Swertia L. is a morphologically diverse but taxonomically distinct genus of the family Gentianaceae with ca150 species. In Nepal, Swertia L. comprises of 29 species with one endemic species (Swertia acaulis H. Sm.) which are widely distributed in the mountainous terrains of Eastern, Central and Western regions at altitude ranging from 600 to 5500m. (Joshi, 2007). The plants are economically important and comprise a major portion in the trade of medicinal plants. Recently more attention has been paid to the species of Swertia due to their usefulness to cure various ailments, their increasing price, and use of the plant as raw materials for preparation of Ayurvedic and Allopathic medicines. However, at present, the vast store of ethnopharmacobotanical information is being eroded as a result of habitat destruction, unsustainable land use practices and unscientific as well as over-exploitation of plant resources by the collectors and traders recklessly beyond its regeneration capacity. The present rate of exploitation has rendered some species to the status of threatened species (Joshi and Joshi, 2005; Joshi, Joshi and Joshi, 2000; Joshi, Shrestha and Joshi, 2003). Information on taxonomy, biogeographical distribution, ethnobotany and conservation of the Swertia species is very limited (Bhattarai, 1992; Joshi, 1988, Joshi, K., 2000, 2004; Joshi and Joshi, 2005; Manandhar, 2002; Sacherer, 1979). An attempt has been made in this paper to enumerate the Swertia species which are being used by local communities of some hilly villages and surrounding areas of the Central Development Region of Nepal.
"Swertia L. (Gentianaceae) in Nepal: Ethnobotany and Agenda for Sustainable Management,"
Ethnobotanical Leaflets: Vol. 2008
, Article 1.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/ebl/vol2008/iss1/1