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 Update Date  August 20, 2022
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Summary of Processing of Crude Drugs :-

Specific Processing :-
Some medicinal plant materials require specific processing to: improve the purity of the plant structure being employed; reduce drying time; prevent damage from mould, other microorganisms and insects; detoxify indigenous toxic ingredients; and enhance therapeutic efficacy.

Common specific processing practices include pre ­selection, peeling the skins of roots and rhizomes, boiling in water, steaming, soaking, pickling, distillation, fumigation, roasting, natural fermentation, treatment with lime and chopping. Processing procedures involving the formation of certain shapes, bundling and special drying may have an effect on the standard of the medicinal plant materials.

Antimicrobial treatments of medicinal plant materials (raw or processed) by various methods, including irradiation, must be declared and therefore the materials must be labelled PRN.

Only suitably trained staff using approved equipment should perform such applications, and that they should be conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures and national and/or regional regulations in both the grower/collector country and therefore the end-user country. Maximum residue limits, as stipulated by national and/or regional authorities, should be respected.

Storage :-
  1. Storage facilities for medicinal material should be aerated, dry and guarded from light, and, when necessary, be equipped air-conditioning and humidity control equipment similarly as facilities to shield against rodents, insects and livestock.

  2. The ground should be tidy, without cracks and simple to scrub. Medicinal material should be stored on shelves which keep the fabric a sufficient distance from the walls; measures should be taken to stop the occurrence of pest infestation, mould formation, rotting or loss of oil; and inspections should be administered at regular intervals.

  3. Continuous in-process internal control measures should be implemented to eliminate substandard materials, contaminants and foreign matter before and through the ultimate stages of packaging. Processed medicinal plant materials should be packaged in clean, dry boxes, sacks, bags or other containers in accordance with standard operating procedures and national and/or regional regulations of the producer and therefore the end-user countries.

  4. Materials used for packaging should be non-polluting, clean, dry and in undamaged condition and will conform to the standard requirements for the medicinal plant materials concerned. Fragile medicinal plant materials should be packaged in rigid containers.

  5. Dried medicinal plants/herbal drugs, including essential oils, should be stored in an exceedingly dry, well-aerated building, during which daily temperature fluctuations are limited and good aeration is ensured

  6. Fresh medicinal plant materials should be stored at appropriate low temperatures, ideally at 2-8°C; frozen products should be stored at but -20°C.

  7. Small quantity of crude drugs may well be readily stored in air tight, moisture proof and lightweight proof container like tin, cans, covered metal tins or amber glass containers.

  8. Wooden boxes and paper bags mustn't be used for storage of crude drugs.