[Taxacom] doctor looking for ethnobotanic help

Fionnbar Lenihan Fionnbar.Lenihan at lpct.scot.nhs.uk
Mon May 29 03:41:23 CDT 2006

My name is Fionnbar Lenihan and I am consultant psychiatrist in the
Royal Edinburgh Hospital 

I would like to get some advice from a botanist if such a speciality
exists in this molecular age!

Preferably someone with an interest in ethnobotany

I have a patient whose initial presentation matched that produced by 
'Khat" (catha edulis) (psychosis, weight loss, hypersexuality). 

He is Sudanese (not Somali or E African) and denies using Khat but
cheerfully admits using a native Sudanese plant product  he calls
"al-soed", phonetically it sounds like Al-Sooodth" .  Ominously my SHO
(Iranian) translates that literally as "high".  

It comes as dried material, not fresh like khat, and is prepared into a
paste then held inside mouth against the buccal mucosa.  He says its use
is normal in  Sudan and that is harmless "like tobacco"

It can apparently be bought on the street in ethnic communities here in

He's had several relapses and it would be good to know if this stuff

Any idea what it could be and if it is pharmacologically active,
particularly with respect to amphetamine-like effects? 


Fionnbar Lenihan

Dr Fionnbar Lenihan
Consultant Forensic Psychiatrist
The Orchard Clinic
Royal Edinburgh Hospital

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