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In other countries, outside of its core area of growth and consumption, khat is sometimes chewed at parties or social functions.It may also be used by farmers and labourers for reducing physical fatigue or hunger, and by drivers and students for improving attention.It is also known as jimaa in the Oromo language and mayirungi in Luganda Language.Khat has been grown for use as a stimulant for centuries in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.It has evergreen leaves, which are 5–10 cm (2–4 in) long and 1–4 cm (0.39–1.6 in) broad.
The stimulant effect of the plant was originally attributed to "katin", cathine, a phenethylamine-type substance isolated from the plant.
Khat goes by various traditional names, such as kat, qat, qaad, ghat, chat, Abyssinian Tea, Somali Tea, Miraa, Arabian Tea, and Kafta in its endemic regions of the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
Khat is a slow-growing shrub or tree that typically attains a height of 1–5 m (3 ft 3 in–16 ft 5 in).
In recent years, however, improved roads, off-road motor vehicles, and air transportation have increased the global distribution of this perishable commodity, and as a result, the plant has been reported in England, Wales, Rome, Amsterdam, Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Water consumption is so high, groundwater levels in the Sanaa basin are diminishing, so government officials have proposed relocating large portions of the population of Sana'a to the coast of the Red Sea.
One reason for khat being cultivated in Yemen so widely is the high income it provides for farmers.