Overview

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  • 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 depressionfatigueobesitystomach ulcers, and male infertility. It is also used to lower the need for food and sleep, decrease sexual desires, 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. In Somalia, civilian and military use of khat has been blamed for fueling civil war, draining the nation’s economy, and undermining international relief efforts.

    How does it work?

    Khat contains stimulants similar to amphetamines.


  • Uses

    Insufficient Evidence for

    More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of khat for these uses.


  • Side Effects

    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 rateheart 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 brainheart 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. 


  • Interactions

    No data available at this time.


  • Dosing

    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.

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Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version. © Therapeutic Research Faculty 2009.

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Source: http://www.m.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-536/khat&nbsp;

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