Harvesting and post-harvest processing of medicinal plants: Problems and prospects
AK Pandey and Savita
Interest in traditional systems of medicine and, in particular, herbal medicines, has increased substantially in both developed and developing countries over the past two decades. Global and national markets for medicinal herbs have been growing rapidly, and significant economic gains are being realized. Despite their widespread use, numerous reports show that the herbal products available to consumers are of variable quality. This disparity in quality of herbal preparations can be attributed to the fact that their production is complicated. In recent years, good agricultural and collection/harvesting practices have been recognized as an important tool for ensuring the safety and quality of a variety of medicinal plants and their products. This article reviews problems, developments and prospects for the strategies concerning the harvesting and post harvest processing of medicinal plant resources to provide quality herbal drugs on sustainable basis. To obtain a high-quality efficacious herbal drug, the appropriate part of the medicinal plant must be harvested at the optimum stage of development, dried and stored at temperatures and conditions that do not decrease the active ingredients, and processed using a technique that maximizes phytochemical recovery. Only if all these steps are respected a high-quality product showing batch to batch consistency can be maintained. In this way safety, efficacy and quality of the herbal products can be sustained and would capitalize billions of dollars for emerging herbal markets for the country.
How to cite this article:
AK Pandey, Savita. Harvesting and post-harvest processing of medicinal plants: Problems and prospects. Pharma Innovation 2017;6(12):229-235.