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Celastraceae, Catha edulis, Qat, Mirra, continued…

January 17, 2010

Qat grows wild and in cultivation in Ethiopia, South Arabia, Yemen, in the Upper Nile region, and in various other parts of East Africa. The plant was known to the ancient Egyptians, who considered it a plant that opens the way to the divine. Qat is almost exclusively used fresh, typically not consumed more then 24 hours after harvest. Potency diminishes rapidly with time.

The tender tips of the shoots and the small oval leaves are chewed, made into sweets with honey or sugar, or mixed into coffee. The dried leaves can be smoked alone or blended with hashish (Cannabis sativa). In Yemen, communal qat chewing has a high social status and an important sociopsychological function. Not only do the invigorating effects of qat lighten the mood and have aphrodisiac effects, they also promote mystical insights. For this reason, qat has been esteemed as a holy plant by Ethiopian sufis since the thirteenth century. The fresh leaves and shoots contain large amounts of cathine (ephedrine) and a-aminopropiophenone. See this post for further information.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 10:08:58 am

    hi anthromes.
    i liked what you wrote on khat
    i invite you to visit my khat blog
    10x :)

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