Khat – a controversial plant

  title={Khat – a controversial plant},
  author={Erica E. Balint and George Falkay and Gabor A. B{\`a}lint},
  journal={Wiener klinische Wochenschrift},
SummaryKhat (Catha edulis) is a shrub or tree whose leaves have been chewed for centuries by people who live in the Eastern part of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. It has recently turned up in North America and Europe, particularly among emigrants and refugees from countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Yemen. Khat contains a number of chemicals, among which are two controlled substances, cathinone (Schedule I) and cathine (Schedule IV). Both chemicals are stimulant drugs with effects… 

Psychopharmacosocial Aspects of Catha edulis Forsk (Fam. Celastraceae)

There is an urgent need to effectively and efficiently address the use of this plant, not only in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, but globally, and to appropriately design strategies which could result in the proper communication of the negative impact of this flower of paradise on health and socioeconomic status.

The green leaf: Khat and potentiality of dependence

Khat leaves originate Yemen and East Africa and are chewed socially for their psychoactive properties. The main constituents of khat, cathinone and cathine, are illegal substances in USA and most of

Khat, a Cultural Chewing Drug: A Toxicokinetic and Toxicodynamic Summary

Current knowledge on the khat plant with toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic perspectives are reviewed, which addresses in vitro, in vivo, and human studies.

Khat chewing: a smokeless gun?

Whether khat chewing is dangerous and addictive or rather a way of life that lacks serious long-term health effects for the user remains controversial.

Khat: A widely used drug of abuse in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula: Review of literature

A short review of this plant as an example of a drug of abuse that is particularly common and is relatively over-used in the Middle East and North Africa mainly Somalia, Djibouti, and Kenya.

Chemical and microbiological hazards of Khat (Catha edulis) from field to chewing in Ethiopia

The observation showed that the processes from farming, Transporting, collection, distribution, and consumption indicate a potential risk for Khat leaf to become contaminated with Chemicals/ microorganisms.

Adverse Effects of Khat (Catha edulis) Chewing in Yemeni Adults: A Case-Control Study

Khat chewing had an adverse effect on the development of arthritis and kidney diseases, and altered immune defence mechanisms due to Khat chewing have been documented in this study.

Khat Abuse and Life-threatening Intestinal Ischemia

Khat chewing can lead to intestinal obstruction through a combination of two mechanisms, the inhibitory sympathomimetic effect on smooth muscle relaxation and delayed intestinal transit time, and bezoar formation.

Kaurene as the major constituent of the essential oils of the narcotic plant, Khat (Catha edulis Forsk)

Analysis of the essential oil composition showed that Khat has useful volatile chemicals in addition to its alkaloids, including diterpene kaurene, which is known as a potent biological agent for the treatment of cancer patients.



The chewing of khat in Somalia.

  • A. S. Elmi
  • Medicine
    Journal of ethnopharmacology
  • 1983

Khat (Catha edulis)—an updated review

An extensive literature on khat providing information about its history, botany, production, geographical distribution, chemistry and pharmacology, and exploring the social, economic, medical, psychological and oral aspects related to its use is provided.

Cathinone, a natural amphetamine.

  • P. Kalix
  • Biology
    Pharmacology & toxicology
  • 1992
Much experimental evidence indicates that cathinone is the main psychoactive constituent of the khat leaf and that, in fact, this alkaloid is a natural amphetamine.

Adverse effects of khat: a review

Chewing khat has a number of important psychological and physical sequelae and ‘Khat-related’ psychosis is very similar to that seen following use of amphetamines.

Medical aspects of the chewing of khat leaves.

  • H. Halbach
  • Medicine
    Bulletin of the World Health Organization
  • 1972
Intoxication with khat is self-limiting but chronic consumption can cause certain disturbances to the health of the user and may also lead to social and economic damage to the individual and the community.

Khat chewing and acute myocardial infarction

This prospective study was undertaken to examine whether khat chewing has a role in precipitating acute myocardial infarction.

Khat: a plant with amphetamine effects.

  • P. Kalix
  • Medicine
    Journal of substance abuse treatment
  • 1988

The chemistry of khat.

Cathinone is the main phenylalkylamine component of fresh khat, and pharmacological studies indicate that it may be the compound responsible for the characteristic stimulant activity and abuse potential of the plant.

Khat: pharmacological and medical aspects and its social use in Yemen

The history, cultivation and constituents of k hat, and the social aspects of khat chewing in Yemen, are described and the pharmacology of (−)‐S‐cathinone in the central nervous system and the peripheral effects are described.