modified on 30 December 2010 at 01:46 ••• 4,134 views


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Khat (Catha edulis, family: Celastraceae) is an evergreen shrub probably native to Ethiopia, although today it grows and is cultivated in East and South Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. It usually grows 3-5 meters tall and has tough, waxy, green leaves with serrated edges that darken in color as the plant matures. The fresh leaves, twigs, and buds have been ingested for centuries as a mild stimulant and euphoriant. It is viewed in parts of the Muslim world as an acceptable alernative to alcohol, though its use is prohibited in the United States and parts of Europe.


Fresh khat leaves are generally chewed in large quids for ten minutes or more. While chewing, the juices are held in the mouth and then swallowed and the chewed leaves are spit out. Khat may be chewed continuously for many hours at a time.

Other names

  • Khat
  • Qat
  • Kat
  • Quat
  • Chat
  • Miraa