Botanical name: Catha edulis Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)
Synonyms: Catha glauca, Celastrus edulis, Catha inermis
Qaat is a slow-growing shrub or tree that typically attains a height of 1-5 m. However, it can reach heights of up to 10 m in equatorial areas. The plant usually grows in arid environments, at a temperature range of 5-35 °C. It has evergreen leaves, which are 5-10 cm long and 1-4 cm broad, oblong to elliptic or obovate. The shrub's flowers are produced in leaf-axils in short cymes that are 4-8 cm in length. Each flower is small, with five white petals. The samara fruit is an oblong, three-valved capsule, which contains one to three seeds. Qaat leaves are chewed in Africa, similar to paan in India. Qaat is native to Africa, cultivated elsewhere.
Medicinal uses: In traditional African and Arabic medicine the leaves and roots of khat are considered a panacea against all sorts of ailments and diseases.
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