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Khat, pronounced “cot,” or Catha edulis, is a flowering perennial shrub that has been used as a stimulant for centuries. It is a central nervous system stimulant that is considered psychoactive, or mind-altering, similar to the effect of d-amphetamine. The plant grows abundantly in parts of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula (Kenya, Yemen, and Ethiopia) and can reach six to seven meters (about 20 to 23 feet) in height. Khat can be smoked, or taken orally, as a tea, chewed into a paste, or sprinkled on food. Usually the leaves from the tips of branches and young shoots are chewed on one side of the mouth. Leaves, or shoots, are taken one by one, chewed, the juice swallowed, the chewed leaves kept briefly in ...

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