Better Route
Citation:   Anonymous. "Better Route: An Experience with Khat (exp58532)". Jan 4, 2007.

100 g oral Catha edulis (tea)
As I haven't read anyone describe this method of khat usage I will now describe an approach different from chewing. I describe here a series of experiences I had more than ten years ago, but I recall them vividly. At the time, I lived in a fairly small town in the Netherlands, with a smallish Somali community. My friends and I knew a Dutch guy (mostly from his freakish pinball skills) who was plugged into that community. In the local nightclub we saw him once sit at one of the tables munching away at these twigs. We asked what it was, and he freely offered us some. He told us about a small shop where it was sold. A few days later, we went to the shop. The Somalis sold it in banana-leaf wrapped 'packs' (they called them 'kilos', but we estimated the weight at much less, maybe 300-400 grams at 25 guilders, which is about 10 euros). Inside each pack were about 8 bunches of twigs, held together with pieces of string. The Somalis typically had fresh batches every weekend, we had no problems getting hold of it for a period of several weeks.

The first few times we tried it out, we had a hard time dealing with the bitter taste, although we could definitely notice the pleasant feeling of wakefulness, lucidity and relaxation. We then started trying out different ways to lessen the flavor. A reasonably good one was to mix with licorice root, which somehow fits with the khat taste, but is much sweeter and easier on the palate. A better one we found was to mix with ordinary chewing gum, which helps contain the bits of twig in your mouth, and hides the flavor.

The most hardcore method we discovered was as follows: per person, use about two bunches. Grind these up in a food processor. Boil in water for, say, an hour. Strain - we used cheese cloth, which turned unbelievably green. The resulting liquid could easily end up looking as dark as Coke, or coffee. Cool the liquid down. What you have now is quite potent, but also extremely disgusting. The colder it is, the less you taste it. You might add a sweetener to mask the flavor even more. The advantage is that now you simply have to down one or two glasses (and hold them down) and you're off! Several people ended up throwing much of it up again, with no noticeably adverse effects on the ensuing experience.

I would describe the experience as: lucid, slight corner-of-the-eye or closed eye visuals, energetic, cheerful. At this higher dose there was definitely a stronger dream-like aspect to it as well. We took it on several occasions before going clubbing. The people with us that took e or speed instead attested we looked at least as high and freaky as them, although the come down was clearly easier to deal with.

If I could get a hold of fresh, cheap khat I would do it again. There are some problems with it, though. First of all, it's hard to find, and it definitely has to be fresh. Second, there is some suggestion some farmers use harmful pesticides on it. It's possible a good rinse might help if these are surfactants (as opposed to systemic pesticides). It's also possible the pesticide story is mostly bogus - after all, there must be something bad about it to justify banning it. Lastly, khat use has several negative effects on its countries of origin, notably diversion of water supplies for cultivation, and edginess among its users that might fuel local conflicts. On the other hand, we only noticed positive, empathetic effects. Also, it's rich in vitamin C, and recent studies have shown it boosts sperm quality.

Exp Year: 1994ExpID: 58532
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Jan 4, 2007Views: 34,358
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Catha edulis (32) : Preparation / Recipes (30), Retrospective / Summary (11), Various (28)

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