Ethnopharmacological relevance Khat (Catha edulis, Forsk) is a drug widely used in countries around the Red Sea (East-Africa and Arabian Peninsula). In Germany khat chewing is illegal but nevertheless an often observed habit in immigrants from this region. This study investigates the interrelation between immigrants acculturation processes and traditional khat chewing habits. Materials and Methods Sixty-one khat chewers (14 female) from East-African countries were interviewed about their khat chewing habits and acculturation strategy using standardized questionnaires. Results Results indicate that immigrants'khat chewing behaviors are similar to what is common in countries with traditional khat use. But khat chewing tended to be less among immigrants who were relatively more oriented towards their cultures of origin. Chewing khat was subjectively considered to help coping with problems, to forget bad memories and to concentrate better. Conclusions It was concluded that khat chewing serves a functional use of coping with stressful events in the present or in the past within this sample.