Absinthe and betel nut

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru April 2001:Absinthe and betel nut
By Heiko on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 06:24 pm: Edit

...khat (or however you spell it) contains ephedrine, pseudo- and norpseudoephedrine - almost the same chemical combination that is contained in "ma huang" ("ephedra sinica").
It acts as a metabolite (and/or fat-burner) in your body, it is definitely stronger than coffee (especially when consumed together with caffeine).
The only difference is that ma huang contains more ephedrine and less norpseudoephedrine than khat - khat also loses most of the latter in two days after harvest.

Just buy some ma huang or ephedra extract capsules in the next fitness/bodybuiling store (if you live in the US - no problem. Otherwise you got the net...)

BTW the Mormons, who even consider coffee to be a drug made by the devil, drink tea from ephedra nevadensis, which also contains ephedrine in smaller amounts. That's why it's called "mormon tea".

By Melinelly on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 09:38 am: Edit

there's a fast growing somalian population here in the bay area... and khat has been making the news recently. in fact, just last month, there was the first khat bust ever in the area. cops raided the house of a somali immigrant and confiscated his backyard full of khat plants. there was a bit of outrage in his community, but i'm not sure what they can do. it'll be interesting to see if this becomes an issue.

betel nuts are readily available. in fact, mel was given one to chew on by a coworker on lunch before. no biggie.

By Don_Walsh on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 09:14 am: Edit

Betel chewing was popular in old Siam and in modern Thailand generations ago but its use is now mostly confined to old people in rural areas.
A century ago the aristocracy spent fortunes on betel boxes and related paraphernalia, and this excess probably led to the semi-banning of betel here and decline in its popularity. Or it may have been just that betel chewing and red-black teeth were perceived to be something Europeans didn't think highly of, at a time when the Siamese/Thais were influenced by European attitudes.

Qat is all over the place in Yemen.

Neither is anything to get excited about.

By Pataphysician on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 08:44 am: Edit

>'chat' is french for 'pussy'

And while 'chat' can cause even greater levels of excitation, stimulation and euphoria than 'khat', it is still legal in the U.S.

By Petermarc on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:41 am: Edit

'chat' is french for 'pussy'

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:38 am: Edit

Damn you Pata, you beat me to it.

By Lordhobgoblin on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:37 am: Edit

About two years ago I seem to remember that a reasonably big thing was made in the media about the chewing of Khat by the Somali population in the UK. It resulted in no moves whatsoever to ban it, which is heartening.

Hobgoblin

By Pataphysician on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:36 am: Edit

It's "khat" pronounced "cot". The Somali immigrants around here chew it. There was a big controversy last year over whether it's a drug and whether it needs to be controlled. Less hysterical experts say it's no more potent or dangerous than coffee. It's used the same way, too, as a mild stimulant throughout the day. It's also true that it loses most of it's potency within two days of being harvested, so while the stuff that reaches the U.S. is pretty mild, perhaps a really fresh dose might have more kick than coffee.

found this on SomaliNet:
http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/Hornet/qat.html

By Artemis on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:10 am: Edit

It's spelled "Khat", at least on this page:

http://www.anaserve.com/~mbali/kalix.htm

By Absinthesque on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 07:07 am: Edit

it's usually spelled kaat or qat. it's a popular mild euphoria inducing chew in north africa and the arab world. never tried it though.

By Artemis on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 06:48 am: Edit

I saw a French movie about the Foreign Legion in northern Africa recently (based upon the book "Billy Budd"). It was in a modern setting, no absinthe, but the commander always had a bundle of fresh leaves with him at night and chewed them constantly. I suppose that was "chat".

By Wormwood on Monday, April 16, 2001 - 04:35 am: Edit

I know beetle nuts are popular in the South Pacific but I don't know whats in them.

While we are on the subject what can anyone on this forum tell me about "chat". It a green leafy plant that looks a little like fresh tobacco. People chew it to get high.

I was watching a documentry on some poor African country and this guy on a motorscooter drives into town with a big bundle of these leaves. It was like watching children run after the ice cream truck on a hot summer day.

In about 15 minutes all of it was sold and he zoomed off with a pocketful of money.

The narrator of this said it was a mildly mind altering and addictive drug popular in the area. The properties decrease rapidly with its freshness so its delivered freshly cut to the village at least 3 times a day.

By Absinthesque on Saturday, April 14, 2001 - 03:31 am: Edit

Of course you're right Ted. It's not something to do often, as they're also highly addictive, but paan is quite enjoyable once in a while.

By Tabreaux on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 08:12 pm: Edit

Betel nuts huh? I prefer my teeth white as opposed to black!

By Absinthesque on Friday, April 13, 2001 - 07:00 pm: Edit

as i chew a betel nut concoction easily obtained in new york, i wonder if others have sampled this and contemplate the similarities with absinthe -- banned as a food additive, mildly consciousness altering, when it's good it's delightful and when it's bad, it's horrid. . .in fact, this one had far too much lime and I had to spit it out, but at $1.00 a chew, it's a hell of a lot cheaper than la bleue.

it must be commonplace in don's neck of the woods, but i wonder if any others have sampled it. . .forgive me for going off topic, but i just recognized an interesting analogy.

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