Abessinischer Tea, Abyssinian Tea, Arabian-Tea, Catha edulis, Celastrus edulis, Chaat, Chat, Gat, Ghat, Hagigat, Kafta, Kat, Kathine, Kus es Salahin, Miraa, Qaad, Qat, Qut, Radaee, Somali Tea, Tchaad, Thé Abyssin, Thé Arabe, Thé Somalien, Tohai, Tohat, Tschat, Tschut.


Overview Information

Khat is a plant. The leaf and stem are used as a recreational drug and as medicine.

As a recreational drug, the leaves and stem are chewed by people in East Africa and the Arabian countries to elevate mood (as a euphoriant).

As a medicine, khat leaf is used for diabetes, muscle strength, depression, fatigue, obesity, stomach ulcers, headache, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food and sleep, decrease sexual desires, improve the ability to study, and increase aggression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) lists khat as a drug that creates "dependence" in people, meaning it produces a continuing desire to keep using it. It is banned in countries like the US and Canada. However, it is legal in some European countries. Khat is used by many immigrants to these countries from East Africa and Yemen.

How does it work?

Khat contains stimulants similar to amphetamines.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Muscle strength. Early research shows that taking khat does not improve the strength of a person's grip.
  • Decreasing sexual desire.
  • Depression.
  • Elevating mood.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Increasing aggression.
  • Male infertility.
  • Obesity.
  • Reducing the need for food and sleep.
  • Stomach ulcers.
  • Other conditions.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of khat for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

Khat is POSSIBLY UNSAFE for most people when taken by mouth. Although it isn't associated with physical addiction, it can cause psychological dependence.

Khat can cause many side effects including mood changes, increased alertness, excessive talkativeness, hyperactivity, excitement, aggressiveness, anxiety, elevated blood pressure, manic behavior, paranoia, and psychoses. Trouble sleeping (insomnia), loss of energy (malaise), and lack of concentration usually follow.

Other effects include rapid heart rate, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, faster breathing rates, increased body temperature, sweating, eye changes, mouth ulcers, inflammation of the esophagus and stomach, gum disease, jaw problems (TMJ), and constipation.

Regular use in young people is linked to high blood pressure.

Severe side effects include migraine, bleeding in the brain, heart attack, lung problems, liver damage, changes in sex drive, and inability to get an erection (impotence).

Chewing khat leaves has led to infections that can cause problems such as pain below the ribs, changes in white blood cells, and an enlarged liver.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: It is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take khat by mouth if you are pregnant. Khat may lower birth weight. It is also POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take khat by mouth if you are breast-feeding. Some of the active chemicals it contains can pass into breast-milk.

Diabetes: Using khat seems to lower appetite, causing people to skip meals. When eating becomes less routine, people with diabetes may stop following their recommended diet. This could lead to higher blood sugar levels.

High blood pressure: Khat might increase blood pressure. This might be especially unsafe in people who already have high blood pressure. Avoid use.



We currently have no information for KHAT Interactions.



The appropriate dose of khat depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for khat. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


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  • de Bree LC, Bodelier AG, Verburg GP. Fasciola hepatica as a cause of jaundice after chewing khat: a case report. Neth J Med. 2013;71(9):478-9. View abstract.
  • Forbes MP, Raj AS, Martin J, Lampe G, Powell EE. Khat-associated hepatitis. Med J Aust. 2013;199(7):498-9. View abstract.
  • Issa FH, Al-Habori M, Chance ML. Effect of Khat (Catha edulis) Use on the Bioavailability, Plasma Levels and Antimalarial Activity of Chloroquine. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2016;16(2):e182-8. View abstract.
  • Kalakonda B, Al-Maweri SA, Al-Shamiri HM, Ijaz A, Gamal S, Dhaifullah E. Is Khat (Catha edulis) chewing a risk factor for periodontal diseases? A systematic review. J Clin Exp Dent. 2017;9(10):e1264-e1270. View abstract.
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  • Martínez-Balzano C, Kohlitz PJ, Chaudhary P, Hegazy H. Campylobacter fetus bacteremia in a young healthy adult transmitted by khat chewing. J Infect. 2013;66(2):184-6. View abstract.
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