12.1 Primary processing includes washing, cutting before drying, fumigation, freezing, distillation, drying, etc. All of these processes must conform to regional and/or national regulations.
12.2 On arrival at the processing facility the harvested medicinal plant/herbal drug has to be promptly unloaded and unpacked. Prior to processing the material should not be exposed directly to the sun, except in cases where there is a specific need, and must be protected from rainfall
12.3 In the case of natural open air drying, the medicinal plant/herbal drug must be spread out in a thin layer. In order to secure adequate air circulation, the drying frames must be located at a sufficient distance from the ground. Drying directly on the ground or under direct exposure to the sunlight should be avoided unless specifically required. Attempts must be made to achieve uniform drying of the medicinal plant/herbal drug and thus avoid mould formation.
12.4 Except in the case of open air drying, the drying conditions such as temperature, duration etc must be selected taking into consideration the medicinal plant part such as root, leaf or flower and the nature of its active constituent, such as essential oils. The source of heat in direct drying should be limited to butane, propane or natural gas. Individual conditions must be recorded in detail.
12.5 All materials must be inspected and where necessary sieved in order to eliminate sub-standard product and foreign bodies. Sieves must be maintained in a clean state and should be serviced regularly.
12.6 Clearly marked waste-bins should be available, emptied daily and cleaned.