Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research (2004): Supplement 2:
2nd International Congress on Traditional Medicine and Materia Medica
Application of techniques in collection and harvesting of herbal medicine
Taghizadeh M., Shahnazi S., Ahvazi M.
Institute of Medicinal Plants, Tehran-Iran
Interest in traditional medicine and in particular herbal medicine has increased in both developed and developing countries over the past two decades. Some reported adverse events following the use of certain herbal medicines have been associated with a variety of possible explanations, including the inadvertent use of the wrong plant species, adulteration with undeclared other medicines. The safety and quality of raw medicinal plant materials and finished products depend on factors that may be classified as intrinsic or extrinsic. However, quality control for the cultivation and collection of medicinal plants as the raw materials for herbal medicines may be more demanding than that for food production; possibly for this reason, only China, the European Union, and Japan have recently developed guidelines on good agricultural practices for medicinal plants. Medicinal plants should be harvested during the optimal season or time period to ensure the production of medicinal plant materials and finished herbal products of the best possible quality. The time of harvest depends on the plant part. Detailed information concerning the appropriate timing of harvest is often available in national pharmacopoeias, published standards, official monographs and major reference books. Prior to initiating a collection expedition, the geographical distribution and population density of the target medicinal plant species should be determined. When the collection sites have been identified, local and/or national collection permits should be obtained. Essential information on the target species should be obtained. Results of this article showed new techniques in collection and harvesting and drying of herbal medicines.