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Khat Health Benefits, Properties, and Uses

Khat

Scientific Name: Catha edulis

Common Names: Catha, Edulis, Chaat, Gat, Kat, Arabian-Tea

Properties: Antispasmodic, Tonic, Analgesic, Stimulant, Anti-allergenic

What is Khat?

Khat is a type of plant leaf used for medicinal purposes known for its psychoactive properties. Khat leaves come from the Catha edulis plant. Catha edulis is a flowering evergreen tree or shrub that is native to Eastern Africa. It is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. The Catha edulis plant grows well at high elevations of 4,500 feet.1

Khat leaves resemble basil as they are small elliptical-shaped leaves. Naturally, khat leaves have a reddish-green color but turn yellowish when they dry out. Khat goes by several names and spellings depending on the language and culture. These other names include qat, chat and tschat.1

Traditionally, as khat leaves age they become more and more desirable. Khat leaves are often not harvested from the plant until they’re 4-6 years old. This allows more time for the organic compounds to strengthen in potency.1

Khat Health Uses and Health Benefits

Khat health benefits are unique. Khat leaves contain an active organic ingredient called cathinone. Cathinone is a natural psychoactive stimulant that’s chemically similar to amphetamine narcotics like cocaine. Khat contains other chemical compounds including cathine, which also has stimulant properties.1 Khat health benefits also come from it being rich in phytochemicals like flavonoids, terpenoids, alkaloids as well as vitamins and minerals.2

Traditional khat uses have been to chew these leaves to have a stimulant effect on the Central Nervous System. The natural amphetamine properties in khat stimulate the pleasure center of the brain, which can have a positive effect on mood. In traditional applications, khat uses were for religious ceremonies but also to alleviate fatigue and hunger.1

Khat uses include treatment for the following:

  • Arthritis - Many people chew khat leaves as a natural way to help alleviate pain associated with arthritis.
  • Depression - Because khat actives the pleasure center of the brain, it can help to alleviate depression symptoms.
  • Flu (Influenza) - Khat can be a treatment for flu symptoms as a way to reduce aches and pains and improve energy.
  • Gonorrhea - Traditionally, khat leaves and roots have been processed into a treatment for gonorrhea infections. 
  • Malaria - Kat uses include being able to help treat recurrent malaria and its symptoms.
  • Syphilis - Traditionally, khat has been used to help treat symptoms caused by syphilis.

Khat Side Effects and Precautions

Because it is a psychoactive, khat side effects can include a sense of crashing, irritability and anxiety when the psychoactive effects wear off. Only take khat in controlled, small doses.1,2

 

References

  1. http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/applied-and-social-sciences-magazines/catha-edulis 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3905534/

CuresDecoded worldwide community recommends Khat for:

Gonorrhea Effective
Flu (Influenza) Effective
Depression Effective
Syphilis Effective
Malaria Effective
Arthritis Effective

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