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KHAT AND ITS USE: AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE PDF Print E-mail
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Books - The health and socio-economic aspects of Khat use
Written by A.D. Krikorian   

 

INTRODUCTION
 
The khat plant, Catha edulis (Vahl) Forsk. ex Endl., is indigenous to East Africa and is apparently found wild in a number of relatively humid mountainous regions. It grows well in association with conifers on fairly moist slopes between 4000 and 9000 feet depending on latitude. Its distribution extends all the way to South Africa and the Cape. It was introduced into Northern Madagascar (Molet, 1967 p. 25) and apparently occurs in Afghanistan and Turkestan as well (cf. Rendle et al, 1911; Chevalier, 1949; Robson, 1966). It has also been introduced and grown in many areas of the world as an ornamental and a curiosity (see Christ, 1870, 1873: Fluckiger and Gerock, 1887; Bertherand, 1889; Pepenoe, 1916; Chopra and Chopra, 1965; Bois, 1937; Beguinot, 1939; McClintock, 1975). The main areas of commercial cultivation have traditionally been in the Hararge province of Ethiopia (Getahun and Krikorian, 1973), the slopes of Jebel Sohr near Taizz in Yemen, and the Nyambene area of Meru district in Kenya (Acland, 1974). Whereas the local names in countries with Muslim tradition are variants of the words cat or khat, Black Africans have their own designations [1]*. The Kikuyu name miraa or miurungi is by far the most common. Murungu is the Kiswahili word for khat. The Meru people call it muraa, the Kamba, miungi or mirungi, the Masai, ol-meraa, the Shamba, muadama or mandama, the Ndorobo, tomayot. Greenway (1974) provides a lengthy list of native names for khat used in Uganda, Tanzania, Nyasaland, Gazaland as well. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk (1962 p. 1369) cover an even greater geographical area and range of peoples. These many" names attest to the widespread and presumably fairly old knowledge of the Catha edulis plant by the native peoples of Eastern and Southern Africa. Even so, Verdcourt and Trump (1969 p. 98) point out that most of the Bantu people were originally unaware of its euphorizing properties.
 
Medicinal virtues were, not surprisingly, ascribed to khat in Forsskal's day (1775). In the Harar area of Ethiopia which is traditionally thought of as the centre of origin of its use, khat is still believed to effect 501 different kinds of "cures"; these equal the numerical value of its Arabic name Ga-a-t [400 + 100 + 1]. There are Muslim traditions which emphasize that khat is holy and has been held so for a very long time (Getahun and Krikorian, 1973). Leiris (1951 pp. 391, 415 passim and 1952 p. 60) has described spit from chewed khat being spat on the various parts of individuals who are ill etc. in Ethiopian magico-religious rites. The use of spit for healing purposes can be traced back at least as far as the New Testament (Mark 8:23; John 9:6). A more conventional medical manuscript recommends the use of khat against blennorrhoea (excessive secretion and discharge of mucus) (Strelcyn, 1973 p. 155).
 
Despite the presumed antiquity of khat use as a medicine, there is not all that large a literature devoted to its use as a medicinal plant. This is all the more curious since the country where khat is thought to have originated - i.e. Ethiopia, has a rich medical lore (Lemordant, 1971). Little of it has, however, ever been written down but this knowledge of medicine has passed by word of mouth from one generation to the next by priests, witch doctors or medicine men.
 
It is fair to say that of the many old world plants or plant products which have potential for abuse, khat probably has been the least publicized in more economically developed countries. Because khat has rather localized use and because, unlike opium and hashish, it has no documented history or well developed tradition dating from remote antiquity, few outside the confined areas of use seem to even know about it. While khat has been, and still is, .used occasionally in traditional medicine, it cannot boast of any great potential for development as a drug for use in Western societies. In short, the incentives for detailed, serious investigation until relatively recently have been lacking. There is a substantial body of literature which either merely mentions khat in various contexts or, at the other extreme, devotes considerable attention to it from the perspective of a specialist. From time to time, attempts have been made to review more or less comprehensively, the history, botany, cultivation, use, chemistry, pharmacology, sociology, medical aspects etc. of khat. Not surprisingly, the last 15 or 20 years have resulted in more work than all the previous years combined (cf. e.g., Lemordant, 1959; Hill, 1965; Le Bras, 1967; Mancioli and Parrinello, 1967; Radt, 1969, 1971; Chelhod, 1972; Wan, 1972; Absieh, 1973; Getahun and Krikorian, 1973; Qddan and Ritzerfeld, 1972; Halbach, 1972; Krikorian and Getahun, 1973; Hess, 1976; Rodinson, 1977; Schopen, 1978; Kennedy et al, 1980; Bulletin on Narcotics, 1980). Even so, much opportunity still remains to assemble, re-examine and to attempt re-interpretation of the older literature in view of new developments. In this paper an attempt is made to present an historical overview of the use, abuse and sociology of this fascinating plant. This will be done by drawing heavily on early eye-witness accounts. My hope is that this will enable one to appreciate that the details of, and circumstances surrounding, khat use have changed but little since its origin long ago. Indeed, the most recent literature seems to be but a mirror of the past. Perhaps a more realistic and tempered approach to what is being seen as an increasing khat abuse problem will emerge if we recognize certain fundamental historical truths and reflect on the roots of our attitudes.
 
EARLY KNOWLEDGE OF KHAT USE IN EUROPE 
 
Since the traditions and literature of the Islamic East were relatively slow in reaching Christian Europe, accounts of khat in Arabic, however cursory, do not seem to have crept even into scholarly circles much before the 17th century. One might think that the early travel literature would be helpful. For instance, Ludovico di Varthema [2] from Bologna was probably the first European to travel extensively in Arabia Felix or Yemen [3]. That was in the early years of the sixteenth century. Although little is known of him aside from his writings, di Varthema has been repeatedly appreciated as an astute observer and truthful narrator. Indeed, he states "I determined personally, and with my own eyes, to endeavor to ascertain the situation of places, the qualities of people, the diversities of animals, the varieties of the fruit-bearing and odoriferous trees of Egypt, Syria, Arabia Deserta and Felix, Persia, India and Ethiopia, remembering well that the testimony of one eye witness, is worth more than ten thousand hearsays" (di Varthema, 1510 p. 2). Even so, a careful examination of his Travels has failed to disclose any mention of khat even though di Varthema was in many areas suited to its cultivation and would have seen it in the event it was in widespread use. This seems all the more likely since he does describe in considerable detail the use of betel leaf and nut [4] in Calicut [India].
 
The use of khat by the natives of southern Arabia seems to have first come to the notice of Europeans in the late 17th century. The earliest entry that I have been able to confirm is that by Barthelemy d'Herbelot de Molainville (1625-1695), the French orientalist in a work entitled Bibliotheque Orientale. The first edition, one of several, of this pioneer and important work, edited by Antoine Galland, appeared in Paris in 1697 after the author's death. D'Herbelot gives a somewhat confused description of what must have been khat. Under the heading cahuah & cahveh [coffee] he says: "In Arabic this word generally meansiTcr—unds beverages:  but it applies in particular to coffee. There are three kinds of drinks which bear this name. The first is called cahuat, al catiat [a corruption of what is presumed to be al-kahwa al katiya, khat coffee] or caftah; the second cahuat al caschriat [kishr, a beverage from the mesocarp or husks of coffee fruit] and the third, cahuat al bunniat [bunn, coffee from the seed or beans].
 
"The first sort is made with a seed which is unknown to us, which has been forbidden by the doctors of the law in the province of Yemen which is Arabia Felix, where it originated as well as the others, because it is too strong, and affects the brain" [5] (Herbelot, 1697 p. 234; 1771 p. 215: 1781 vol. 2 p. 145). Herbelot had never been to areas where khat was used but he was an erudite man and had spent time in Rome with Cardinal scholars like Barberini and Grimaldi. Where he got the idea that khat derived from seeds will never be known but it seems likely that it was in Herbelotfs work that the expression "khat coffee" was born. Jean de la Roque (1661-1745) a litterateur and traveller to Arabia Felix on a mission to effect a coffee trade for France wrote a book on his travels made in 1708, 1709 and 1710 entitled Voyage  de l'Arabie Heureuse (La Roque, 1716). An English translation appeared in 1726. It is a particularly useful text for it covers in considerable detail life in southern Arabia etc. Wherever the delegation from the French court went, e.g., Aden, Mocha, Sana, they were well received but nowhere is there any mention of the growing or use of khat by name. La Roque also goes into detail on a second expedition made in 1711, 1712, 1713 to the court of the "King" of Yemen. His scholarly treatise includes a substantial section on the coffee tree and its origins. and there he mentions an Arab author who wrote that the inhabitants of Aden were so fond of coffee "that they left off another drink then in use among them, made with the leaves of a certain plant called Cat, which we cannot suppose to be tea, since there is no ground for this opinion from this writer for such an opinion" (La Roque, 1726 p. 252). Although La Roque clearly states that Cat was not tea (i.e. Camellia sinensis), he did not apparently know what it was.
 
It was only when Carsten Niebuhr's book on his travels through "Arabia and other countries of the East" appeared (1774-1778) that learned Europeans were given a better idea as to what the plant in question was. "Catha is one of those new genera peculiar to Arabia. This tree which is improved by culture, is commonly planted among the coffee shrubs in the hills where these grow" (Niebuhr, 1792 vol. 2 p. 353). Also a realistic description of its widespread use was put forth. Niebuhr describes khat [written kaad since he was German] as the buds of a certain tree which the Arabs chew constantly..." they are as much addicted to this practice, as the Indians to that of chewing betel. To their khat they ascribe the virtues of assisting digestion, and of fortifying the constitution against infectious distempers. Yet its insipid taste gives no indication of extra-ordinary virtues. The only effects we felt from the use of those buds were the hindrance and the interruption of our sleep" (Niebuhr, 1792 vol. 2 pp. 353-354). Niebuhr also found that khat had a "parching effect on the constitution." (l.c. p. 225). Niebuhr concluded that "it seems to be from fashion merely that these buds are chewed; for they have a disagreeable taste: (1792 vol. 2 p. 225). He adds wryly, "We did not relish this drug" (Niebuhr, 1792 vol. 1 p. 334). As the sole survivor of the ill-fated expedition sponsored by King Frederic V of Denmark to Arabia Felix, the task fell to Niebuhr to save for posterity the work of the expedition's botanist Petrus Forsskal (Fig. 1). Although Forsskal was one of Linnaeus' most talented students, indifference by the government forced Niebuhr to finance himself the publication of Forsskal's papers. Unfortunately, Niebuhr (Fig. 2) was himself unable to deal with Forsskal's Latin manuscripts. Hence, he was forced to relegate the task of editing what was eventually published in 1775 as Forsskal's Flora Aegyptiaco-Arabica(Fig. 3) to an incompetent and still unidentified Swede. Catha, the Latinized name given by Forsskal from the Arabic khat to—liinew genus is described under Gat or Kat (Forsskal, 1775, p. 64). In addition to its use as a stimulant and masticatory, Catha is described as growing in the same gardens as Coffea, and mentFir7Th made by Forsskal that it is planted from cuttings. Forsskal also noted that the Arabs believed the land where it grows to be secure from the inroads of plague; and that a twig of khat in the bosom is a certain safeguard against infection [6].
 
Not a great deal of attention seems to have been paid to khat in the European literature immediately after Forsskal's or Niebuhr's books were published [7]. Indeed, neither Forsskal's nor Niebuhr's works coukl be generally read; they were adapted to a comparatively few and even though they are a model of accuracy and comprehensiveness, they are not particularly exciting to read (cf. Fig. 3). It was only after some 20 years after Forsskal's death that Martin Vahl, Professor of Botany at the University of Copenhagen (Fig. 4), worked on the botanical collections and published them as Symbolae Botanicae (1790-1794). In his scientific arrangement of the flora, Vahl placed Forsskal's Catha in the genus Celastrus and designated khat as Celastrus edulis (Vahl, 1791).
 
Paul Emile Botta [8], a physician in the service of Muhammad Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, was one of the first to provide more than superficial descriptions of how khat was grown, marketed and used. Although Botta is perhaps best remembered today as the discoverer of the ancient Assyrian capital of Nineveh, he was a competent botanist and had been commissioned by the Natural History Museum of Paris to explore the Yemen. He was nominally a European physician seeking out and studying medicinal plants but the nascent political intrigues of the day make it clear that he probably had other ambitions as well. Botta was not able to reach Sanaa but his resourcefulness is attested to by the fact that he did climb Jebel Sabir near Taizz in the course of his activities before going to Mocha. In those days that was no mean accomplishment. Both a short notice and a full account of his trip were published in 1841 (cf. Botta, 1841 and 1880).
The method of cultivation of khat has changed little since his description was written. Botta says: - "The environs of Haguef [a large village of Yemen, some 2200-2400 ft above sea-level] are extremely well cultivated; the terraces are well maintained, built with stones collected from the soil which they were destined to support, and one irrigates them by means of cisterns which retain the waters from small streams coming down after each rain torrent. The waters are collected in these reservoirs until they contain enough to saturate the soil of one or several of these terraces. One cultivates wheat, barley, maize, fruit trees there but mainly khat. This tree comprises the most important cultivation of Jebel Sabir, and it is that plant which attracts all the attention of the inhabitants. One plants it from cuttings, and it remains for three years without care, except for manuring and irrigation of the land when necessary. On the third year, all the leaves are removed except for the buds at the end of each of shoot, which the following year will develop into young shoots. They are then cut and sold in bundles under the name of khat moubarreh. This is of inferior quality. The following year, new finiqs are induced on the branches thus truncated, and are again cut and sold under the designation khat methani or the second cutting. This is the most valued and therefore the more expensive. The young leaves and twigs are very tender, and have a taste rather like that of fresh hazel nut [Corylus avellana].
 
In Yemen, the branches of this tree are the object of a domestic commerce much more important than that of coffee and much more lucrative for the owners. Every day a considerable amount is sent down from Jebel Sabir- where the value is already rather high but promptly increases because of the distance it has been carried. Its use has become a necessity for everyone and is rather expensive. Even on Jebel Sabir it is easy enough to consume 4 or 5 francs' worth each day because of the generosity with which one shares it with all guests. Sheikh Hassan, whose position obliged him to receive, day and night, the principal personnages of the country, bought 100 francs' worth each day during his stay in Wadi Sina.
 
I was well received in Haguef, where I stayed with Sheikh Ahmed, the village chief, who killed a sheep in my honour and provided me with khat. That give me the opportunity to find out my tolerance for when freshly cut, it very much intoxicates, but with a very short-lived intoxication" (Botta, 1880 p. 126-127).
 
Botta seems to be one of the few Europeans then or since, to appreciate khat. He seems to have lost little time in picking up the custom of khat chewing.
 
"On the evening of the day I arrived at Maammara and constantly thereafter, Sheikh Hassan, in order that I not be deprived of the customs his country, sent me a bundle of khat brachlets. These are the shoots of a tree (Celastrus edulis), originally from Abyssinia [9], as is coffee, and which they grow with extreme zeal. They eat the shoots and tender leaves. They have a stimulatory quality, even slightly intoxicating, allaying fatigue, driving away sleep, and act such that one wants to spend most of the night in a calm and sociable conversation. Also, there is no one who sleeps as little as the Yemeni men; but their health does not seem to suffer because examples of longevity are common in the country. The stimulant properties of khat are such that couriers sent to carry urgent messages often travel several days and nights without taking any food or sustenance other than the leaves of this plant of which they carry a bundle to eat en route. For myself, I promptly took up the habit, and derived much pleasure in the gentle stimulation which it gave and for the dreams every bit as much striking as the reality which followed" (Botta, 1880 p. 77).
 
It is not possible here to go into detail about Botta's modus vivendi but according to his colleague and editor Charles Louis Levavasseur, Botta had become addicted to smoking opium while in China. A rather pathetic figure is said to have returned to Le Havre in July 1829. "... [Opium] produced enchanted reveries for him and enabled him to return to his absent homeland but all too soon the day came when it took a terrible revenge, and a desolate reality followed the happy dreams" (cf. Botta, 1880 p. 13). Even so, Botta, to me is the first European who openly accepted khat for what it was or seemed to be based on extensive first  hand experience .
 
Fulgence Fresnel, the French consul in Jeddah during this period also gives a free description of khat use in Yemen. He was an amateur scientist and in the account, published posthumously, of his trip across the Yemen with Botta his sense of humor and quick wit are always in evidence. "Only the Wahabis [10] have attempted to prohibit the use of tobacco because pipe smoking is supposed to be slightly intoxicating, and because the Prophet and his followers made no use of it [11]. Happily, the Wahabis no longer make the law in Arabia, and especially where they did not make the law, they smoke from morning to night. In the Yemen they consume khat ... a substance which produces a long and mild insomnia, and whose effect takes the place of sleep and replaces it very advantageously for whosoever wishes to feel alert. The fact is that the inhabitants of Yemen only sleep but three or four hours out of twenty-four, so that length of their daily activity corresponds to ours in a relationship of 5 to 4. M. Botta esteemed Celastris edulis very highly and placed it above opium, and opium aboN7-'-17Criiie. Unfortunately, khat can hardly be exported and must be eaten fresh. In the Yemen a well-off fancier consumes five or six francs' worth each day". Fresnel, however, makes it clear that for him and many other Frenchmen, the indispensable preferred stimulant was aracki (an anise flavoured spirit prepared from raisins) (Fresnel, 1871 p. 13-14).
 
The French government was inspired by the reports of several of their citizens to send a formal scientific expedition to the Red Sea coast between 1839 and 1843 under the leadership of Lieutenant Charlemagne Theophile Lefebvre (1811-1860). The impressive documentation of this expedition to Abyssinia was published between 1845 and 1851 (cf. Lefebvre, 1845-1851) and included substantial treatment of the natural history. The editing of the botanical part was handled by the Professor of Botany at the Medical Faculty of the University of Paris, Achille Richard (1794-1852). A magnificent illustration of khat is provided in the atlas (cf. Fig. 5). Richard (1847 pp. 134-135) assigned the specimens collected in the modern Tigre and Shoa provinces of Ethiopia by R. Quartin Dillon and Antoine Petit to the genus Catha and rejected Martin Vahl's contention that the plant should Tie—in the genus Celastrus. Moreover, he saw clearly that material collected by Schimper and Rochet d'Hericourt [12] was the same. Richard notes that the Abyssinians called the plant Tschut, Tschat or Tschai. The implication that the designation of tschai 1-7—sTimetTIEF-specific for khat is curious, however, since it merely is the word for a tea [13].
 
There are many vernacular names for khat including Abyssinian, Arabian or Somali tea but I am not able to say conclusively when the expressions had their origin. As early as 1843, Charles Beke, who had spent more than a year in Abyssinia and had visited Kaffa, mentions khat. "There is coffee, which grows wild in the forests, [14] and also chat or khat (tea?) and korarima, a species of coriander (?) [15] which is brought in tolerably large quantities to Baso from this and other places, and exported to India by way of Massowah [Massawal" (Beke, 1843 p. 263). Beke says that khat is the favourite intoxicating drug of the Arabs and cites Niebuhr's Travel, and De Sacy's Chrestomathia. It is more likely that the designation of khat as a kind of tea plant was given prominence in a widely read work on The Highlands of Aethiopia [16] by William Cornwallis Harris (1844).
 
The British sent W. Cornwallis Harris (1807-1848) from India in September 1841 to initiate relations with the ancient Christian highland Kingdom of Shoa. These efforts were in direct response to the intrigues in the area by the French in the late 1830's. Upon his return to England with a commercial treaty he was knighted in 1844. The account of that mission, which underwent several editions, must have played a role in making the khat plant better known to Europeans. Because Sir William dwelt considerably on its use as a substitute for tea, and even likened it to yerba mate or Paraguay tea [Ilex paraguariensis] which was then only recently introduced into Englairom South America, the designation Abyssinian Tea seems to have well become engrained in the European mind (cf. Harris, 1844 vol. 3 pp. 334-335). Harris, however, seems to be ambivalent about khat and his description of its preparation is not absolutely consistent. For instance, in vol. 2 p. 414 Harris describes "Celastrus spec. (Chaat) is a species of the tea planted and used in Efat [see Fig. 6], but more extensively in Caffa and other countries of the interior. In Efat the fresh leaves are both chewed and used as an astringent medicine, or taken in order to dispel sleep; a decoction in water or milk being drunk as a beverage, which tastes bitter enough". In vol.3 p. 334-335 he says "the leaves being plucked during the dry season, and well dried in the sun, fetch from one penny to two pence the pound. They are either chewed or boiled in milk, or infused in water, and by the addition of honey a pleasant beverage is produced, which, being bitter and stimulative, dispels sleep if used to excess. The virtues of Chaat are equally to be appreciated with those of the yerba mate...".
 
Numerous Europeans travelling in the areas where khat was grown and used subsequently made mention of it in one context or another. But Richard Burton, the first European to enter the forbidden city of Harar [17] in Abyssinia, in His First Footsteps in East Africa (1856), characteristically provides a most detailed and scholarly account. Burton includes a couple of very long footnotes. One is taken from the noted French Arabist Baron Silvestre de Sacy and the other is from a report by Dr. James Vaughan, the Port Surgeon at Aden (cf. Burton, 1856 p. 76 et seq; 1966 p. 298-299). The latter note derives from the Pharmaceutical Journal and Transactions and thus would have had wide circulation among all the chemists and pharmacognosists (Vaughan, 1852). Burton seems to have at least tried enough khat to draw comparisons between that grown in Yemen and the Harar area. He describes an occasion in Harar where khat was being used: - "The Grandees were eating khat, or as it is here called ',Jat'. One of the party prepared for the Prime Minister the tenderest twigs of the tree, plucking off the points of even the softest leaves. Another pounded the plant with a little water in a wooden mortar; of this paste, called 'Al-Madkuk', a bit was handed to each person, who rolling it into a ball, dropped it into his mouth. All at times, as is the custom, drank cold water from a smoked gourd, and seemed to dwell upon the sweet and pleasant draught. I could not but remark the fine flavour of the plant after the coarser quality grown in al Yaman. Europeans perceive but little effect from it - friend S. and I once tried in vain a strong infusion - the Arabs, however, unaccustomed to stimulants and narcotics [18], declare that, like opium eaters, they cannot live without the excitement. It seems to produce in them a manner of dreamy enjoyment, which, exaggerated by time and distance, may have given rise to that splendid myth of the Lotos, and the Lotophagi [19]. It is held by the Ulema here as in Arabia, 'Ak1 al- Salikin' [20], or the Food of the Pious, and literati remark that it has the singular properties of enlivening the imagination, clearing the ideas, cheering the heart, diminishing sleep, and taking the place of food. The people of Harar eat it every day from 9 a.m. till near noon, when they dine and afterwards indulge in something stronger - millet-beer and mead [21]" (Burton, 1966 p. 196-197).
 
Burton (1966 p. 77) relates the tradition in Yemen about the introduction of khat. One Sheikh Ibrahim abu Zaharbui buried under a dome close to the Ashurbara Gate of Zeila [Somalia]- "was one of the forty-four Hadrami saints who landed at Berbera, sat in solemn conclave upon Auilya Kumbo or Holy Hill, and thence dispersed far and wide for the purpose of propagandism. He travelled to Harar about A.D. 1430 [in the same year (A.D. 1429-30) the Sheikh al-Shazili, buried under a dome in Mocha, introduced coffee into Arabia] converted many to al-Islam, and left there an honoured memory. His name is immortalized in al-Yaman by the introduction of khat."
 
Baron Silvestre de Sacy (1826) in his Chrestomathie Arabe, ou extraits  de Divers ecrivains Arabes tant en prose qu'en vers, translated and commented upon parta book entitled " 'Umdat al-safwa fi hill al-kahwa" [Strongest Proofs in Favour of the Legitimacy of the Use of Coffee] by 'Abd-al-Kadir al-Djaziri. In that work al-Djaziri quotes the following from the writings orIbn 'Abd al-Ghaffar. "It is said that the first who introduced coffee was the Sheikh, the illustrious saint Abu Abdallah Muhammad b. Sa'id al-Dhabhani [died 1470-1 A.D.]; but we have learned by the testimony of many persons that the use of coffee in Yemen, its origin, and first introduction into that country are due to the learned 'Ali b. 'Umar al-Shadhili [Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali b. 'Umar of the family of Da 'sayn died in 7418 A.D.], one of the disciples of the learned and pious doctor Nasr ood Din, who is regarded as one of the chief's among the shadhiliyya order [22], and whose worth attests the high degree of spiiTuality  to which they had attained. Previous to that time, they made coffee of the vegetable substance called cafta which is
the same as the leaf known under the name kat, and not Bunn[the coffee seed] nor the shell [the husks] of bunn. The use of this beverage did not stop and extended in course Orlime as far as Aden, but in the days of Muhammad Dhabhani of whom we have spoken, the substance cafta [from which it was prepared] disappeared from Aden. It was then that the Sheikh Dhabhani advised those who had become his disciples to try the drink made from the Bunn, which was found to produce the same effect as the khat inducing sleeplessness, and that it was attended with less expense and trouble. The use of coffee has been kept up from that time to the present" (Sacy, 1826 p. 412 et seq.).
 
De Sacy (1826 p. 462) comments that the words cafta and khat are used in such a way that while apparently similar, they are nonetheless distinguishable. He concluded from the context that khat was the word for the leaves of the tree and cafta was a preparation made from the leaves. De Sacy could not find either of the words in the Kamous or the Sihah, the great Arabic lexicographical works. The word cafta, however, applies more accurately to the leaves and khat to the plant. El Mahi (1962 p. 2) contended that the "current names given to 'coffee' and 'khat', are etymologically derived from the place name 'Kafa' in Ethiopia where they flourished. The same derivation, however, applies to the Arabic word 'kahwa' (coffee). Moreover, in the Galla dialect, khat is known by the name of "Gofa" which is clearly the basis of the Arabic counterpart "Kafta" by which the leaves of Khat are known". He cites Mansfield Parkyns' book Life in Abyssinia (1853) as a place where the place name "Kafta" is called "Cafta". Doctor Peter Merab (1876-1930), a Georgian physician who spent several years in Ethiopia as court physician to Menelik II (Pitzkhelaouri, 1977), talks about asking Ethiopians savants on the question of the origin of coffee. They were all agreed that the coffee tree originated in their country but were astonished that one did not know that the plant originated from a small neighbouring province next to Caffa called Boun or Bouno, and not from Kaffa itself. More remarkable, he says, is that the inhabitants of Kaffa not only did not doubt that our savants placed the origin of the divine liquor in their country despite recognizing that in their language coffee is called bouno, yielded to the province of Bouno the honor which it was due. It was surely due to the Arab merchants who caused this regrettable confusion in calling the product they brought in large quantity from Caffa, kahfa or kahva. He even says that the scientific name for the genu-T-c7ffea should have been Buna (Merab, 1921 p.177).
 
The fact remains, however, that there are many local traditions on the introduction of khat and coffee (cf. van Arendonk, 1976) and it will probably never be pos—iffile to determine when either was introduced or first used. El Mahi (1962) has emphasized that on occasion the folklore of each is identical. In the Harar area of Ethiopia one view held is that khat originated in Yemen. This is wrong since the centre of origin is Ethiopian but the legend is that it was supposedly discovered by a herder named Awzulkernayien [Alexander], who noticed that the leaves had an affect on his goats. When he tried them himself, he experienced wakefulness and added strength. He therefore took some home and consumed a small amount before retiring for the night. He had no sleep that night and was able to stay up to pray and meditate for long hours.
 
Others believe that khat was first introduced into Harar city, hence it spread to other parts of Ethiopia. The legend of the introduction into Harar tells of a group of religious and civic leaders who met one day to determine a suitable site to establish a new city. They chose four sites. After long argument, a choice was made and Harar was built on the site of the present old walled city. The choice was made because of suitable elevation, the splendid landscape and the many rivers and streams in the area, but it was soon discovered that the air of the new town had a depressing effect on the people and made them tired and very lazy.
 
The Council met again to discuss this problem and they agreed that the holy tree of Awzulkernayien was the cure. A mission of merchants was dispatched to Yemen to fetch the khat and thus the first khat is said to have come to Harar and indeed to Ethiopia. One of the interesting features of khat use nowadays in the Harar area is that people frequently offer a prayer before they chew it and in this prayer, Awzulkernayien is mentioned. This could be taken as evidence of the antiquity of the practice of khat use (cf. Getahun and Krikorian, 1973 p. 355-356).
 
As competence and standards of scholarship in oriental languages improved, and as travel became a bit more feasible, the levels of detail in the information on khat accessible to Europeans naturally increased. If use of khat was fairly widespread in Carsten Niebuhr's day, by the time Paul Botta arrived on the scene it was more so. By the time Albert Deflers finally made a comprehensive botanical collection expedition to Yemen, its use was rife. In May 1887 he landed at Hodeida and travelled to Manakha, to Sanaa, and penetrated into the remote areas of Kaukaban and Amran, northwest of Sanaa and returned to the coast through Taizz, Zabid and Beit al-Faqih. He says: - "Although it [khat] is generally ignored in the Hedjaz and even in Jeddah, the use of khat has become, by contrast, a custom, nearly a need for the inhabitants of Yemen and Hadhramaut where there is an enormous consumption. At vigils for the dead, at feasts and ceremonies celebrating births, circumcisions or marriages, khat is always liberally distributed to the guests. Numerous caravans loaded with this merchandise which is nearly as precious as tea arrive daily from the interior to the coast and the sole city of Aden receives each year more than 1000 camel loads. A load consists of a certain number of spindle shaped packets, each containing forty leafy branches, tightly compressed and enveloped in a casing of palm leaves tressed with care, to prevent their drying out. The value of these bundles on the coastal markets varies from 0 francs 60 to 0 francs 80" (Defiers, 1889 p. 122).
 
Access to accounts by Muslims in the area where khat was used further expanded the awareness of Europeans. For instance an account published in the Bulletin de la Societe Khediviale de Geographie by Mohammed Mokhtar an officer during the Egyptian occupation of Harar [23] says: - "As an intoxicating substance they chew the leaves of a tree which they call khat. They believe that this tree has the ability to strengthen the body to repel sleep and they attribute aphrodisiac qualities to it. They have a curious manner of using it and it seems to me that it would be of interest to relate it here:
 
Towards nine o'clock in the morning, all the guests go to their hosts; there they sit in a circle and begin to read the first chapters of the Qur-an, and address all sorts of praises to the Prophet. This done, the master of the house gives each a fistful of khat leaves which they chew in eager rivalry, in order to be able to swallow them more easily. If the master of the house is rich, they drink milk; if he is poor, they drink water. After this the same ceremony begins again, reading the Qur-an, praises to the Prophet, receiving and chewing of a fresh fistful of khat, and this goes on until 11 o'clock.
 
As I asked one of them why they were reading the Qur-an in this way and celebrating, with the eating of khat, the praises to the Prophet, he answered me.
 
'We read the Qur-an and we bow to the Prophet because this plant is known to the saints and it permits us to keep vigil long through the night in order to worship the Lord.'
 
I had to admit that the response was rather ingenious... Mokhtar adds that "I do not know the real properties of khat; this is certain, that Diabe, my servant, aged 23 years, and of a sanguin temperament, fell sick with dysentery, and was only cured with khat, having at first tried all the ordinary means of medication, such aismuth subnitrate, etc"... "it would be very interesting to carry out a chemical analysis of this plant so as to ascertain to which principal it owes its virtue and its action. I learned myself that it was an excellent remedy against dysentery" (Mokhtar, 1876 p. 369-372). Mention is also made of the fact that Hararis, having taken khat, only eat again at 6 o'clock in the evening (Mokhtar, 1876 p. 369).
 
In a Turkish document by one Ahmed Rachid, published from the 1870 campaign in Yemen and translated into French by the Orientalist Barbier de Meynard, one sees yet another piece of information reaching the European intellectuals. This is all the more so since the document was part of the publication prepared for the Sixth International Congress of Orientalists convened at Leiden in September 1883 (Barbier de Meynard, 1883 p. 108 et seq.).
 
The document gives a good description of the tree and draws attention to the fact that fanciers can distinguish three kinds of khat depending on the soil that produces it. "One has an effect on the brain more powerful than that of opium or hashish, and can bring about madness; a second kind, less violent, causes only the inebriating effect of a spirit like raki [24]; finally, the third, still less strong only provokes insomnia. Chewing of khat twigs causes thirst and dries the lips, and people feel that water taken afterwards tastes particularly good. Be that as it may, this plant is the object of a marked predeliction in all Yemen. There is no inhabitant, even if he is poor, who cannot find some money for his supply of khat. A workman who barely makes 5 piastres a day (1 franc 15 centimes) spends 4 for this purchase. However, although the taxes on this article of consumption are rather minimal, they nevertheless yield to the treasury a considerable revenue in certain localities and especially at Hodeida" (Barbier de Meynard, 1883 p. 109).
 
There is a wonderful description of khat use in Hodeida. "... there are establishments assigned to the use of this plant, called mebrez. Some are private properties (khoussoussi) reserved for the important people, rich merchants who go there to meet their friends and aquaintances and to chew khat. They have taken there by their valets the narghile [waterpipe], tobacco, a khat supply, water or sherbets etc, whatever they will need and they spend several hours each day there, among friends. In the public mebrez (oumoumi), kinds of cafés open to all corners, one finds nargifiVg:—water and sherbets, but everyone must bring his own personal supply of the precious shoots. Such meeting places are found in Beit-el-Faqih, at Zebid and even in the towns and villages.
 
It is especially at Jebel Reima where one finds this so sought-after plant. Each day, early in the morning, camels loaded with the daily provision reach Hodeida. The caravan does not come into the city; the loads are unpacked, shown, and sold in a twinkling of the eye under the walls of the city. In order to protect the plant from the sun and from drying out, it is tied in bundles covered with leaves and fresh grass and wrapped in a covering of banana leaves. The bundles are tied with care so as to not damage them. Each camel carries several hundred of them. The price varies from 60 paras to 6 piastres (from 33 centimes to 1 franc 35 centimes) depending on the size of the bundle.
 
As soon as the supply is taken to the bazaar, a crowd forms like the inhabitants of a besieged city rushing upon bakers' shops. Everything is carried off in an instant. Privation of khat is thought to be a public calamity, and I found this out at Hodeida, when the movement of our troops slowed down the daily shipment. The consumption of this plant takes place twice each day. The morning is devoted to business; but as soon as noon arrives, the shops close. The merchants retire behind the shutters of their stores, the inhabitants run to the mebrez and all indulge in their favourite degustation until 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Business is resumed until the acha, that is, about two hours after sunset. Then the second session which can sometimes last until dawn takes place. It is in these mebrez, close and rigorously screened from draughts of air that the fanciers huddle together, chewing their twigs, drinking large tumblersful of water and sweat huge droplets of perspiration. Finally, in the evening, singers and wandering musicians gather there, as in our cafés of Europe. Kat usage also exists, although less extensively in the mountains of Yemen. In Sanaa, there are no mebrez, but when noon sounds, the inhabitants, rich and poor, go home and eat their shoots which they take with a brimmer of-kishr. That is the name for a preparation made from coffee husks boiled with tea leaves. It is noteworthy that the coffee beans are never used. The passion of the Yemenites for khat and kishr [25] can only be compared to that of the Chinese for opium" (cr.rbier de Meynard, 1883 p. 112-114). These descriptions of khat use are not only accurate but their content is, in part, judgemental especially since they are written by "foreigners". It might be instructive to see whether other accounts by Muslim authors are more objective.
 
KHAT USE IN ORIENTAL LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES
 
It has been suggested on very weak grounds that the ancient Egyptians knew about khat. Remy Cottevieille-Giraudet (1935) even went so far as to make a case for the interdiction of khat by the priests of Philae during the Ptolemaic period because the required rituals demanded sleep in order to dream and have apparitions. As a stimulant or anti-hypnotic khat would, of course, be counter-productive. No one has taken the case very seriously, however, since the argument is based on linguistic considerations which themselves are untenable (cf. Rodinson, 1977 p. 76). The same may be said of the views that it was the smoke of khat that inspired the Delphic pythoness, or that Homer's nepenthe offered by Helen of Troy to Telemachus was khat, or that Alexander the Great sent it to Harrar to cure his army of an epidemic mental disease called lypemania [melancholia] (cf. Merab, 1921 vol. 1 p. 176 and 1929 vol. 3 p. 491; Anonymous, 1956). al-Biruni [26] a contemporary of and correspondent with the famous Persian physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna, 980-1037 A.D.) and author of an important work on "pharmacy in the healing art" (ca. 1050 A.D.) seems to be the first of the Islamic authors who mentions khat. Even though the work was written in Arabic and the entries are alphabetical, there is some doubt whether the word khat spelled with a qaf, is indeed (Catha) or something close to it. The manuscripts of al-Biruni recently have had a careful and detailed recension by Hakim Mohammed Said and his colleagues of the Hamdard Foundation in Karachi. Sami Hamarneh, an expert in history of Islamic pharmacy was responsible for the introduction, commentary and evaluation (Hamarneh, 1973). The entry reads as follows: - "Kat- It is a commodity imported from Turkestan. It is sour to the taste and slenderly made in the manner of batan alu. But khat is reddish, with a slight blackish tinge. It is believed that batan alu [27] is red, coolant, [erasure here ?] relieves biliousness, and is a refrigerant for the stomach and the liver" (al-Biruni, 1050 p. 264). Unfortunately, there are no more details and one can only speculate that it is the khat of our interest and wonder why the material seems to have derived from Turkestan. The only indication that I have been able to track down on Catha edulis in that part of the world is in a note from one F.J. Owen, analytical chemist to the Afghan government (Owen, 1910). He says "This plant is found in the South of Turkestan and certain parts of Afghanistan to the east of Kabul. I was struck by the flavour of the tea offered to me on several occasions in Afghan houses and by the fact that it gave instant relief from neuralgia. The beverage had a taste like tea, and it was evidently made from some plant containing a principle allied to caffeine.
 
After Inspecting a specimen brought to me for analysis, I recognized it as the Catha edulis plant. The natives say that men by its aid can do long marches at night without the feeling of fatigue, also that among the wrestling fraternity here it is used on a large scale, as it greatly increases the muscular powers of the men. The leaves when dry are crumbled up and placed in an urn with boiling water and boiled for fifteen minutes. The natives seem to have no hard and fast rule as to the strength of the beverage. It is drunk by many Afghans as a substitute for tea."
 
When I first encountered this reference, I wondered whether there may may have been some confusion between Catha edulis and Celastrus  paniculatus [28]. Both are in the same family and in the Indo-Pak subcontinent, seeds of Celastrus paniculatus, are utilized in ways that are similar to khat. In fact, it is said to improve memory, to be a stimulant and an aphrodisiac (cf. Hakim, 1952). Since none of the extensive sources of Afghan materia medica available to me mention khat, this seemed all the more possible but there is no reason to think a mistake was made. Afghanistan is a country of devout Muslims and it may well be that the plant was introduced [29] from Arabia by early pilgrims on their way from Mecca. The fact, that khat was not used fresh is curious, however, since if the plant had indeed been introduced, it would have been available for use in unprocessed form. If indeed it had, as al-Biruni states, a reddish or blackish tinge, it implies it was somehow processed. The batan alu, according to Schopen (1978,p.45),is presumably analogous to an extract of khat and is seen as being similar to a plum jam. The most that can be said of this kind of preparation is that it would probably keep well. This brings to mind confectionary "pastes" of the Near and Middle East, prepared by spreading fruit conserves out thinly on cloth sheets to enable them to dried out in the sun. They were then pulled off the cloth in large strips by moistening slightly with water from the rear.
 
The late Tigani El Mahi, a specialist in the history of Arabic medicine, and author of a very interesting WHO document on the institutional history of coffee as a beverage in relation to khat (El Mahi, 1962) drew attention to a manuscript copied in 1237 A.D. entitled The Book of Compound Drugs [Kitab al-Akrabazin] by Najib al-Din al-Samarqandi in which khat is used in a prescription for "euphorizing purposes" and "for the relief of melancholia and depressive symptoms". El Mahi points out that in a marginal note, apparently by a different hand, juxtaposed to the text that "khat is a shrub of Kilwa [in modern Kenya] and of Yemen..." El Mahi adds that a copy of this same work, dated 1680 A.D. is completely void of this important notice on khat. El Mahi provides no further details on the manuscript, and Maxime Rodinson, the French Orientalist (1977, p.'76), was unable to track down the manuscript version mentioned by El Mahi and neither could it be found in some fourteen others. Rodinson (1977), therefore, has made the recommendation that one consider this mention of khat as a gloss introduced into the manuscript after the original writing of the work by al-Samarqandi. The fact remains, however, that Samarkand, the area of Samarqandi's greatest influence and Ghazni, the area of al-Biruni's greatest influence are, obviously, not in Yemen or East Africa.
 
It has long been thought that the earliest reliable historical reference to khat is in a chronicle of the Christian King 'Amda Syon I, who reigned in Ethiopia from 1314-1344 A.D. Mention is made of the fondness for khat chewing among Muslims in the city of Mar'ade. 'Amda Syon's chronicles (written in Ge'ez, of course, and in his lifetime), were , translated into English as The Wars of 'Amda Syon and French and German versions exist as well (Dillmann, 1884, Perruchon 1889, Huntingford, 1965). We see the Muslim Sultan of Ifat [see map Fig.6. on page 19],Sabra al-Din, bragging about what he would do when he conquered the Christian Kingdom. "I will make Mar'ade his capital my capital also. And I will plant there plants of khat (cf. Dillmann, 1884, p. 1012-1013; Huntingford, 1965, pp. 55-56; Perruchon, 1889, p. 331; Trimingham, 1965 p. 228).
 
Khat is also mentioned around this time by Ibn Fadl Allaj al-'Umari, a historian, in his authoritative work entitled Masalik al-Absar..., [" The Voyages of the Eyes in Kingdoms of Different Couries"] written between 1342 and 1349 A.D. An account is given of its introduction into Yemen in the reign of al-Mua'yyad Da'ud [30]. al-'Umari describes khat as one of the trees of Abyssinia which "bears no fruit, but one eats the young tender shoots. It stimulates cleverness and gives happiness; it allows one to almost go without eating, drinking or having sexual intercourse. Everyone eats it, but especially those searching for knowledge, or those who have serious problems, or those who seek to prolong their wakefulness so as to make a journey or to carry out work. Their taste for this drug is similar to that which the inhabitants of India have for betel, although the two subtances are not at all similar... I was very much amused when one of the savants who was telling me about this plant told me about King al-Mu'ayyad, the sovereign of Yemen. A Muslim from Abyssinia told the savant that he went to Yemen and was presented to the sovereign, who took him into his confidence. The Abyssinian, having begged the king to ask something of him, was asked by the King for some tender shoots of the khat [jat] tree. He soon sent someone on foot to Abyssinia to fetch a cutting. It was planted in Yemen and it grew well. When the time came to harvest the tender shoots, the king asked the help of the Abyssinian who explained to him the effects that they produced. Upon learning that it virtually eliminated the desire to eat, to drink [31] and to have sexual intercourse, King Al-Mu'ayyad told him: 'And what other pleasures are there in this base world besides those ? By God, I will not eat it at all; I only spend my efforts on those three things; how am I going to use such a thing which will deprive me of the pleasures that I get from them ?" (cf. al-'Umari as translated by Gaudefroy-Demombynes, 1927 pp. 11-13). al-'Umari also mentions khat being used to stimulate intelligence and to improve the memory. He mentions that khat grows as small and large trees which have young shoots similar to those of the orange tree (al-'Umari,1927 p. 26). We shall see momentarily that this account seems to have been drawn upon heavily by al-Maqrizi.
 
El Mahi (1962 p. 4) held the view that the famous Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta confounded khat with betel leaf (Piper betel) in his description written around 1332 A.D. of tanbul chewing in Mogadishu [Somalia] and Dhofar [Southern Arabia]. El Mahi used as his argument that betel leaf was not indigenous to East Africa and Southern Arabia and "surely its transplantation came at a much later date". But the Arabic work [tanbul] in the text of Ibn Battuta's Rihla [Travels] make it clear that he meant betel leaf [32]. Indeed Ibn Battuta describes the use of a little chalk on the leaves and their subsequent mastication in combination. This leaves no doubt that he noted tanbul was in use in the East African area before he visited India [33]. Moreover, there is ample evidence that South Indian commerce in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea was well developed at a very early date (cf. Gregory, 1971 p. 7 et seq) and this can readily account for the introduction of Piper betel  into the regions mentioned.
 
al-Maqrizi, a historian who in the 15th century A.D. wrote (among other things) a history of the Muslim rulers of Abyssinia, mentions khat in some detail. Much of Maqrizi's descriptive material is based chiefly on al-'Umari's Masalik al-Absar, and the section where khat is mentioned [The Muslim Region of Abyssinia] seems to have derived from that as well (al-Maqrizi, 1434/5 p. 6-7) "There exists in Zayla [in Somalia, cf. map Fig. 6 on p. 19] a type of shrub bearing no fruit, the leaves of which are similar to those of the bitter orange tree [cf. note 34] and are eaten by the people. These leaves when eaten are effective in enhancing intelligent performance and in effecting a recall of forgotten events. However, while they produce an appreciable sense of hilarity in the taker, they materially depress the appetite for food and the desire for sex, and strongly repel sleep. The people of the locality are fond of these leaves and are habitually attached to them. The habit is even more conspicuously rife among the intellectuals" (cf. al-Mat:vizi, 1434/5 p. 7 and E. Mahi, 1962 p. 3).
 
Mention of the legitimacy of khat use according to Islamic texts has been covered in greater detail in the new edition of the Encyclopedia of Islam (Hess, 1976). The fact is, however, that there is no universal agreement among Islamic scholars on the legitimacy of khat. Rodinson (1977 p. 84) says that doubt about the authority for use of khat even in Yemen where it is widely used is seen in the contempt for the class of khat merchants [muqawwit]. We have seen that al-Mu'ayyad Da'ud had personal reasons for rejecting khat. Presumably he had no religious precedent to be concerned with. We have also seen the comments by Fresnel on the Wahabi attitude towards khat, alcohol etc. Hess (1976) mentions a document finished on Feb. 2, 1553 A.D. by one Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (1504-1567) entitled Tandhir ath-thiqat min akl al-kaftah wa-l-qat. This treatise comprising some 8,000 words, is translated as The Authoritative Warning against the Use of Kafta and Kat. Franz Rosenthal, an Arabist at Yale University, states that Ibn Hajar al-Haytami says that "all the blameworthy qualities mentioned in connection with hashish are also to be found in qat, with additional harm"
 
(Rosenthal, 1971 p. 11-12). El Mahi (1962 p. 9 et seq) has given some telling excerpts from that work in translation. Those who oppose the use of khat inevitably draw upon this kind of commentary. "I am adamant to believe that this [i.e. inability to track down anything like khat by name] is wholly and invariably due to the fact that khat became known and its usage became established during our own time. The subject is novel and no historical precedent could possibly be invoked for a decision. Thus, in the absence of a historical approach we have to depend on methods of interpretation." "Some physicians of experience", he continued, "whom I had occasion to consult, contended that the habitues taking the leaf regularly and for a long time, eventually entered into a state characterized by the following: pale face, [anaemia ?] cheerless countenance, loss of appetite, disorder of digestion, reduction of sex potency and persistent semenorrhoea. On the other hand, subjective evidence by reliable witnesses does not tally with itself nor with the statements made by the above-mentioned physicians. A noted scholar of Hebron, for example, stated that during a sojourn of thirty years in Yemen, he had been in the habit of regularly using khat in the form of both the green and the dried leaf. He maintained that he did not suffer any harmful effects as a result 'Of the habit. He even regarded his khat experience as felicitous, congenial and perfectly agreeable to his health. Khat, he said, may enable some people to attain their emotional balance.
 
Another jurist teaching in Mecca stated that in his quest for mystic abstraction in past times, he imposed on himself rigorous and austere ascetic discipline, which he tried to reinforce more by the use of khat on the score that khat would enable him even more to purge out his urge for food and his lust for sex. For this purpose, he used the dried leaf a great deal all through the period of his abstraction. In the light of his own experience, he was firmly convinced that khat does not appreciably lead to any harm. Neither does it intoxicate the mind nor lead to clouded judgement." On the other hand, a Hanafite scholar, stated that "once upon a time he met a roving mystic from Yemen who strongly admonished him to use khat as 'its leaves are heavenly blessed and in consequence are inordinately blessing to users.' When he first used the leaves, he did not feel any effect whatsoever for some time. Subsequently, however, he began to feel some effect which was unmistakably intoxicating. It was associated too with light-headedness. "It became so unpleasant that I was compelled to refrain completely."
 
Rosenthal (1971 p. 72-73) provides a précis of some of Ibn Hajar's "brief but highly interesting remarks on the difficulty encountered in the past in any attempt to obtain real knowledge about a drug's effect..." "Information from experience requires a long time to accumulate. Information gathered from users is unreliable and indecisive. There are, for instance, contradicting statements from users with regard to the simple question of whether the use of khat is harmful or not. Traditional information seems to be the best guide as to how to handle the problem." Rosenthal (1971 p. 73) continues, "From our point of view, we would heartily disagree - at least, in principle - with Ibn Hajar al-Haytami's attitude. However, for a Muslim scholar, especially one working in the waning centuries of medieval Islam, it was only natural to distrust empiricism and to rely upon authority and tradition. There was no real possibility of any sort of controlled experimentation, even if the idea of using this thoroughly modern technique had ever occurred to medieval scholars." In many ways this criticism is just now beginning to be corrected.
 
By the opening of the 20th century, numerous works had appeared in Arabic which described khat and its use. One which is particularly interesting and to which I have had access is the Kitab bulugh  al-maram fi sharh mask al hitam fi man tualla mulk al-Yaman min malik wa-'imam. This title literally translates as The Book of the Reaching of the Desire concerning the Commentary on the Grasp of the Conclusion  Whatever King and Imam Held Sway over Yemen. It was authored by the Qadi Husain ibn Ahmad al-'Arshiy and covers "the incidents of which end in the year 1318 of the Hegira - 1900 A.D. [35]. This work was edited and published by Pere Anastase-Marie de St. Elie the Carmelite, Member of the Fouad I Arabic Language Academy and "completed by him to mid-June 1939", is beautifully edited with numerous notes. On p. 126 we read that "The Professor (the literateur Nazih Bey Mu'ayyad al-Azam) relates in his book (Travels in Arabia Felix from Egypt to Sana) in Part II:70, an anecdote..." [36].
 
A free translation from the Arabic text is given below:
..."'Ad-Dal, corresponding to Surd: it had many trees, but they were uprooted some years ago, and khat was planted in their stead
... [first part of footnote omitted here]... "Nazih al-'Azam has given a detailed description of khat, its seat, and what cleaves to its chewers. He says: - I found his Honor the Governor, and around him some of the senior government officials and the leading personalities of the district, sitting on small mats covered with Persian carpets, and all smoking the waterpipe or narghile, chewing khat. "As-Salam 'alaikum," said I, and they all replied, "a'laikum as-Salam, and the mercy of God and His blessings." - They arose to meet me, and the Governor came up to me, shook hands and gave me a warm welcome. He seated me beside him, and said, "I hope you do not mind being received here [or in this small chamber] with ourselves in khat-session [majlis al-kat] . "I am very glad" I said, "to observe 'the khat and its session". His honor passed me a bundle of khat and said: "Come on . Eat .", as they say "eat" khat, "store it", meaning to chew it. 'I thanked him for his gift. Taking a few leaves of this remarkable plant, I put them in my mouth and began chewing them. I found them to have a strange taste, the like of which I had not tasted in my life. I did not, however, find any sort of delight in it, but rather the opposite, my soul had a distaste for it.' Fourteen lines further on he says "'Looking around at some of those sitting in, I saw them completely taken up with chewing the khat. In front of each one of them was a large bundle, alongside which was an earthenware pitcher, and a silver cuspidor. 'As for the pitcher, the khat chewer uses it to gargle his mouth from time to time; while as for the cuspidor, he uses it for the saliva and to discard the residue of the leaves of khat that he chews, but that he doesn't swallow; or rather he absorbs their liquid, and then discards them from his mouth into the cuspidor. 'The khat is a strange plant. It contains a narcotic substance called in English Cata idios or Forskali [37]. 'Among its peculiar properties is the fact thaTil affects the nerves. It narcotizes them, so that the person feels a sense of expansiveness and relaxation. Doctors say that it is very injurious to health, because it diminishes one's appetite for food, and increases the desire to drink water, it is injurious to teeth, and blackens them; and to the stomach, as it diminishes its juice; and to procreation, as it weakens one. Yet despite the fact that the people of Yemen know this, they celebrate it in poems, and of qasidas [a formal kind of poetry] sing its virtues. They all use it, except for His Majesty, the Imam Yahya, 'Whose personal physician a number of years ago forbade him to make use of it; and His Majesty continues to refrain from it to this day.
 
'I am very sorry to say that the Yemenites waste their wealth and their time on khat. There is no difference in this respect between ruler and the subject, rich and destitute. You find the artisan who works all day for a single franc laying out the greater part of it on khat; and he attaches more importance to obtaining it than he does to obtaining his requisite nourishment. I have heard many say that they prefer it to food and drink.
 
'Khat is planted, as the coffee bean is planted, in the high valleys that are exposed to the fierce heat of the sun only a few hours a day. Different kinds of it are found. Their names differ depending on the different localities from which they come. Thus in that place: "'al-Wadi khat," "Ta'izzi khat" "Bar'i khat" and "Rimi khat", referring to the villages 'al-Wadi, Ta'izz, Bar,' and Rima. Khat bears a certain resemblance to our small white poplar; and its shrub sometimes reaches a height of five meters.
 
'Some of the kinds are distinguishable from others by sweetness and size. Khat is the most valuable and expensive plant in Yemen. A small bundle of its twigs is worth three francs.
 
'One of the pleasantest things I heard about khat, is that in the days of the Ottoman empire, robbers used to hold up caravans and rifle them, but would always allow the khat merchants to proceed on their way unhindered and unhurt.
 
'I sat in the khat council for about a quarter of an hour. I almost lost consciousness there owing to the strength of the fumes and the stoppage of the air, so finally I requested the governor's permission to depart. This he granted after inquiring of me as to our comfort, food and drink, and whether we were in need of any assistance. Whereupon I said: "We are, praise be to God, extremely well off",... and then I returned to the palace." (al-Arsi, 1939 pp. 141-143).
 
MODES OF KHAT USE 
 
One suspects that khat was early used as a decoction or infusion. The existing literature is, however, not very easy to interpret. When available, it is not possible to determine to what extent a given practice was still in vogue. Indeed, the most one can hope for after studying this literature is a statement that will hopefully portray what customs have been practiced at any time.
 
In 1918 Ross Gortner, a biochemist, suggested the following scenario for the origin of tea drinking as a custom. ..."cause and effect were somewhat as follows: (1) The drinking water was undoubtedly polluted and typhoid, cholera, dysentery, etc., were endemic. (2) Certain families or clans found that a pleasing beverage could be made by steeping the leaves of the tea plant in hot water with the result that they drank very little if any of the polluted waters without previously boiling it. (3) Their neighbouring communities observed that these families or clans who drank tea had relatively little disease as compared with non-tea drinkers and as a result the custom of tea drinking spread throughout the land not because of the belief that boiled water prevented disease and tea leaves modified the insipid taste of boiled water, but because the infusion of tea leaves per se was looked upon as a medicine specific for the prevention of the prevalent diseases." If one were to substitute khat leaves for tea leaves one might easily imagine that the scenario holds equally true for khat.
 
Attractive as all this might seem, one should recall that an Arab merchant named Sulayman in the 9th century felt constrained to go into details on tea preparation and use in China. This work, edited in 851 A.D., and commented upon by one Abu Zayd Hasan around 916, suggests that the habit of any kind of "tea" drinking [38] could not have been common (cf. Hassan ibn Yazid, 1922). This is in keeping with the views of Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (cf. p.28) but there is really no information to refute the possibility that khat was used as a tea in a more restricted setting or geographical region. We can still see the traditions of teas of infusions of khat even now in East Africa. The boiled roots and bark have been used by the Masai and Kipsigi peoples to treat gonorrhoea (Glover et al, 1966). Interestingly, Merker in his exhaustive monograph on the Masai makes no mention of use of Catha in his lengthy list of plants used by the Masai in what was then German East Africa (cf. Merker, 1910 p. 352-376). Kokwaro (1976 p. 51) relates the use of a preparation of boiled roots and bark as a remedy for "general body illness". Also, leaves and roots are said to be of use in influenza, while roots alone suffice for "stomach troubles" (cf. also Bally, 1938 and 1945; Githens, 1948).
 
In Southern Africa, the Bushmen are said to make a moderate infusion of the leaves which is as good as tea (Davison, 1929 p. 339). This infusion known as Bosjeman's Thee to the early Dutch colonialists (Vorster, 1974), was apparently used as a remedy against asthma, coughs and other diseases of the chest [39].
 
One might suspect that medicinal uses for khat would be found in Ethiopian tradition. Doctor Merab (1929 p. 491) pointed out however, long ago, that most Christian Ethiopians have always had a disdain for khat and would never use it merely because the Muslims did. Those who knew of it called it a "thing of the Devil". Even so, use of khat as a medication in tea form seems to have had slightly less odium attached to it (cf. Strelcyn, 1973 p. 155). Simoons also mentions that Christians [especially women] who feel they have been possessed by Muslim Demons (zar) may, on occasion, chew kat to appease the spirits and thus induce them to leave (Simoons 1960 p. 116).
 
We have seen that D'Herbelot mentions in the 17th century khat coffee, or decoction of khat (cf. p. 9). By the time the two German botanical collectors and travellers Ecklon and Zeyher (1834 p. 152) came in contact with khat, they thought it appropriate to name it Methyseophyllum (cf. Table 1) from the Greek methu, an intoxicating drink and the Greek word phyllon, for leaf (Hocking, 1963). When Cornwallis Harris wrote, special emphasiswas given to the use of khat as a tea or decoction in the Shoa highlands. He related the leaves were either chewed or boiled with milk or water so as to take the infusion. The inhabitants also made a drink of it by adding honey. Hochstetter in 1841 p. 663 stated that in Abyssinia an infusion was made from the leaves. Ferret and Galinier who were "lieutenants in the corps royal d'etat major" and who were principally in the Tigre Province in Abyssinia from 1839-1843 stated that the young leaves of khat, their Celastrus Tsaad, were eaten by the Muslims and these lightly intoxicated them. They also added that "the leaves, prepared like tea, give an infusion which is rather pleasant to drink" (vol. 3, 1847 p. 109). Richard (1847 p. 135) pointed out that Dr. Quartin-Dillon (who had died of a fever in the Mareb Valley) referred in his notes to the plant in question under the name of "The des Abyssins". It is not easy to determine whether the tea of the Abyssinians was more often used as a true tea of infusion made by steeping plant parts in hot water, or as a decoction, made by boiling in water (cf. Warburg, 1897). Khat has also been used as a flavouring to tag [tej] a native Christian Ethiopian drink, actually a mead, prepared from honey and dry leaves of gesho [Rhammus prinoides] and I have often wondered whether the description of use of khat with honey and its use in tej manufacture was confounded in part by some of the early travellers [40]. In Merab's day khat was used in the Harar region as a substitute for gesho and its allies for tej manufacture. He adds that the drink, which has a fairly high alcohol content as it is, is then more of an excitant while tej made from gesho is more hypnotic (Merab, 1912 p. 121). As recently as 1960, Simoons (1960 p. 115) mentioned that he had heard that khat is sometimes grown and used in Debre Tabor (Begemder province of Ethiopia) by Christians as a substitute for Rhammus prinoides in the manufacture of tej or honey wine. Eshete Tadesse (1958) lists ginger or khat as major additives to tej among the Amhara of Sawa [41].
 
Pankhurst (1964 p. 226), an expert on the history of Ethiopian medicine and agriculture, etc. says that khat leaves were picked in the dry season [42] and dried in the sun. They were mainly chewed but were also used boiled in milk or water to make a drink. Getahun and Krikorian (1973 p. 357 and references there cited) mention that references to edible mixtures of honey or sugar with both fresh and dried khat exist. Greenway (1947) noted that in Arabia, dried leaves have also been smoked. Thompson and Adloff (1965 p. 163) mention "inhalation of the fumes". These uses would seem to be curious, however, since there is absolutely no evidence that pyrolysis products of khat would be active. (I wonder whether the smoking of a mixture of spices, chalk, and crushed iron ore called portugan said to be used when khat is not available, has any relevance here (cf. Nyrop et al 1977 p. 179).
 
All the above suggests to me that would-be users of khat more than likely have always preferred the fresh material and chewed it when available. But, man being the ingenious creature that he is, devised many ways to preserve the plant so that he could use it when fresh material was no to be had [43].
 
What is particularly interesting, however, is that one has a possibility here to be quite precise as to what is meant by chewing. There is chewing, and there is chewing . If, as the legend states, khat consumption first occurred by emulating the goats of Awzulkermayien (cf. p.21), then chewing implies eating. Merab (1912 p. 122; 1921 p. 176) commented on the derisive attitudes of the Christian Ethiopians towards the Muslims who chew khat. They mock the Muslims by saying "they browse and ruminate like goats". This is not very far from what the Rev. S.M. Zwemer had written several years earlier: - "nothing is at first sight stranger and more ludicrous than to see sober Arabs sit down in groups at the close of a day and, as Nebuchadnezzar of old, "eat grass like oxen" [44] (Zwemer, 1900 p. 415).
 
Peters (1952), writing from the then Somaliland Protectorate, described the manner in which khat leaves are chewed as follows. "The leaves are removed from branches and a large wad is placed in the mouth. If 'kuda' grade [the best Ethiopian grade consisting of young shoots is being chewed, the whole branchlet is eaten. The wad is then chewed till all the juices are extracted; copious drafts of cold water are also taken at the same time, but no hot drinks or food. The leaves are chewed for up to ten minutes and the residue is swallowed".
 
This description is interesting not only because it gives a mode of consumption but because it contrasts considerably with the method of use long extant in the Yemen. We have already read an early description of use in Yemen (p.17). A key difference is that the remnants of the quid, the bolus, are not usually swallowed (cf. e.g. Schopen, 1978 p. 88). Further niceties of khat chewing and the attendant etiquette emerge from a description of the practice written by a Yemenite Jew, Joseph Kafih in a work written in Hebrew (Kafih, 1963 p. 222 et seq). "Early in the morning, pots made of clay are sprayed with special smoke "Mistaki", filled with water and are left against the wind so that the water will be cool. After lunch they sip sweet coffee and later chew khat. One should chew on the right side. One fills the mouth until the right cheek is like a ball. Chewing khat is called "KIZAN". Those who chew and do some work are called "MIKAZIN", but if the person rests he is called "MIKAIL" [45]. The rich and lazy meet together and from 3:00 p.m. onwards they sit in a special room. This is a so-called "party room", which is furnished with special seats and carpets. The people who come in take off their head-dresses and cover their heads with small white caps. They cover their legs with a bed cover. They put the narghile on the low tables which are made from yellow brass; one puts 3-4 narghiles on a table because there is no khat chewing without smoking tobacco. Sometimes, instead of a narghile one uses cigarettes. At one corner, 3-4 brass plates with charcoal using the coal from Retama raetam [Leguminosae] which keeps a fire for a long time. They put a MALAT which is made from wood in front of each person; one places water or rose water there so that tobacco leaves may be soaked in it. Now each person starts smoking the narghile; as soon as the tobacco burns, each one opens a pack of khat and starts to chew. The doors and windows of the room are closed [46] and the space is filled up with smoke. People talk while the ritual continues. When the people are thirsty they ask for water. One learns how to drink without swallowing the khat [emphasis mine .]. One would sip water in such a way which makes a noise similar to a donkey drinking. This party goes on until late at night. In the end, everyone spits into a brass jar which is very wide at the bottom and narrow at the top so that one can not see the material" (Kafih, 1963). We see here, again, that the residual quid is gotten rid of into a spitoon. Indeed, since the green paste of chewed leaves causes discomfort and the cheeks become distended, it is only a matter of time when the material must be swallowed or ejected with the aid of a finger (cf.Great Britain. Geographical Handbook Series. 1946 p. 463). The amazing thing to me is that the cheek can be stuffed for an entire session . But a perusal of the literature, both old and new, provides evidence that in the Yemen, too, swallowing or "eating" is not out of the question but the usual method is to discard the extracted quid. Beitter (1900 p. 28) was one of the earliest to note the difference between swallowing versus ejection but the information of the day did not allow him to go very far with it.
 
Botta, o f course, had emphasized the use of khat in Yemen through mastication but he also described its use by individuals of advanced age. "No longer having teeth to chew khat, a habit of his for close to a century, he held a small wooden mortar into which he continually placed and bruised leaves, so he could swallow them without having had need to chew them" (Botta, 1880 p. 115). Recall, here, also the description by Burton of one of the "Grandees" of Harar pounding khat with water a wooden mortar to make a paste called al-Madkuk (cf. Burton, 1966 p. 197 and this article page 20) . Merab (1929 p. 491 et seq) said that the Muslim Galla priests [called Kalitschas] took khat the more so as a tea, in infusion or decoction form sweetened with honey [47].
 
An aspect of the history of khat use as an infusion or decoction versus its being used as a masticant is further complicated by conflicting mid-nineteenth century reports from southern Arabia whether khat was ever used as a tea. One view, expressed by Vaughan, communicated in 1852 to the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain is as follows: "I am not aware that khat is used in Aden in any other way than for mastication. From what I have heard, however, I believe that a decoction resembling tea, is made from the leaf by the Arabs in the interior; and one who is well acquainted with our familiar beverage, assures me that the effects are not unlike those produced by strong green tea, with the advantage in favour of the khat, that the excitement is always of a pleasing and agreeable kind". But there is an interesting note from one Mr. Redhouse who had gotten a response to an inquiry from his friend the Consul at Jeddah concerning khat that contradicts this view. The Vice-Consul from Hodeidah (Yemen) had communicated that "In Yemen they always chew khat green and fresh, but whenever they proceed to the Hedjaz for Haj, or go to some other place where khat is not obtainable, they do not fail to provide themselves with a quantity of the khat herb previously dried. The Arabs of the Yemen never make nor have made [emphasis mine] a decoction from khat to drink" (Redhouse, 1887).
 
Khat is generally accepted as fresh for up to four days or so after harvest but consumer preference is for material which is as fresh as possible. The desired pharmacological effects of the plant apparently rapidly diminish after this period. This is due to the change in the cathine: cathinone ratio (see Bulletin on Narcotics, 1980). It remains to be discovered critically whether the mode of use has a significant effect on the user. El Mahi (1963) felt that the infusions or decoctions would be, in general, weaker than fresh material because active constituents might be destroyed or broken down. (This has been recently substantiated by Ramadan et al, 1981). Whether the exhausted quid is swallowed after percolation in the mouth, or spit out, might likewise have a significant impact on the overall effects. In Ethiopia and elsewhere where swallowing of the mass is the usual practice, this has an interesting consequence. In Yemen, where the bolus is not usually swallowed, the nutritional consequences would presumably not be as significant. Darby et al, (1959) pointed out that khat could play a significant positive role in nutrition. This was especially so because of its ascorbic acid, niacin, beta-carotene, calcium and iron content. Ascorbic acid and beta-carotene are, incidentally, frequently deficient in Ethiopian diets.
 
ATTITUDES TOWARDS KHAT
 
As a Medicament
 
Most of the nineteenth century European colonial literature is ambiguous about the use of khat as a folk medicine. Some mentions it as a medicinal plant, most describe it as a sort of "narcotic stimulant"(Hartwich, 1911). The Colonial Italian literature and enumerations of medicinal plants are particularly contradictory and confusing as to the use of khat. For the most part, the mode of consumption is said to be in the form of mastication of the fresh young shoots. Infusions for use in hysteria and epilepsy are also mentioned but these derive from dried leaves. The stimulating properties of the fresh leaves are clearly appreciated as being more tonic than tea, coffee of even coca. Aphrodisiacal potions including khat are also mentioned especially in terms of male impotence (cf. Ganora, 1929 p. 104 and 203; 1931, p. 195), Rovesti (1933 p. 24) mentions dried leaves being sold in Eritrean markets for use in infusions to prevent exhaustion, sleep and hunger.
 
The French pre-World War I travel literature begins to become substantially more negative towards khat. Debrosse (1913 p. 339) described the population of Harar as degenerate, besotted, not only with European drinks like absinthe, but even more by the abuse of khat. Chewing the young shoots brought about, in his view, stupefying intoxication approaching that of opium. The Hararis also made a fermented liquor out of it which was extremely noxious [tej ?].
 
In 1931 the French ethnologists Azais and Chambard, authors of a still indispensable work on Harar etc, khat was said to be responsible for the frequency of heart ailments in that area [48]. By 1936 we read khat is responsible for serious degeneration of the intellectual faculties [gravi degenerazioni delle facolta intellectuali] (cf. Cortesi, 1936 p. 96)
 
Even so, there is literature that shows that some French physicians envisioned use of khat in pharmaceutical preparations. Bertherand (1889) gives recipes for Catha infusion, syrup, "wine" and elixir. Leloup (1890) and Cauvet—M90) wrote theses on khat and also emphasized potential in various medical disorders. Khat apparently also caught the imagination of some Lyonnais pharmacists around 1910 and they marketed a pill preparation for nervous disorders called Neo-Tonique Abyssin. The plant extract was reputed to be very valuable in certain situations especially for nervous maladies of women [maladies nerveuses de femme]. The limited amount of khat available to those entrepreneurs, especially when World War I broke out, however, was a problem and it was impossible to continue the investigations and observations on this preparation (Azais and Chambard, 1931 p. 13). Khat apparently sold for some 1 to 2 shillings per pound on the London market just before the first world war (Hobley, 1912).
 
Exell (1936) reported that somewhere about 1913-1915 a Dr. W. Martindale, Manufacturing Chemist, 10 New Cavendish St. London W. 1 had been selling three preparations containing extracts of Catha edulis. Exell interviewed Dr. Martindale who gave him all the help he could. The preparations were: -
 
1) Catha-cocoa milk
2) Catha milk and glycerophosphate - a nerve tonic and stimulant in which milk powder was combined with Catha extract and calcium glycerophosphate
3) Effervescent phenolphthalein with Catha - a mild tonic laxative.
 
An extract of Catha was also put out in tablet from. Martindale was importing his Catha from Arabia but he, too, apparently was having trouble obtainir in more recent times. Interestingly, there was a modest export market to India for his products. In no case, had Martindale had any complaints or heard of any ill-effects (Exell, 1936 p. 8). McWalter (1913) prepared a tincture of khat and although it was "pleasant and aromatic", he did not "detect any special virtues". The only other anticipated commercial use of khat as a pharmaceutical that I have been able to track down is in a Swiss patent (Amrein, 1931) entailing preparation of a concentrated aqueous extract of Catha leaves and twigs and further extraction of the active alkaloidal prit(s) for use in medicaments and stimulants. Peters (1952) states that the Extra-Pharmacopoeia (22nd edition) lists two khat preparations but I have not yet had access to that edition.
 
As a stimulant
 
It seems fair to say that the vast majority of those Europeans who have tried khat do not appreciate the taste. This is especially so on the first few occasions . There is no direct evidence in Forsskal's diary that he used khat more often than he had to on grounds of courtesy (Forsskal, 1950) but he did say the taste was not indicative of such great virtues [cf. note 6]. Niebuhr's account is no more appreciative (Niebuhr, 1889 p. 25). "During the months of May, June and July we found at the houses of distinguished persons in the mountains of Yemen little bundles of khat... this dainty did not agree with us at all. Moreover, it appeared to me that khat drove away sleep and caused emaciation. But every well-bred Arab of that district is bound to like it. Those who have good teeth munch it just as it comes from the tree, but I have noticed old men bruise it in a mortar to facilitate its consumption."
 
Botta (1841, 1880) is one of the few Europeans who seems to have not only tolerated khat chewing but actually liked it a great deal. Most merely say they did not like it (cf. Glaser in Fliickiger and Gerock, 1887, p. 434) but Studdy Leigh (1893 p. 23) who tried some in Harar said "the results were severe headache, the experiment was not repeated." For far more individuals, there is no effect on first time consumption. Several writers have likened the taste of the fresh leaves to geenery with "overtones of licorice or possibly fresh filberts" [49] (cf. Parry, 1959 p. 208). In more recent times, even such veteran travellers and explorers as Wilfred Thesiger have not appreciated khat. Thesiger says that throughout the Yemen, everyone who could afford it chewed khat after lunch. "During these sessions I generally went out and wandered around the town, deserted except for children; at this hour they were better company than their elders" (Thesiger, 1980 p. 271).
 
Khat has generally been thought of as a Muslim drug. The interdiction by the Qur-An [50] of substances that "intoxicate" has invariably been assumed to be the reason why it has been taken up so avidly, nominally as an alcohol substitute. This seems very reasonable because as it is not specifically mentioned in the Qur-an, it fell into a "gray area" that could be argued. We have seen where D'Herbelot (p.9) said that cahwat  alcatia or cafta was prohibited by the "Doctors of the Law" but De Sacy (airvol. 1 p. 462) never did comprehend where D'Herbelot had gotten that bit of information. To the contrary. De Sacy found authority for its appreciation. We have also seen (R.20) that Burton pointed out long ago that khat was held by the "Ulema [51] here [in Harar] as in Arabia, 'Akl al-Salikin', or the Food of the Pious".
 
Charles Moser, formerly the U.S. Consul at Aden, wrote an article in the National Geographic Magazine in 1917 which gave a colourful and detailed view of the role which khat played in the life of the Yemenies. In that article he calls the plant "The Flower of Paradise". This epithet, epitomizes in large part the views of the vast majority of Muslim protagonists regarding khat. Merab was told (1921 vol. 1 p. 175) by Muslim Ethiopians that khat had been given to them by God and Mohammed [52].
 
In Ethiopia, the Hararge province remains the main centre for khat production and consumption (cf. Getahun and Krikorian, 1973; Westphal, 1975). The province of Bale [Bali] in which Harar lay in olden days was one of the most vigorous of the early Muslim trading states that comprised the Empire of Zayla [Zeila] and was a seedbed of Islamic culture in the Horn of Africa. Trade routes traversed the area and the spread of khat growing and dissemination of khat use on a grand scale must ultimately have derived from that period. Figure 6 provides an old, rough outline map of so-called "Gallaland" showing the Muslim trading states of Ifat, Dawaro and Hadya. This map from Huntingford 1969, (p. 19) is not perfect by any means but it does give some idea of the trade routes and shows the general line of the western Galla invasions in the 16th century. The Kotu tribes of Hararge are Muslim and all use khat. There apparently always have been and still are specific tribal affinities for khat cultivation and marketing. For instance the Muslim Gurage of Shoa province (southwest central Ethiopia) have a monopoly in the growing and trade of khat (Shack, 1966 pp. 51 and 173). In the Harar area, the Adaris and Kotu are mainly in control (cf. Hill, 1965; Getahun and Krikorian, 1973). According to Thompson and Adloff (1968), in Djibouti (formerly French Somaliland), the khat business was in the hands of Yemeni traders. This is now changed.
 
As a Stimulant
 
Muslims have always been and still are the most avid users of khat but use now cuts through many faiths, social levels and age groups (Getahun and Krikorian, 1973). Kafih (1963 p. 222 et seq) says that "chewing khat in Yemen is a national problem without solution. The Arabs are the main ones involved, but also the Jews have learned from the Arabs". Older Yemenites who have emigrated to Israel still chew khat and this has added in some cases to the hostility felt by the European Ashkenazim towards the "Oriental" Sephardim [53].
 
We have seen that khat was rejected long ago by Malik Da'ud because it was an anaphrodisiac. But the literature contains conflicting statements as to aphrodisiac properties of khat. For instance, in the Harar area it is used for its supposed aphrodisiac qualities (Simoons, 1960 p. 115) but Merab (1912 p. 122; 1929 p. 491) says it should be listed as an anaphrodisiac. In a classic work entitled Phantastica, Narcotic and  Stimulanting Drugs, Louis Lewin, one of the fathers of modern psychopharmacology, related some anecdotes from the great botanist-explorer Georg Schweinfurth (Lewin, 1931 p. 242 et seq). "Schweinfurth told me that in no part of the Mohammedan East had he seen so many bachelors as in Yemen. In other countries of Islam this state is regarded as shameful. In Yemen it was openly stated that inveterate eaters of khat were indifferent to sexual excitation and desire, and did not marry at all for economic reasons, or waited until they had saved enough money. The loss of the libido sexualis has been also observed in other inhabitants of these countries". A footnote given by Grohmann (1931 p. 254) quotes the Italian R. Manzoni who travelled in Yemen from 1877 to 1880 as saying that the leaves were to him completely anaphrodisiac but in a strange way it caused glandular secretion of semen [semenorrhea] [54]. Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (p.28) had noted this problem as well but El Mahi (1962 p. 10) noted that "it is not possible to say whether this is true semenorrhea or indeed a case of dribbling of urine as well. We have the impression that in elderly persons this case may be one of dribbling, perhaps due to disturbance of sphincter control." [55] Donaldson (1936) provided some minutes by a Major H. Rayne a district commissioner in British Somaliland on the effects of khat. "At first [it] arouses sexual instincts strongly. Confirmed khat eaters however lose all desire for women, inasmuch as the drug has such an effect on the glands concerned that they eject the semen without the victim of the habit having recourse to sexual intercourse. A confirmed khat eater in Hargeisa, Abdi Warsama, has four wives and nine children. His oldest son is more than 20 years of age and the youngest child about 2 years of age, therefore in his case the drug has not caused impotency. Among other khat eaters in Hargeisa is the Police Interpreter Mohamed Awwit. He has the appearance of the confirmed khat eater and so far as I can judge - the manner. I am told that if a man eats a little khat he feels he owns the whole world and acts accordingly, whilst under the influence of the drug; as soon as this ceases he becomes morose, irritable and slack." Khat has, therefore, generally but not invariably been seen in the context of heightening desire but acutally depressing sexual performance. Margetts (1967) put it this way: - "While sex interest is heightened at first depressed libido and potentia sexualis come as the drug effect is maintained, and chronic users may develop impotence." The aspect which is particularly ironic is that many popular recent press accounts stress the supposed aphrodisiac properties (Fellows, 1967; Hopkins, 1972; Mungai, 1977; Ghari, 1978) [56].
 
A charming poem by the well-known Yemenite Jewish poet, Shalom Shabazi (1619-1686 A.D.) epitomizes or provides a distillate on the views held by many khat users on the respective merits of khat and coffee [kahua]. An Arabic original (in Hebrew characters) is presented in Kafih's Folkways of Yemen (cf. Kafih, 1963 pp. 224-225) [54].
 
Although as presented in translation below it loses its elegant poetic qualities, it is hoped that at least some of the flavour comes through.
 
a) The khat and the kahua asked me to decide which of us is preferable for enjoyment.
b) The khat answered: I am the chosen and the precious one; my dwelling place the mountain of Tzabur - a fortification and a stronghold. There the song bird sings.
c) The kahua answered: foremost I am for enjoyment - with me people start their morning, and all the people with good taste appreciate me.
d) The khat: my fame is exceeding. I glorify every party. Wise and noble people serve me.
e) The kahua: pay heed whoever is precious and honourable - the merchants will testify from Syria to Rome they use me, and from China to India they bring me.
f) The khat: I am the glory of parties, I am the strength and glory among the choirs from the Taiz border till Ab state; countries speak about me, and in the land of Yemen everybody knows me.
g) The kahua: Go away . My fruit is served before you every morning, your dwelling place is in the mountain, your honour concerns you - but as for me, the war officers guard me.
h) The khat: Everybody praises me and as for me, who mock my tree branches they are the beauty of the garden at evening and all the dignitaries in their bosom hold me.
i) The (coffee) tree replied: I am wanted in all times, there is no fault and drunkenness in me - even the chief judges drink me.
j) The khat replied: I am exceedingly good in enjoyment, in the palaces of officers and kings I dwell, and the princess looks at my beauty and all the delicate people touch me.
k) The (coffee) tree answered: Nothing is doing. In places of enjoyment and at weddings, people at parties never forsake me.
1) I replied (The Poet): You both are honourable to me, towards you is my lust, accept my thanks and gratitude because both of you I love.
m) Moreover, on top of both of you, (grape) wine makes people who go to party happy and encourages broken hearts - Let's be together with happiness and good luck, my friends the scholars converse with me.
n) Our conversation ends and the only thing that we could say is: You are the God of Peace, establish Peace for me and forgive your humble servants - Agony and trouble keep away from me."
 
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF KHAT
 
The early chemistry of khat has been more or less fully reviewed by Krikorian and Getahun (1973) and therefore will not be again covered in detail. Additional references may be found in that communication.
 
Early investigators suspected the presence of caffeine in khat, undoubtedly because of the obvious stimulant nature of the leaves. For the last fifty years however, other alkaloids have been believed to be chiefly responsible for the central nervous system effects. Caffeine has never been found (Paul, 1887; Shennan, 1897). There was general agreement in the literature as to the presence of d-norpseudoephedrine in khat; whether or not it was accompanied by other alkaloids was not nearly as certain. D-norpseudoephedrine, which can be classified as a phenylisopropylamine, and "katin(e)" and "cathin(e)" came to be synonymous. But this usage may well have had its origins in a series of misnomers. This substance differs from ephedrine and pseudoephedrine in the lack of a methyl group on the nitrogen atom. Its sulfate closely resembles that of amphetamine, but the former has a hydroxyl group on the alpha -carbon atom of the side chain, as opposed to a single hydrogen atom. As one might expect, the structural similarity of d-norpseudoephedrine and amphetamine was also reflected in the subjective pharmacological effects (cf. Maitai 1975). (See Fig. 7.).
 
Much effort was therefore made in that period to compare the effects of khat to those of amphetamine. For instance, in a double-blind trial comparing khat with both a placebo and d-amphetamine, subjects showed no preferece between khat and d-amphetamine. Both were preferred to placebo (Hodgkinson, 1962). There was disagreement as to whether or not the amounts of d-norpseudoephedrine that had been determined were sufficient to account for khat's range of pharmacological activity. Von Bruke in 1941 invoked an essentially pharmacological argument in suggesting that the chemistry of Catha edulis might be more complex than had previously been assumea-,--fflaugurating controversy that is just now being resolved. He felt that if the base content Beitter had established in 1900 was entirely d-norpseudoephedrine, its amount would be too small to account for the observed stimulant action of khat. On the other hand, Hoffmann et al. (1955) had inferred from studying the action of synthetic norpseudoephedrine isomers in man that the presence of d-norpseudoephedrine in khat was sufficient to explain its use as a stimulant. Alles et al. (1961) claimed they had chemically demonstrated the absence of "substantial amounts" of any extractable bases other than d-norpseudoephedrine. However, their test of the pressor and depressor action of khat extracts, both detannated and otherwise processed, indicated the presence of important quantities of additional vasoactive substances. In addition, Paris and Moyse (1958) had obtained a tincture from a powder from which most of the alkaloids were said to have been removed. The tincture turned out to be nearly as toxic as untreated plant material, suggesting that the whole plant exhibits a different level of activity than the alkaloids alone. [581 Some investigators construed these instances as showing the need for a holistic approach to the chemical pharmacology of Catha edulis. Investigators claiming to have found additional alkaloids, however, agreed neither upon the number present nor upon their identities. It was suggested that if indeed additional alkaloids did exist in khat some might well be congeners of others.
 
Total alkaloid content in khat seemed to vary with the part of the plant examined, the age of the plant, the season of harvest, and its place of origin. This last feature perhaps was indicative of the influence of climate, soil conditions, and genetics. Young leaves, particularly those from Tanzania and Ethiopia, as opposed to those from plants grown in Europe or even the United States, had been shown to have the highest alkaloid content. This corroborated their great favour among consumers and the high prices they have commanded. Variations in extraction methods must have also contributed to differences in determinations of the total alkaloid content of khat.
Considerable quantities of ascorbic acid and tannins were found in khat, along with lesser amounts of resins, sugars, and sugar alcohols. The ascorbic acid content was seen as important due to its potential influence not only on consumer nutrition, but on the pharmacological effects of the plant as well. A generally accepted estimation of the ascorbic acid content was made by Mustard (1952), who found that 100 gm of a mixture composed of Catha leaves and twigs contained approximately 136 mg of ascorbic acid, but figures up to 300 mg per 100 gm of khat have also been reported. Investigations into the dietary significance of these amounts was certainly indicated, particularly considering the amount of khat that was consumed in some locations. Khat bundles weighing up to 500 mg, with some consumers chewing as many as five such bundles every day was, and still is, not uncommon (Peters, 1952). The ascorbic acid content of khat was seen as influencing both physiological and subjective effects exerted by the plant, as ascorbic acid has been reported to act as an antidote to amphetamine-like substances (Hoffer and Osmond, 1967 p. 284 et seq.). [59]
 
The strongly astringent tannins were seen by some as probably responsible for the gastric effects of khat that had been noted over the years. But others have felt that the normal mode of consumption, chewing, results in a rather slow extraction of tannins. Alles performed an experiment upon himself by swallowing an aqueous extract from as little as 20 grams of dry Catha edulis. This caused some discomfort but after the tannins were removed, the aqueous extract was rendered more amenable to swallowing in amounts compatible with central nervous system stimulation. The fact that detannated extracts could be taken in greater quantities gave evidence to the long held belief that dosage of active constituent(s) of khat were limited by the mode of consumption-namely chewing (Alles et al, 1961). But analysis of leaves from Yemen by El Sissi and Abd Alla (1966) revealed that as much as 14.52% of condensed type tannins could be present in khat. Still more attention was given to correlating the effects of tannin on khat action (cf. Maitai, 1977). Hill had reported that khat afficianados in the Alemaya [Dire Dawa, Ethiopia] region claimed to be able to consume some 2 to 3 kg of the so-called karty or uretta grades without ill effects but the kudda grade can only be taker—FiTF smaller quantities. "Kudda is more tonic; it is not easily digested. It causes stomach trouble-pain and itching inside. It makes the consumer puzzled" (Hill, 1965 p. 19). The Kudda grade is generally taken as the best quality of khat in that area. Its high quality is thought to be the direct result of insect damage. How this is achieved is a moot point (cf. Hill, 1965 p. 21) but it might be due, in part, to a different distribution of tannins.
 
Attempts to associate catechin tannins in khat with cancer of the oesophagus etc have not been very satisfying (cf. Charpin, 1969; Gendron et al, 1977) but the compilations and correlative studies done by Morton (1979, 1980) on tannins from various other plants are suggestive indeed.
 
For many years it has been appreciated that a full understanding of the chemistry of khat must be had before any real progress is made in understanding the pharmacology. A major achievement was the identification of alpha-aminopropiophenone, cathinone, as the main pharmacologically active component of khat (cf. Szendrei and others in Bulletin on Narcotics,(1980). The amount of progress made in recent years on elucidating the wide range of chemical components of khat has been impressive and reflects not only the availability of modern sophisticated techniques but an impetus to see the work done (cf. also Luftmann and Spiteller, 1974; Cais et al, 1975; Baxter et al, 1976 a and b; Crombie et al, 1978; UN NarcotiTs Laboratory, 1979 andrefs. there cited). But the unavailability of precise chemical data never did interfere with the enactment of various legislative rulings concerning khat. In this next section attention will be drawn to the way in which abuse problems were approached. They are not, in my view a happy commentary on the ingenuity with which such situations have been, and still are often faced, by so-called "responsible" parties.
 
LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING KHAT AND ITS USE
 
Many older reports expressed the opinion that khat is "a drug to which one can become addicted" (Peters, 1952). The less extreme of these at best portrayed khat as undesirable for socio-economic reasons. The word "addiction", however, as most now appreciate, should be used with great care but such care has been sadly lacking in most of the literature. An additional and recurring problem that confronts the modern reader is that one is often not entirely assured of the objectivity of the reports. For example, Peters (1952) said of the Somalis that after habitually consuming khat in immoderate quantities they became "... difficult to handle and antagonistic to all forms of authority." (It would perhaps be amusing to imagine precisely what incidents gave rise to such a comment). Europeans observing unusually talkative or otherwise exuberant "natives" might easily miss the resemblance of such activity to a noisier "night on the town" in an English "pub" or American bar or French cabaret or Bistro and assume a disapproving attitude toward the individuals. Indeed, one can justifiably suspect that any normal assertiveness on the part of colonial subjects was viewed by officials in a negative light.
 
It is not improbable that the fluctuating legal status of khat in many countries over the years reflects sincere changes in opinion concerning its physiological effects. But the fact is that decisions regarding its restriction have turned largely on psychosocial and (particularly) economic considerations.
 
It the vagaries of politics and economics have largely been responsible for the strange chapters in the legal history of khat, this must also be coupled with the impact that modern transportation has had on khat distribution and consumption. Because khat is best when fresh, traditional modes of transportation - e.g. camel caravan - were ill-suited to truly widespread distribution. It is nevertheless impressive to note that Deflers (1889, p. 122) reported that over 1000 camel loads of khat was being received annually in Aden alone from the interior.
The statistics of khat production and export/import are not very good for any country for the period prior to World War II but for Ethiopia, Pankhurst (1964 p. 222) points out that an early (1899-1900) British consular report complained that coffee production was growing but slowly, as the farmers preferred to cultivate khat as "more lucrative" than coffee. Pankhurst (1964 p. 226) also says that Ethiopian khat exports were running at about 30 tons a year around World War I. In 1953 the export of khat was valued at some $1,805,600 (Ethiopian). Ten years later it was over $12,541,100 (Ethiopian) (cf. Ethiopia. Ministry of Information, 1966). Brooke (1960) provides additional statistics between 1947 and 1957.
 
In British Somaliland, the import of khat leaves was apparently prohibited as early as 1921. Khat cultivation was forbidden, its sale except by four licensed importers was forbidden. But the ordinance proved useless "Owing to the difficulties of controlling the long frontier with Ethiopia" (Editorial, 1945b). A new ordinance was enacted in 1939 and ultimately the prohibition was replaced by an import duty in January, 1957 (Huffnagel, 1961 p. 307).
 
In Aden, an import ban was imposed by the British in 1957 (the same year they replaced the unworkable system of price controls in Somaliland.) The object under the old system was to keep the price of khat prohibitively high, and thus out of the reach of most would-be users. Since the opposite actually obtained, a new import duty, with a rider banning the transport of khat by air was enacted. The import ban in Aden was replaced the following year, oddly enough, by a price control system involving importer and retailer licensing procedures similar to those that had just been abolished in Somaliland . Since Ethiopia especially stood to benefit from development of commercial air transport for khat, the Aden Qat Commission recommended..." every effort be made to obtain for the Colony, and in particular for Aden Airways, a fair share of the profits from the transport and sale of Ethiopian qat" (Aden Colony. Qat Commission Report, 1958 p. 16).
 
The record of the French government in Paris was apparently not been much better than that of the British but they did attempt to leave matters of khat consumption up to the colonial governors. The Djibouti administration of the then Territory of Afars and Issas imposed a tax in April 1952 on the sale of khat but this led to smuggling. The program was, we are told, a complete failure (cf. Thompson and Adloff, 1968 p. 164). A more or less laissez faire attitude therefore prevailed until a survey which was carried out in 1956 stimulated the French to accept in 1957 a ban on khat cultivation, importation and use (cf. Guedel et al, 1957; B. , 1966; Ferry, 1966). This decree is, in hindsight, all the more interesting since the report determined that although the,Fe was little or no tendency to increase the dose of khat, and no physical dependence or abstinence syndrome was connected with its use, it was ... obviously necessary to take energetic steps to combat this social evil without delay." The following year the Aden Qat Commission of Inquiry concluded that khat chewing was ..." "a bad habit, rather than a vice akin to taking drugs such as opium, hashish or cocaine." On the other hand Ethiopia, a nation that had long done a lucrative business in khat, concluded that there was no reason for abolishing or limiting the cultivation of khat, citing medical conclusions strikingly similar to those the French Commission and British Commission of Inquiry apparently felt social considerations should over-ride. Similarly, the government of Yemen, which obtained considerable revenue from taxes levied on the cultivation of khat had never officially considered khat to be a "narcotic", as some of the other nations had.
 
Most of those nations in which the cultivation and use of khat has been at some time forbidden - e.g. Somalia, Aden, Kenya - eventually replaced such bans with import duties, price controls or totally lifted the bans. Even in the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [South Yemen, former Aden Colony] where its use is officially restricted to two days a week, khat still finds its way into illicit commerce (cf. Luqman and Danowski, 1976; Kennedy et al, 1980).
 
The situation of Kenya is particularly interesting from a historical viewpoint since it is so recent. In 1934 the Meru Local Native Council passed a resolution prohibiting the use of khat [miraa] by people other than those traditionally permitted to use it (e.g. Somalis etc.), particularly the younger generation. About 10 years later, the Isiolo Local Native Council unanimously passed a resolution to the effect that any person found in possession of any portion of the plant was an offence (cf. Editorial, 1945b). Legislation was apparently introduced into Kenya in 1945 following horror stories of the harm caused by miraa (Carothers, 1945; Heisch, 1945; Editorial, 1945a). The botanists Verdcourt and Trump (1969 p. 89) point out that this kind of legislation was a "piece of absolute legal nonsense since the office workers who drew up the regulations did not realize that it [Catha edulis] is a common forest tree indigenous to Kenya" (cf. Dale and Greenway, 1961 p. 134). According to Verdcourt and Trump, a botanist's advice was fortunately sought when similar legislation was to be introduced into Tanganyika. Laws prohibiting the "sale, cultivation, use and possession of miraa in certain areas" were put into effect in 1951 (cf. Baird, 1951 for a sample of the mentality that led to the legislation). It was modified in 1957 and finally revised in 1962 (Mungai, 1977. The revised law (Kenya. Government. Laws of Kenya, 1962) applied to the so-called "scheduled areas" of the country, namely the former Northern Province, the area within a radius of 19 km (10 miles) from the office of the district commissioner at Isiolo and the part of the Meru district which lies to the north of the Isiolo-Garba-Tulla road and within one mile south of the same road. The law thus implied that in no other part of the country was khat or miraa illegal. A brisk business ensued and all the loopholes of the law were taken advantage of. Between 1972 and 1975 it is said that some 100,000,000/Kenya shillings were earned by miraa farmers (Mungai, 1977). Using good sense, President Kenyatta suspended the Miraa Prohibition Act on January 24, 1977.
 
Another indication that governments are perhaps becoming a bit more sensitive in their handling of the khat situation may be found in a document originating from a survey of khat use in Djibouti. No conclusions are drawn in the report (cf. Serise et al, 1974). Instead the originators of it prefer to leave it up to the reader. This is, however, a little like "preaching to the converted." Did the authors really think that those most likely to profit from the findings would read them ?
 
MEDICAL EVALUATION OF KHAT
 
The earliest literature on the effects of khat is, of course, not very objective. D'Herbelot talked about khat "affecting the brain" (cf. p. 9) . Later writers were not particularly detailed in their observations but I have included some of their views in quotation from throughout this paper. My own feeling is that as long as khat was used as a beverage, the custom or habit was not looked upon with any degree of fanatical revulsion. In fact, it even looked for a while that it could serve as a tea substitute (cf. Warburg, 1897). As time passed and chewing became more widespread, or at least better publicized, and more partial observers began to write, the custom seems to have taken on a more ominous aspect. In his Arabia Infelix, G. Wyman Bury (1915 p. 152-153) a physician in Yemen and Aden grants that "in cases of slight addiction, the only marked failing is that of memory, and many who thoroughly enjoy khat, but can only get it in small quantities at long intervals, are very little affected. There is, however, always a certain mental 'fuzziness', even after a short bout; the natural reaction after a strong nervous stimulant." Bury noted that he had several cases of habitual "addiction" through his hands, usually in advanced stages, and suffering the pangs of deprivation or alarmed at their own symptoms. He could not point to a single permanent cure, though he had been able to afford temporary relief, and sometimes to frighten his patient off the habit for a considerable time. Bury finally says, "All those who indulge in khat admit its bad effects, but they say they cannot do without it..." (Bury, 1915 p. 153; Serise et al, 1974 p. 150).
 
One of the aspects that Europeans could not have appreciated very much especially in views of Victorian and Edwardian prudishness is the witnessing of a slew of khat chewers with a wad of leaves as big as a baseball bulging in one cheek. The gums in habitués frequently become flaccid and the breath very foul through constant storage of leaves. The teeth also often become permanently discoloured due to damage of the enamel and loose due to periodontal disease. Not a very pleasant sight for anyone with a European sense of aesthetics .
 
Another aspect in extreme users which must have caused further uneasiness among "colonials" is the seeming lack-lustre appearance of heavy users. A British physician described one such user as a "wild looking, dull-witted, gaping automaton with glassy eyes" (Great Britain. Geographical Handbook Series, 1946 p. 463).
 
These extreme and often perjorative descriptions may not be particularly admirable but they are perhaps understandable. Such feelings were to become all the more ingrained when colonial and other observers learned that substantial portions of a family's income would be routinely given over the purchase of khat, and other health problems arose (cf. Charpin, 1969; Halbach, 1972 and refs. there cited). The price of khat has never been inexpensive. Quite the contrary. Even in Botta's day the costs were very high (cf. p.16). Rev. Zwemer was told in the late 1800's by a soldier that he spent a rupee (33 cents) a day for khat, and the Qadi of Taizz spent 20 dollars a day for the luxury (Zwemer, 1900 p. 414). Some twenty years later, Merab describes the price of a 500 gram packet of the best grade of khat as about 1 dollar [presumably the Maria Theresa dollar widely used in Ethiopia at that time] (Mdrab, 1921 p. 176). That was the equivalent of the price of 16 kilos of meat. A sheep is said to have cost 1 or 2 dollars and a head of cattle around 10 to 20 dollars [60].
 
Many of the early medical evaluations, however incomplete, were then, influenced to a considerable extent by the socio-economic problems attending khat use. A few always recognized it as a socio-economic problem (cf. Ferry, 1966). The first and perhaps only satisfactory evaluation of khat up to that time (cf. WHO Document, 1956) was presented as recently as 1964 in an unpublished document of the World Health Organization (WHO Document, 1964). It stated: - "physical dependence (in the sense in which it is understood for morphine and substances with morphine-like effect of of barbiturate type) does not occur, even if some tolerance to their effects had been acquired. Tolerance (the tendency to increase the dose during prolonged use in order to obtain the desired effects) practically does not occur. If it does, the doses are increased only very slowly". "Craving" and "psychic dependence", as the document cautioned, are exceedingly difficult to evaluate and khat in this respect was ranked "like the amphetamines, perhaps lower". But the document's position, while cautious and considered, ignored some aspects of khat use that are of potential significance. One aspect that I have noted is that nowhere in the document is the precise mode of consumption specifically taken into consideration. Neither is the matter of grade or quality of khat used by consumers addressed.
 
I have already mentioned the possible differing effects of swallowing the chewed khat quid (bolus) versus the mere sucking of the juices out of the quid (p.33). The matter of grade in relation to effects is something that needs to be much more carefully investigated than has been hitherto attempted (cf. Ramadan et al, 1981).
 
Hill (1965) and Getahun and Krikorian (1973) attempted to provide a summary guide to the different types khat in the Alemaya-Combolcha area of Ethiopia. Most botanists have felt that there are probably no real varietal differences in cultivated khat. The Kotu Galla farmers generally identify, in the first instance, khat as either red [dimma] or white (ande]. There are, however, additional morphologicitr—tTrpes. These include Daliota, which is predominantly whitish or light green, Dimma which is red; Hamercot, which is intermediate between Dallota and Dimma but closer to Dimma; Gohoba, which is much like Dimma but with recognizable differences, and Mohedella, which is green to olive in colour. There are at least seven kinds of khat on the Dire Dawa market and users should be interviewed as to the effects they are perceived to bring about.
 
Greenway (1947) provided details on the kinds of khat from Aden and Ethiopia. Peters (1952) did the same for Somaliland, Arabia and Ethiopia. The Report of the Aden Qat Commission of Inquiry (1958 p. 6) provided the grades most widely encountered in Yemen but details are not given on the reasons for consumer preference. Some forty kinds of khat based on geographical origin are presently recognized in Yemen (cf. Ramadan et al. 1981).
 
It has been known for a long time that different kinds of khat have different degrees of pharmacological action. For instance, the Turkish document translated by Barbier de Meynard (1883) listed three very different effects - ranging from "madness-causing", "intoxicating like
spirit", and "merely insomnia-causing" Rev. Zwemer (1900 p. 415) was of the opinion that khat in Yemen had "six distinct flavours and varieties, each with as special name, and alas for the slave who was sent for one and returns with another". Unfortunately, he does not say anything about the effects. Kafih (1963) says that the "many varieties of khat have different effects. Some make people happy and some cause sadness and anxiety. Some make the intestine hard and some soften it; some increase the sexual drive and some decrease it. But all increase the thirst and increase the need for water." Schopen (1978 p. 97 et seq.) devotes considerable attention to the different grades and qualities of khat in Yemen. A popular article from a Yemeni magazine talks about different khats being "uppers" or "downers", and "in between" (Abu Khatwa, 1982). The Yemenis are said in that article to be able to distinguish the two extremes on sight.
 
All the work we are aware of which attempts to classify the sorts or grades suffer from the lack of detailed botanical and chemical studies and deposition of voucher specimens. The detailed pharmacology, of course, is completely unknown of these different grades or types. The level of cathinone and other components are sure to vary (cf. Ramadan et al. 1981). Even from the botanical viewpoint it would be no mean task to work out this botanical problem and considerable confusion is sure to exist because khat of different qualities can be produced depending on the growing conditions (cf. Hill, 1965; Luqman and Danowski, 1976). The very inadequate pharmacognostical studies of the sort initiated by Dezani (1918) further emphasize additional problems [61]. The range of leaf types and arrangement, for instance, on a single plant is very substantial. Some modern taxonomic studies using numerical methods could be of real use here. Clearly much remains to be done concerning the qualitative affects described by users, the morphological types and chemical composition of the different grades or ecotypes.
 
The matter of differing social circumstances accompanying khat use has also not been fully addressed. There are the moderate urban users, the heavy urban users, the rural users and a full gradation in between. The rituals involving khat use also vary considerably from solitary use without much "fanfare" to the elaborate and highly structural daily Yemeni majlis. These are sure to have substantial variation in their psychological component.
 
The urban khat chewing ritual among moderates bears more than superficial resemblance to the one involving the use of marijuana by contemporary American college students. A few khat chewers, most likely friends or at least acquaintances, usually gather in the evening for a khat party. Participants sit around in a circle and chew khat, intermittently smoking cigarettes or cigars or even a hookah [narghile, waterpipe]. The smoking may merely be a social habit or an attempt to counteract the allegedly unpleasant taste of the poorer grades of khat; (Recall here that it has also been claimed that tobacco enhances the effects of khat) [62]. Chewing engenders great thirst and copious quantities of cold drinks such as sweetened water, beer or coca-cola are consumed. Peters (1952) wrote of such a gathering: "At first the party is silent as everyone chews, but gradually the eaters begin to feel in a state when they can think more clearly and they become talkative and wide-awake. Subsequently a stage of complete contentment is reached; they then sink into a stupor. The effects of a minor bout such as described take about six to twelve hours to wear off."
 
The use of khat by an Ethiopian farmer who is a moderate user on the other hand, gives a different picture. The farmer typically rises early in the morning and eats a light breakfast. He then goes to the fields, often unaccompanied, and chews khat. By mid-morning, the effects are apparent and the farmer can work vigorously until mid-afternoon, at which time he may chew khat again. He will often continue to work until late in the evening, whereupon he returns home for supper and bed. (Unfortunately, all too often these days he has to stay up all night to guard his fields.)
 
It is obvious that such a routine could easily absorb any tendency for vigorous activity for farming tasks are strenuous indeed. A stimulant-anorexiant such as khat is, in some ways, as much a boon to this sort of poor Ethiopian farmer as coca leaf is to the Peruvian Indians living in the thin atmosphere of the high Andes [63].
 
It is worth noting how fortuitously timed khat chewing by the farmer is. The utility of the early morning session is obvious and partaking in mid- or late afternoon not only permits the farmer to work into the evening, but to sleep at night. For if Peters' (1952) six-to-twelve hour estimate is correct, any stupor will set in by the time the farmer returns home. And is it possible that a refreshment is felt after a khatinduced sleep ? I have in mind here a possible analogue to the pleasant feeling upon rising frequently reported after an evening of smoking marijuana or the less potent grades of hashish.
 
Any government official of former days observing such a farmer as I have described was liable to do so during the daytime, when the farmer would be working busily. The official would not be apt to think anything was wrong with the worker he observed; an unusual vigor would undoubtedly please him and he was likely to think the farmer merely to be happy with his lot. On these lines of reasoning, the behaviour of the urban khat chewer would be more apt to run afoul of European standards of propriety. Attending evening khat parties would tend to keep a day labourer, for example, awake all night. By the time he became stuporous or sleepy, it would be time to report for work : Given several fellow employees who chewed khat together, as European or American workers drink beer with one another, a number of drowsy labourers could be reporting in the morning. Brooke (1960) claims that urban users tend to chew larger quantities of khat at a single sitting than rural users. If this is really so, a greater degree of effect would have to be reckoned with, in addition to the timing of those effects.
 
Frequent partying would result in low output, and the unfavourable attention of employers. Habitual khat chewers would be in danger of finding themselves chronically unemployed. Among those often out of work, there are those who would spend the bulk of their time and money on khat, as there are American and European unemployed who take to drowning their misery in alcohol. (I will not deal with alcoholism or use of depressants among khat users [64]. Thus the occurence, especially in urban areas, of an image of khat as an "addicting" agent which made one poor, malnourished, or otherwise debilitated or unfit for labour is not per se surprising. Such an image, however, takes khat chewing to be a cause, rather than an effect of certain conditions
designated as undesirab This confusion OT—Fiuse and effect is, I think, common in discussions of so-called "abuse" situations involving many substances other than khat. Brooke (1960) in quoting some typical socio-economic anti-khat arguments, noted himself that certain problems (if they occurred at all) did not generally appear in rural sections. Although that view is not as true now as it perhaps was, it still holds that urban users are the main abusers.
 
COMMENTARY
 
This attempt at an historical overview underscores the fact that khat problems are not new. Khat use has been throughout its history viewed with some degree of curiosity and disdain by Europeans. Few Europeans have really ever liked the taste of it. While the use of khat has traditionally appealed more to Muslims than to non-Muslims, it is not possible to generalize even on this point for the Turks in Yemen never adopted the practice (cf. Bury, 1915 p. 153; Rodinson, 1977 p. 83). Also the 60,000 Egyptian soldiers sent to Yemen from 1962 to 1967 did not adopt khat use even though provisions had been made to deal with this possibility (cf. Mancioli and Parinnello), 1967 p. 162). Even so, in Ethiopia where there has always been a Christian majority, use of khat has now transcended religious barriers and khat is being chewed by more and more Christians.
 
The fact remains, however, that a rather drastic change has been taking place in "khat countries". Whereas khat use has rarely been completely moderate, its use has recently burgeoned to the point where abuse is epidemic. While attempts have been made in the past to legislate against use, history shows that this has never worked.
 
The historical attitudes toward the use of khat for its subjective or stimulant effects fit a pattern that is familiar to students of ethnopharmacology. According to this pattern, socio-economic rather than strictly medical considerations have been the ultimate arbiter of opinions concerning both individual use and state control of the substance in question. While there is still some uncertainty as to the complete chemical composition especially as it pertains to different grades of khat etc. and considerable uncertainty on the psycho-social component as it interacts or affects the neurobiochemical effects [65], this has not kept people from making what are often considered authoritative legal judgments concerning it. In discussions of the need--or lack thereof--for government control of khat, the citation of strictly medical (i.e. physiological) effects seems to depend on the opinions concerning the substance to which socio-economic or political considerations have already led. In this respect, discussions of control of khat have not been different from those concerning many other drugs. Those who have felt a given substance should be controlled, tend to "play up" reports of harmful biological consequences of its use and ignore or discredit those attributing no such consequences. On the other hand, people who have not felt control is necessary often "play up" evidence of biological harmlessness or the lack of evidence of harmfulness (cf. Abu Khatwa, 1982).
 
Both sides seem to have operated under the axiom, usually unspoken, that the occurrence of effects deemed physiologically harmful, in and of itself, implies the legitimacy of governmental control, whereas the lack of evidence for ill effects of this type logically lessens this legitimacy. Adoption of this view vitiates against a really informed public by encouraging both sides to selectively cite medical studies in the manner described.
 
But what is even more dangerous is that one becomes so obsessed with the chemical and medical details that it is forgotten that one is dealing with an essentially ethical question and one effectively cloaks this in scientific garb. One thereby avoids acknowledging, as many philosophers have warned, that a given question is more open than one might care to admit - for any position wearing the mantle of "scientific objectivity" becomes difficult to oppose.
 
The relative weight given to physiological and social considerations in questions such as those dealing with drug control will always be an ethical, not a medical or otherwise scientific, issue. To accept the above-mentioned axiom vis a vis biological effects and to State control it is to take an ethical stand. It would seem improper not to recognize or to attempt to hidde this. For there are those who feel that the individual may put whatever he or she wishes into his or her own body, particularly when he or she is the only person affected by this action without interference from the state. One might well want to argue against such a position. I myself would be one of those people. But to deny its legitimacy as another ethical viewpoint by not explicitly recognizing one's own position as an essentially ethical statement--thereby permitting the aura of science to be smuggled in for support--does a disservice to honest public discourse.
 
For whether we like it or not, questions of drug control force us to deal ultimately with the ever-present conflict of individual prerogative with the welfare or values of the community or the government itself. Societies are, to be sure, loath to deal with this matter in such bold terms because it has perennially proven so difficult to resolve. But decisions regarding control of drugs by the state will not be rendered any easier and certainly no more just by sacrificing their essentially ethical nature on the alter of medicine or science. History should have at least taught us that much .
 
TEXT ANNOTATIONS
 
[1] The plant is known by a great many names depending on the geographical area or the phonetic variants of a given language. The most precise orthography of the transliteration of the Arabic form is khat or gat. Unfortunately, the most widely used spelling in the more recent scientific and medical literature is khat. But the transliteration of the qaf, with which the word is spelled, is q or k; kh is clearly incorrect and one wishes that it were dropped in favour of the more accurate spelling. In Amharic the word is properly transliterated as cat. Since most printers are ill-prepared to handle the diacritical marks, and therefore for convenience only, the spelling kat and chat are recommended. In this paper, for consistency, the spelling khat is uniformly adopted regardless of geographical context.
[2] Di Varthema, a contemporary of Vasco da Gama and Leonardo da Vinci, was the first known European to enter Mecca.
[3] Hansen tells us that "the name Arabia Felix is an error of translation... In Arabic, 'yemen' signified originally the 'right hand' or 'right side'. But when Arabs want to 'placer the four corners of the earth, they have always faced east... Consequently, the word 'yemen', which originally meant 'right', also came to mean 'south'. The Yemen in this simply the land lying to the right, the land towards the south... the word 'right' or 'Yemen' has come to mean 'fortunate' or 'beneficent'. Arabia Yemen thus by a distorted translation becomes Eudaimon Arabia, Arabia Felix, L'Arabie heureuse, Das gliickliche Arabien. In reality the words mean South Arabia" (Hansen, 1962 p. 300-301).
[4] "This betel resembles the leaves of the sour orange, and they are constantly eating it. It is the same to them that confections are to us, and they eat it more for sensuality than for any other purpose. When they eat the said leaves, they eat them with a certain fruit which is called coffolo, and the tree of the said coffolo is called Arecha [Areca catechu], and is formed like the stem of the date tree, and produces its fruit in the same manner. And they also eat it with the said leaves a certain lime made from oyster shells, when they call Cionama [chunam]" (di Varthema, 1510 p.144).
[5] Cahuah & Cahveh, Ce mot signifie generalement en arabe 40 sortes de boissons: mais it se prend en particulier cafe. Il y a trois sortes de boissons qui portent ce nom. La premiere s'appelle Cahuat al Catiat, ou Caftah; la seconde Cahuat al Caschriat, & la troisieme Cahuat al Bunniat. La premiere espece se fait avec une graine qui nous est inconnue, & qui a ete defendue par les Docteurs de la loy en la province de Iemen qui est l'Arabie Heureuse, ou elle a pris son origine, aussi-bien que les autres; parce qu'elle est trop forte,, & donne dans la tete" (D'Herbelot, 1697 p. 234; 1771 p. 215; 1781 vol. 2 p. 145).
[6] The following is a translation from Latin of the entry on Catha  from Forsskal. 4. CATHA. Monogynia [with 1 pistil], 5-petalous, [perianth] inferior. DESCR. Tree. Branches alternate, axillary; twigs green annual, articulate. Leaves 2 in. long, ovate-lanceolate, serrate, glabrous, flat, shining, spreading, rigid [stiff], opposite, [but] alternate on large branches. Petiole flat on upper side, short. Peduncles axillary, opposite, terminal [here probably meaning [at or near the ends of the branches], solitary [= 1 per axil], [growing out at] a right angle, densely dichotomous, floret small, pedicellate, one at each dichotomy, with 2 small, lanceolate, opposite scales at each dichotomy. Calyx crateriform [i.e., bowl-shaped], synsepalous, 5-toothed, margin villous-dark [=with dark villous hairs on the margin], obtuse, green 1/3 as long as the corolla. Corolla 5-petalous, inferior [i.e., to the ovary], white, erect-spreading, oval, obtuse. Nectary cup-shaped, between the stamens and the ovary, ringed, green, short, spreading away from the ovary, undulate marginally. Stamens erect, shorter than the corolla. Ovary globose. Style short. Stigma acute. Fruit an oblong-cylindric, trilocular capsule, 1-seeded in each locule. Arabic Gat or Kat - In Yemen it is cultivated ifi the same gardens as Corn7{. It Ts planted by stem-cuttings. The Arabs avidly eat the green leaves, greatly recommended their efficacy for one who has gorged himself too fully or one who [must] stay awake all night. They claim also that infectious disease does not enter those places where this tree is grown: and that a person wearing a branch of Catha in his bosom [other interpretation possible: in a fold of his garment] can safely move about among those infected by infectious disease. The taste of the leaves, however, does not seem to indicate such great virtue."
[7] Lamarck covers Catha in the Encyclopedie Methodique (Lamarck, (1783).
[8] Paul Emile Botta (1805-1870) was the son of a prominent Italian politician and historian. He began medical studies but in 1826 he sailed on a voyage around the world which took him three years. He finished his medical degree in 1830 and was engaged as a military physician by the Khedive of Egypt. He went to Lebanon and travelled extensively in the eastern Mediterranean region. In 1836 he began work for the Paris Museum of Natural History intending to explore from the Sinai to Yemen but fevers prevented him from going very far. He returned to Paris in 1838 by way of Egypt. He then entered the diplomatic service in 1841 at Mosul. He remained in the Near East for the next 20 years. It was during this period that he made his expedition to the Mounds of Kouyunjik and Khorsabad, the site of Nineveh, and begin the excavations that were continued later by Austin Henry Layard. His work as both a diplomat and an antiquarian received recognition in 1845 when he was created a member of the Legion d'Honneur.
[9] Abyssinia is the old name for Ethiopia. It derives from the Arabic name for incense collectors, al-habasha.
[10] Wahabi is the name outside Saudi Arabia to designate its "official" interpretation of Islam. The faith is a puritanical concept of the oneness of God that was preached by Muhammad ibn Abd al Wahhab, hence his opponents derived his name.
[11] Since tobacco, Nicotiana tabacum, is a New World plant and could not possibly have been known to Mohammed, it would seem that this kind of argument would not have much significance for any Muslim with any botanical knowledge.
[12] Rochet d'Hericourt, who has been described as a "political intriguer" spent a substantial period in the Shoa region trying to win over the king to the French side.
[13] The English word tea derives from the Chinese word for tea in the Fukien dialect spoken at the port of Amoy - t'e ("tay"). Variants of the word ch'a' used in other Chinese dialects form the basis for designating the beverage in virtually all other languages.
[14] The probable "centre of origin" of Coffea arabica is said to be the Kaffa or Kefa province of Southwestern Ethiopia (cf. Siegenthaler, n. d. p. 7) .
[15] Kororima, is in fact, the Ethiopian cardamom, Afromomum  sanguineum [A. korarima], Zingiberaceae (cf. Siegenthaler, n.d. p. i4).
[16] Beke says that Harris' book was published shortly after his paper was read.
[17] The Muslim invasions of Ethiopia began in the early 1500's. Harar, according to Huntingford (1969 p. 81), became the capital of Ahmad Gran the Somali leader around that time. Under his successor Nur ibn Muhajid, Harar was surrounded in the middle of the century with a wall and became the chief centre of Islam in north-east Africa. As such it was a forbidden city to outsiders. When Burton visited Harar in 1854 he established its population at 8000 and despite its size, he found no establishments for learning. Instead, it "inundates the surrounding districts with poor scholars and crazy widads [preachers]" (Burton, 1966 p. 186).
[18] This statement is inaccurate for use of hashish, etc. in medieval Islam was rife (cf. Rosenthal, 1971; Sergeant, 1972).
[19] The lotus eaters were a people encountered by Odysseus in the Odyssey. Although some have attempted to identify the lotos as a real plant, others interpret the story allegorically and merely take eating lotos as becoming forgetful.
[20] It has also been called "Kut es-Salakin" or Sustenance of the Pious (cf. Hartwich, 1911 p. 470).
[21] This reference is of interest since the drinkers of beer and mead have traditionally been the Christians; the Muslims have chewed kat in the place of alcohol. Since Burton is a reliable observer, there is, then, reason to think that they were both in use among the Muslims of Harar. I wonder whether alcohol was used to neutralize the stimulant effect of kat, the so-called "merkana"; alcohol would be the "chebess" or breaker (See Getahun and Krikorian, this volume p. 219).
[22] De Sacy has confused 'Ali b. 'Umar al-Shadhili with the founder of the Shadhiliyya order (cf. van Arendon—cl Tf976 p. 450).
[23] Macro (1968 p. 37) describes the beginning of the frontier problem in Yemen and talks of an expeditionary force sent by the Turks in April 1897 under Mokhtar Pasha.
[24] See Fresnel quote on page 16.
[25] Kishr or quishr is an infusion of coffee bean husks. One of the best descriptions and commentaries that I have been able to find is that given nearly 150 years ago by Botta (cf. Botta, 1880 p. 51). He says: -
"Kishr is the pulp which surrounds the seed of coffee, and in the fresh state it resembles an English cherry. It is dried and they make a decoction from it which the natives drink hot throughout the day. It is mild, sweet, has a bit of the aroma of coffee, and has its stimulating properties. It has been thought that it is for economical reasons that the Yemenites use the drink made this way rather than with beans, and hence can use the beans for sale. But I do not believe it, because this use is usual among all classes. Rich and poor drink kishr all day long, and it is only after their meals that they drink coffee, whose properties they tell us are too warming [echauffantes] in their climate to make frequent use of it."
[26] al-Biruni's full name is Abu-al-Raihan Muhammad b. Ahmad al-Biruni-al-Khwarizmi (973-ca 1051). He seems to have been a man of great competence and breadth ranging from poetry to science. Although his own mother tongue was a Baluchi dialect, he preferred to write in Arabic since he considered it more elegant and precise (Hamarneh, 1973 p. 29).
[27] batan alu might possibly mean sweet or good for the stomach.
[28] Alkaloids have been isolated from Celastrus paniculatus (Basu and Pabrai, 1946). It is said that the stimulant action of celastrine is not followed by a secondary depression.
[29] I have been unable to trace Catha edulis in the floras of the U.S.S.R. and Afghanistan. IrfrgrOVS-in either area, it must have been introduced.
[30] Mu'ayyad reigned from 1296 to 1321.
[31] It does not eliminate the desire to drink. In fact, it stimulates need for fluids and water becomes especially tasty and refreshing. Perhaps the context is, more properly, that it takes away the desire to drink alcohol ?
[32] It would take a detailed reconstruction of Ibn Battuta's travels to settle definitively whether he really saw kat in use. If he relied on recall for writing that part of the text where he mentions tanbul, he could have confused the use of tanbul or pan supari (chopped betel palm nut wrapped in betel pepper learna-ong with flavorings and lime).
[33] LeBras (1967) also falls into the trap of stating that Ibn Battuta encountered use of a plant [presumably kat] which was offered to guests and which he had occasion to consume in Dhofar and Mogadishu.
[34] El Mahi (1962 p. 3) does not include mention of the leaves resembling those of the bitter orange tree. He does, however, state in a footnote comment that the description of the effects on enhancing intelligent performance etc. implies removal of inhibitions and thus has psychoanalytic significance.
[35] This book is mentioned by Brockelmann in Supplement Band III, p. 1311.
[36] Neither Nazih Bey nor his book is mentioned in Brockelmann. On p. 265 of P. Anastase-Marie (cf. al-'Arsi, 1939) we read that Nazih Bey Mu'ayyad al-'Azamis' book was printed at Cairo, but without date. However he says that the year was probably 1930 as al-'Azami's third journey was in 1929. This book was in 2 volumes (312 pages in vol. I, 128 pages in vol. II. He calls it the best book on modern Yemen. Pere Anastase-Marie gives a critique of his book, including some of its less attractive features e.g. no indices, the pictures of the people are too dark, etc. The index of Anastase-Marie's book (Index IV p. 321) deals with plants and since it lists all instances of kat as occuring on pages 141-143, there are no other places in the book where we need look for mention of kat.
[37] Pere Anastase-Marie corrects Nazih's designation for kat as cata idios of Forskali: He says: "Properly [it is]: Catha edulis, and that is in the language of scientists. And (Forsl—iia), properly (Forskal) is one of the plant scientists who gave kat this scientific name... There is another botanist, named Vahl, who named it Celastrus edulis. As for its name in English, it is kat cf. Webster's Dictionary".
[38] The translation of the section on the tea bush is as follows. "The Emperor [of China] reserves to himself the revenues which arise from the salt mines, and those which are derived from impositions upon a herb called Tcha, which they drink with hot water, and of which vast quantities are sold in all cities in China. This is produced from a shrub more bushy than the pomegranate tree, and of a more pleasant smell, but having a kind of bitter taste. The way of using the herb is to pour boiling water upon the leaves and the infusion cures all diseases. Whatever sums come into the public treasury arise from the capitation tax, the duties upon salt, and the tax upon this leaf" (cf. Hasan ibn Yazid, 1922 p. 58).
[39] The designation Bushman's Tea is well-ingrained in the literature but Davison (1927 p. 339) implies that it could not have been very common since the tree was "not very common in South Africa. It occurs along the coast from Knysna up to Natal, and also in the Kalahari region in eastern and northern Transvaal." Davison does cite a reference wherein the Zwarte Kei River area is given as a place where kat yields a favorite beverage with the Bushmen and others, who also chew it.
[40] Alternatively, and probably equally realistic is the view that since kat is somewhat astringent and bitter, honey may have been used frequently merely as a sweetening agent. This view also brings to mind the fact that in modern day Ethiopia, novices and students just beginning to chew kat use sugar as a sweetener (Getahun and Krikorian, 1973).
[41] The article by Eshete Tadesse provides great details in the manufacture of tej. Merab (1919 pp. 509-519) gives a less detailed recipe.
[42] In the area of the Harar highlands, the long dry season, from October to March or April, may experience as little as a total of 50 mm of rain at 2000 m elevation.
[43] Recent chemical investigations have shown that very old herbarium specimens still have substantial levels of the active component cathinone.
[44] See Book of Daniel 4:25 for the full Biblical context.
[45] Compare with the terminology used for the Ethiopian kat chewing cycle (Getahun and Krikorian, 1973, p. 374).
[46] This is presumably done because of the hyperthermia experienced in the course of chewing. Kat users feel hot and then chilled. Some descriptions of the kat majlis indicate the need to perspire. Even so, nowadays some of the houses are air-conditioned. Also see Schopen (1978) for the architectural details of the muffrage or special party room.
[47] "Les Kalitchas, ou pretres gallas musulmans, prennent le tchat aussi bien sous form de the, en infusion ou decoction edul7CTrTe de miel, que tel quel en le milchant."
[48] There is no evidence for this (cf. Absieh 1973 and references there cited).
[49] Cf. Botta on the taste.
[50] Surah ii, 216; Surah v, 92 of the Quran use the word khamr. This word has been rendered wine in English translations but it includes all alcoholic and intoxicating drinks [and substances].
[51 The Ulema or Ulama are learned theologians and scholars whose job it is to interpret the Muslim legal system.
[52] Dr. Merab says Muslims hold the kat plant in high esteem and that it is honored like a sacred plant. "Kat has been given to us by God and Muhammad they say. Their holy men or monks chewing bits of it and spitting on the sick as they pronounce their benedictions". He also mentions kat was introduced into Yemen by Sheikh Ibrahim abu Zaharbui in 1429 A.D. (Merab, 1921 p. 176).
[53] Personal knowledge of the writer. See also Hes (1971).
[54] "Secondo me, quelle foglie mi paiono energicamente diuretiche, ma perfettamente anafrodisiache; facilitano perb im modo strano la secrezione glandulase del seme, the riesce copioso; eccitano it movimento peristaltico della stomaco, e quindi l'appetito. Mangiate in grande quantity, impediscono it sonno; quindi non inebriano affalto, ma possono causare una dolce tranquillity d'anima e un simpatico benessere" (Grohmann, 1931 p. 254).
[55] Absieh (1973) states that the release of clear prostatic fluid without much sperm is much more common.
[56] In the Rolling Stone Magazine we read that "like cocaine take it for confidence and fucking power" (Hopkins, 1972). It is well known that kat chewers offer experience priapism throughout a chewing session (cf. Absieh, 1973). But amphetamine-like drugs, while initially stimulating desire and ejaculatory potency, may ultimately diminish or totally inhibit the ability to obtain a sustained erection.
[57] This poem is very popular and may be found, for instance, with some variants in wording in a collection entitled Huppat Hatanim [Canopy of Bridegrooms] published at Aden, 1925.
[58] The most recent interpretation of the Paris and Moyse (1958) data is however, that the procedures used by them did not eliminate extraction of active alkaloids. Even so, this point needs confirmation (see Bulletin on Narcotics, 1980 and refs. there cited).
[59] Although the term tannins is imprecise and outmoded, the literature in question uses the term. For the most part, tannin refers to catechin tannin.
[60] Little would be gained by enumerating the many sources in the older literature on the relative costs of kat (cf. e.g. Brook, 1960). Suffice it to say that the amount spent was, and is, far out of proportion to the per capita gross income.
[61] The real problem is that Catha edulis does not possess any features that seem to be so striking that that they permit ready and certain identification on histological or pharmacognostical grounds.
[62] See Absieh (1973).
[63] See especially Weil (1981) and references there cited.
[64] It may well turn out that the best health-oriented argument against kat use will turn on the extensive use of alcohol and depressents to overcome the stimulating effects.
[65] See Kalix (this volume p. 140). ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
 
The presentation of highlights of this paper with copious illustration in Antanarivo mad made possible by support from ICAA. This help is grafefully acknowledged. The great part of the burden of typing this difficult manuscript was assumed by Ms. Donna Ryan. This is also gratefully acknowledged.
 
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