Muslim Association of Britain
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Chewing Khat has health hazards

CHEWING KHAT CAUSES  MANY HEALTH HAZARDS 
IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO TAKE IN THE UK!

By Dr Majid Katme

KHAT (Catha Edulis) is a green leaf that is grown and consumed mainly in East Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania ...) and in the Arabian Peninsula like Yemen.

People chew the green leaf for its stimulant and euphoric effect.

Khat contains Cathinones, a stimulus like Amphetamine in structure and pharmacological effects. It contains two Alkaloids. In low doses, it decreases appetite, causes euphoria and increased alertness.

In high doses: It has serious adverse neurological, psychiatric, cardiovascular, oral, gastrointestinal, genito-urinary effects; with adverse socio-economic consequences.

Khat is also banned in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Sudan, and Kuwait and in many western countries.

THE REPORTED KNOWN HEALTH HAZARDS WHICH DO RESULT FROM CHEWING KHAT:

Cardiovascular:

Rise in blood pressure, heart rate/palpitation and can cause acute myocardial infarction

Psychological/Neuropsychiatric:

Khat can cause anxiety, depression, aggressive behaviour, restlessness, irritability, insomnia, psychosis, mental deterioration and sometimes self-harm or harm to others.

Oral/dental:
Stomatitis, periodontal disease and oral cancer

Gastrointestinal:

Constipation, Gastritis, Peptic ulcer, Immune deficiency and loss of appetite

Reproductive System:

Low birth weight among of the children whose mothers chewed Khat during pregnancy.

Environment:
Abuse and wastage of the land, use of pesticides etc.

(Ref: Health and socioeconomic hazards associated with Khat consumption by Hussein M A Ageely/Journal of Family and Community medicine/Jan-April 2008)

(For more information, see health information about Khat )

Everyone should avoid the chewing of khat or taking any substance that causes harm to the body. Muslims more so, as ISLAM forbids us from taking anything which can damage our bodies or cause us diseases. It is also a waste of money and time. In addition to the economic effect on the loss of land to cultivate

We APPEAL to all the Muslims tospread this important Health message among the Muslim community, by:

-Announcing this statement by the Imams at Friday prayer in the mosques
-Publishing it in community newspapers and announcing it on many Muslim radios in Ramadan

-Sending it by E-mail to all relevant contacts.

-Putting it on many Arab/ Muslim websites.
  
Dr A Majid Katme (Muslim Health Advisor) is  available for interview or to give a talk about the  Health hazards and harms of  Khat:(email us at office@mabonline.net)