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Miraa chewing and its effects

14 May 2012, 09:35 Dickson Mugambi

The Meru  population take up spiked drinks such as "marwa"(chang"aa) over the years, to a tragic end, others are seeking a less potent kind of high, khat – more commonly known as Miraa.

For several years now the number of men and women hang around joints such as bars,clubs and tinted cars with loud music and tinted windows that are parked at select petrol stations and super market parking lots is familiar to the point that visitors to mini-shops at the station and supermarket  have no parking space.

Often with sleek chrome rims, the cars’ occupants pose as they chew miraa stems in cocktail of either Big G, "juguu" or peanuts if you will and alcohol or a soda.

What is Miraa?

According to Wikipedia and NACADA Miraa is a plant whose fresh leaves and soft twigs are chewed to release a juice containing cathinone and cathine, the active chemicals that alter the mood of the abuser. Consumers also refer to miraa using less familiar names such as Khat, Veve, Muguka, Goks, Gomba, Mbachu, Mairungi, Alele, Giza or Halwa.

Chewing miraa causes serious problems to your body especially in the longer term. Miraa is a prohibited substance in some countries and in international sports. You are automatically disqualified from participating in international tournaments such as the Olympic Games and World Cup Football if detected to have used miraa.

Effects on your health

Miraa has notable effects on your health key among the-;

(i) Miraa has similar but less intense effects than the stimulating effects of cocaine.

(ii) Upon chewing, you experience an unusual feeling of excitement and alertness. You may talk too much, lose concentration on simple tasks or even forget simple facts.

(iii) Chewing miraa causes rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure, symptoms that are sometimes confused with increased sexual libido or stamina.

(iv)When chewed continually, miraa gives you chronic constipation since it causes dehydration.

(v)Using miraa to stay awake places you in danger of causing harm through accidents. When your body suddenly goes to sleep due to accumulated sleep deprivation, you can cause road traffic or factory accidents thereby inflicting damage to life and property.

Effects on your reproduction

· The claim that chewing miraa increases your sexual libido is a myth. Instead, evidence suggests that miraa inhibits blood flow to the reproductive system.

· Chewing miraa constricts the vessels supplying blood to the reproductive tract thereby causing inhibited urine flow, and in men, the inability to attain and sustain an erection.

· The chemicals in miraa make your body to produce excessive amounts of sperm without you being sexually aroused.

The sperms ooze out uncontrollably, a condition known as spermatorrhoea. In extreme cases, men are forced to wear nappies or several underpants. In women, the dehydrating effect of miraa dries the lining of the reproductive tract leading to pain during sexual intercourse and blistering.

The micro-injuries can cause reproductive tract infections and sexually transmitted diseases.Chewing miraa during pregnancy decreases blood flow to uterus, disrupting flow of nutrients from your bloodstream to the unborn baby.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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