning Unit’s Malaysian Productivity Blueprint 2017-2020. 

This allows us the luxury of being the leading international authority on herbal and natural products from Malaysia. At the same time, we are also the official Adopter of Tongkat Ali in the American Botanical Council’s Adopt-Herb Programme. 

Interested to collaborate with us? Or simply want to more about our performance ingredients? Just send in your message, and we will attend to your request in no time.

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Biotropics Malaysia Berhad (Biotropics) was incorporated in February 2007 to develop and commercialise Malaysia’s bio-resources into superior natural health product. View more


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