Trade and Sustainable Conservation of Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Fleming) h. Karst in Nepal

Susanna Phoboo, Pramod Kumar Jha

Abstract

Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Fleming) H. Karst is one of the most important high-value medicinal plants of Nepal prized for its anti-diabetic, antimalarial, hepato-protective and anti-inflammatory properties. It is widely used as an important ingredient in medicinal preparations in Ayurveda, Unnani, Siddha, Tibetan and Chinese traditional medicine. Nepal is one of the main exporters of this important plant and the most significant importers are India and China. The large scale export of this plant has made it vulnerable in Nepal and there is an immediate need for its conservation. Detailed information on the current status of trade of this plant in Nepal is necessary to understand and make assumptions on its current market standing or future predictions of demand. S. chirayita is traded in 61 of the 75 districts of Nepal and constituted about 3% in the total medicinal plant traded in the fiscal year 2008-2009. Due to extensive collection of S. chirayita from the wild, there is a need for exploring alternative conservation options in order to preserve the remaining wild population. Sustainable harvesting and cultivation can help in its conservation. This paper briefly reviews the state of trade and sustainable conservation of this important medicinal plant in Nepal.

Key words: Swertia chirayita; trade; cultivation; sustainable use; sustainable harvesting

DOI: 10.3126/njst.v11i0.4134

Nepal Journal of Science and Technology 11 (2010) 125-132

Keywords

Swertia chirayita; trade; cultivation; sustainable use; sustainable harvesting
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