Bringing my own herbal medicines to India?

#1 Feb 4th, 2014, 11:09
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  • PixieOakland is offline
#1
I'm planning (hoping) to be able to bring my own herbal medicines and teas with me on my trip to India. They're all plants native to North America and probably not available in India. I know I could probably find an ayurvedic doctor, but I want to have some of my own stuff that I'm already familiar with. First of all, will I be able to get this stuff into the country? Are there restrictions on herbal teas and tablets? I'm not bringing any cannabis or poppies or any such thing. Second, am I correct in assuming that Ayurveda doctors and medicines are inexpensive and easy to find if I do want that sort of thing?
#2 Feb 4th, 2014, 13:05
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  • edwardseco is offline
#2
Does any of it harbor agricultural pests.?
#3 Feb 4th, 2014, 13:26
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I sure hope not! It would all be dried and/or otherwise processed.
#4 Feb 4th, 2014, 14:36
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It is highly unlikely that your luggage is going to be checked. Is it illegal? If it was in commercial quantity, perhaps (like someone could construe you wanted to sell them), but I doubt that would be seen like that. If anything they are looking for gold, stuff like that. The limitation of imports is given in a certain value; so check that you are not too much over that. The limit now is Rs 8000, which is not much really.

See details here
http://www.cbec.gov.in/trvler-guide_ason22may2013.pdf

As far as Ayurvedic doctors, hmmm, depends first where you are going, then what for (complaints)?

If you know what you need in terms of Ayurvedic remedies, you can get them relatively inexpensively at Ayur-shops (price level Rs 20-100, on average). If you go to see ayur docs, they will pretend that their service is free, but you pay them by buying their products at their own pharmacy. In my experience it normally comes to about Rs 1500-2000 per month supply. They will prescribe you 3-4 different remedies.

If you are not staying in one place for several months, you have to calculate for how many months you need to take the stuff with you, and that actually takes up space in your bags. If it is alread filled with your stuff from home, you can imagine how that will make you feel.

Also consider how difficult or easy it will be to make your own tea in India. Plugs are normally not in useful places. You will need to buy an immersion heater in India (220 voltage, so no use to bring any from U.S.), a suitable metal mug** and either a short extension, or be otherwise ingenious to solve problems in the hotels you stay. (I assume you travel middle-low budget, 500-1000 Rs per day stays).

**Watch out, Indian immersion heaters will give you shocks often. So don't touch the mug while the heater is plugged in.

If you are still interested to meet some Ayur docs, tell where you are going, and you might get some good suggestions.
#5 Feb 4th, 2014, 15:17
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  • Nick-H is offline
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How are you travelling? via where? If there are any middle-eastern countries on your trip, I would leave the herbs at home. Some of those places kill you first and ask questions later.

It might be easier to bring any necessary herbal products in the form of tablets. No tea to make, and they will come in clearly labelled packs.
#6 Feb 11th, 2014, 09:49
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#6
Thank you for all the advice! I am visiting Varanasi, Haridwar, Jaipur, New Delhi and Kathmandu. Is it possible to get hot water for my own tea bags from restaurants or vendors? Or would that be inappropriate or strange to ask? I've never had a problem asking for hot water here in the US, and I was planning on bringing my own travel mug.
#7 Feb 11th, 2014, 09:56
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Bahut gurum pani. If you have your cup and your tea in it they'll figure it out. Just be careful on the way back into CA as they take no prisoners on agricultural imports..
#8 Feb 11th, 2014, 11:02
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#8
The place I stayed in Varanasi had a propane tank and burner in my room. I was free to tea (and pee) as much as I saw fit. I brought a pound of herbal tea into India, no problem
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#9 Feb 11th, 2014, 11:30
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#9
I have never had an issues but I guess it depends in exactly what it is. In recent years I have brought: Strauss wonder tea, activated charcoal, grapefruit seed extract, apple wider vinegar, baking soda... You get the basic idea. Hope this helps. Good luck
#10 Feb 15th, 2014, 10:39
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Oh activated charcoal... I should add that to my suitcase... thank you

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