In the last ten years, there has been a dramatic reduction in medicinal plants in Tibet. This situation has attracted the attention of many researchers from different professional backgrounds, yet very few documents have been published on the general theoretical context and the actual process of herb collection as it occurs at different levels in clinics in Tibet. This article begins with a systematic review of the general principles of medicinal plant collection methods as set out in the ancient traditional medical system. Because the demand for plants is generated by the need to make Tibetan medicines, it is necessary to consider the original context of Tibetan medicine to understand pharmacological needs and the principles behind collecting medicinal plants to develop a strategy that might guarantee sustainable development of the plant supply. After considering the wider context of this study, the article presents research mainly based on case studies with the intention of understanding different stakeholders' experiences and social relationships in the contemporary herb collection process in order to discover behavioral patterns within the dynamic social roles involved in this process as these inform policy formation and to seek to promote appropriate methods in the future.

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