This section describes the general strategies and basic methods for small- and large-scale collection of fresh medicinal plant materials. Collection practices should ensure the long-term survival of wild populations and their associated habitats. Management plans for collection should provide a framework for setting sustainable harvest levels and describe appropriate collection practices that are suitable for each medicinal plant species and plant part used (roots, leaves, fruits, etc.). Collection of medicinal plants raises a number of complex environmental and social issues that must be addressed locally on a case-by-case basis. It is acknowledged that these issues vary widely from region to region and cannot be fully covered by these guidelines.
More guidance can be found in the WHO/IUCN/WWF Guidelines on the conservation of medicinal plants (12), which are currently under revision to deal comprehensively with the sustainable use and conservation of medicinal plants.