Botanical Name: Piper cubeb
Family Name: Piperaceae
Common Name: Tailed Pepper
Part used: Fruit
Specific Gravity: 0.89800 to 0.92800 at 25.00 C
Optical Rotation: -43 to -20
Refractive Index: 1.492 - 1.502 at 20.00 C
Blends well with: Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Rose, Geranium
Uses: Internal application of the oil relieves loss of voice, halitosis, cold, cough, and flu.This oil is used as an antiseptic and astringent
Countries where it's found
The plant is native to Indonesia and Malaysia and was brought to Europe by the Arabs through Venetian trade. The plant is grown in India and China.
The plant is similar to black pepper but requires more attention. The shoots are removed once the stem starts elongating. The fruiting spikes are best harvested when unripe, mature, and yellow in color. The plant can remain productive up to 60 years.
History of the Plant
Instances have been recorded pertaining to the use of cubeb as early as 4th century BC. Evidence suggested that the plant was traded between Greeks and Java of cubeb. The 9th century book "One Thousand and One Nights" has mentioned the used of cubeb to treat infertility.
Cubeb essential oil is obtained through steam distillation. The fully grown fruit is sun-dried and crushed and yields about 4-30 % oil. The oil is colorless to light green with a spicy odor and acrid taste.
Commonly known Benefits
- Cubeb oil is known to relieve asthma, hay fever, bronchitis, and chronic pharyngitis.
- Since 1815, cubeb oil has been used in the preparation of various drugs,
- Its antiseptic property is beneficial in treating gonorrhea, gleer, and leucorrhea.
- The oil's diuretic property acts as a disinfectant relieving urinary tract infections.
- In aromatherapy, the essential oil of cubeb is used as massage oil to relieve muscular aches, rheumatism, and stress.
- Its expectoral properties treat bladder inflammations, dyspepsia, and reduce urethra discharges.
- The oil regulates proper heart functioning, heals wounds and cuts faster, and cures head problems.
- The oil is widely used as an astringent and an antiseptic.
- Indian Sanskrit text, Charaka and Sushruta, have prescribed cubeb oil for oral health and dental diseases.
- Cubeb oil has a wide usage across Asia and its therapeutic properties are well respected in Japan and Taiwan who use it to treat hypertension, as a carminative, anti-aging agent, and stimulant.
- The oil is used in foods to increase appetite, improve digestion, and reduce dysentery and flatulence.
- Prostrate infections, vaginitis, and cystis are treated with cubeb oil.
- Inhaling the oil helps in relieving congestion and sore throat.
- The oil relieves gas and bloating.
- The oil is used in perfumery and soaps, some beverages, bitters, and certain medicines.
- It is predominantly used as flavoring agent in pickles, sauces, soups, pipe tobaccos, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, meat, meat products, relishes, and condiments.
- Was considered a valuable spice in the Middle Ages.
- It is used in the making of the famous spirit brand "Bombay Sapphire".
- Morocco cuisine uses the oil for flavoring dishes, pastries, dates, and honey.
The oil was infused with vinegar to make meat marinades in Poland