Flower of paradise (Khat: Catha edulis): Psychosocial, health and sports perspectives

  • L Sikiru
Keywords: khat; Catha edulis; flower of paradise


Flower of paradise (Catha edulis: khat), a controversial, religion and psychosocial plant grown in the countries around East to southern African and Arabian Peninsula (around the red sea). The spectrum of khat actions has been postulated to lie between amphetamines and caffeine, therefore, khat and its principal active constituents (cathinone & cathine) are categorized as amphetamine+type substances/stimulant (ATS).

Presently, khat is not under international control, but, the two substances that are usually present in khat; cathinone and cathine were placed group as schedule I and IV ATS respectively. The morality and legality of khat usage by the general populace varies from country to country. However, the World Antidoping Agency and International Olympic Committee has place a limit of 54g/ml urinary cathine level in sports competition. This partial ban might not be unconnected to cathinone+cathine, ATS action.

Though, many studies seem to support the negative effects of chronic khat usage on human health. However, longitudinal and quantitative data on health issues seem scanty. By and large, the need clearly exist for longitudinal and qualitative investigations on the effects of khat chewing on humans, before a conclusive statement could be established.

Keywords: khat; Catha edulis; flower of paradise


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1022-9272