Nicotine/Cocaine plants in Afrika/Asia

Mary Ann Cushman cushmam at okstate.edu
Thu Jan 30 10:50:10 EST 1997


burglin at ubaclu.unibas.ch wrote:
>Hi,
>
>I have a strange question.
>There are reports of nicotine and cocaine being found in Egyptian mummies.  In particular
>the cocains is supposed to be in quite high quantities.
>
>Now, Erythroxylum is described as: "Erythroxylum as having 250
>species found mainly in the Americas and Madagascar (a little closer to Egypt)."
>
>So, several questions: are there plants with cocains & or nicotine found in Africa/Asia.
>Somehow, I have the suspicion that those reports about nicotine/cocaine perhaps describe even the same compound. Are there perhaps other plants with similar alkaloids known
>in Afrika/Asia, that could be mistaken either for cocaine/nicotinein superficial examinations?
>
>Thank you for any information.
>
>Thomas Burglin
>
Hi Thomas-
I don't know how the compounds were assayed, but I wondered about a plant used in Africa/Middle East
in similar fashion to coca leaves-they are chewed for a mild stimulant effect, more like caffeine though.
Its called
khat or Catha edulis
and the alkaloid compound in it is catheine. Maybe you could find references using those names.
Bon chance,
Mer





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