The growth and development characteristics of individual medicinal plants, as well as the plant part destined for medicinal use, should guide field management practices. The timely application of measures such as topping, bud nipping, pruning and shading may be used to control the growth and development of the plant, thereby improving the quality and quantity of the medicinal plant material being produced.
Any agrochemicals used to promote the growth of or to protect medicinal plants should be kept to a minimum, and applied only when no alternative measures are available. Integrated pest management should be followed where appropriate. When necessary, only approved pesticides and herbicides should be applied at the minimum effective level, in accordance with the labelling and/or package insert instructions of the individual product and the regulatory requirements that apply for the grower and the end-user countries. Only qualified staff using approved equipment should carry out pesticide and herbicide applications. All applications should be documented. The minimum interval between such treatments and harvest should be consistent with the labelling and/or package insert instructions of the plant protection product, and such treatments should be carried out in consultation and with the by agreement of the buyer of the medicinal plants or medicinal plant materials. Growers and producers should comply with maximum pesticide and herbicide residue limits, as stipulated by local, regional and/or national regulatory authorities of both the growers' and the end-users' countries and/or regions. International agreements such as the International Plant Protection Convention5 and Codex Alimentarius should also be consulted on pesticide use and residues.
5 More information on the International Plant Protection Convention is available via the Internet at http://www.ippc.int/IPP/default.htm