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Cubeb

Cubeb

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Encyclopedia
Cubeb or tailed pepper, is a plant in genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Piper
Piper (genus)
Piper, the pepper plants or pepper vines , are an economically and ecologically important genus in the family Piperaceae...

, cultivated for its fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 and essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra
Sumatra
Sumatra is an island in western Indonesia, westernmost of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island entirely in Indonesia , and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2 with a population of 50,365,538...

, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

, but with stalks attached — the "tails" in "tailed pepper". The dried pericarp is wrinkled, its color ranges from grayish-brown to black. The seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

 is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubebs is described as agreeable and aromatic; the taste, pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice
Allspice
Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or newspice, is a spice that is the dried unripe fruit of Pimenta dioica , a mid-canopy tree native to the Greater Antilles, southern Mexico, and Central America, now cultivated in many warm parts of the world...

, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.

Cubeb came to Europe via India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 through the trade with the Arabs. The name cubeb comes from Arabic
Arabic language
Arabic is a name applied to the descendants of the Classical Arabic language of the 6th century AD, used most prominently in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book...

  , which is of unknown origin, by way of Old French
Old French
Old French was the Romance dialect continuum spoken in territories that span roughly the northern half of modern France and parts of modern Belgium and Switzerland from the 9th century to the 14th century...

 quibibes. Cubeb is mentioned in alchemical writings
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 by its Arabic name. In his Theatrum Botanicum, John Parkinson
John Parkinson (botanist)
John Parkinson was the last of the great English herbalists and one of the first of the great English botanists. He was apothecary to James I and a founding member of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in December 1617, and was later Royal Botanist to Charles I...

 tells that the king of Portugal prohibited the sale of cubeb in order to promote black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

 (Piper nigrum) around 1640. It experienced a brief resurgence in 19th-century Europe for medicinal uses, but has practically vanished from the European market since. It continues to be used as a flavoring agent
Flavor
Flavor or flavour is the sensory impression of a food or other substance, and is determined mainly by the chemical senses of taste and smell. The "trigeminal senses", which detect chemical irritants in the mouth and throat as well as temperature and texture, are also very important to the overall...

 for gin
Gin
Gin is a spirit which derives its predominant flavour from juniper berries . Although several different styles of gin have existed since its origins, it is broadly differentiated into two basic legal categories...

s and cigarette
Cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

s in the West, and as a seasoning for food in Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

.

History



In the 4th century BC, Theophrastus
Theophrastus
Theophrastus , a Greek native of Eresos in Lesbos, was the successor to Aristotle in the Peripatetic school. He came to Athens at a young age, and initially studied in Plato's school. After Plato's death he attached himself to Aristotle. Aristotle bequeathed to Theophrastus his writings, and...

 mentioned komakon, including it with cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

 and cassia as an ingredient in aromatic confections. Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé
Guillaume Budé was a French scholar.-Life:Budé was born in Paris. He went to the University of Orléans to study law, but for several years, being possessed of ample means, he led an idle and dissipated life...

 and Claudius Salmasius
Claudius Salmasius
Claudius Salmasius is the Latin name of Claude Saumaise , a French classical scholar.-Life:Salmasius was born at Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy. His father, a counsellor of the parlement of Dijon, sent him, at the age of sixteen, to Paris, where he became intimate with Isaac Casaubon...

 have identified komakon with cubeb, probably due to the resemblance which the word bears to the Javanese
Javanese language
Javanese language is the language of the Javanese people from the central and eastern parts of the island of Java, in Indonesia. In addition, there are also some pockets of Javanese speakers in the northern coast of western Java...

 name of cubeb, kumukus. This is seen as a curious evidence of Greek trade with Java in a time earlier than that of Theophrastus. It is unlikely Greeks acquired them from somewhere else, since Javanese growers protected their monopoly
Monopoly
A monopoly exists when a specific person or enterprise is the only supplier of a particular commodity...

 of the trade by sterilizing the berries by scalding, ensuring that the vines were unable to be cultivated elsewhere.

In the Tang Dynasty
Tang Dynasty
The Tang Dynasty was an imperial dynasty of China preceded by the Sui Dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. It was founded by the Li family, who seized power during the decline and collapse of the Sui Empire...

, cubeb was brought to China from Srivijaya
Srivijaya
Srivijaya was a powerful ancient thalassocratic Malay empire based on the island of Sumatra, modern day Indonesia, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. The earliest solid proof of its existence dates from the 7th century; a Chinese monk, I-Tsing, wrote that he visited Srivijaya in 671 for 6...

. In India the spice came to be called kabab chini, that is, "Chinese cubeb", possibly because the Chinese had a hand in its trade, but more likely because it was an important item in the trade with China. In China this pepper was called both vilenga, and vidanga, the cognate Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 word. Li Hsun thought it grew on the same tree as black pepper. Tang physicians administered it to restore appetite, cure "demon vapors", darken the hair, and perfume the body. However, there is no evidence showing that cubeb was used as a condiment in China.

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
The Book of One Thousand and One Nights
One Thousand and One Nights is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age...

, compiled in the 9th century, mentions cubeb as a remedy for infertility, showing it was already used by Arabs for medicinal purposes. Cubeb was introduced to Arabic cuisine
Arab cuisine
Arab cuisine is defined as the various regional cuisines spanning the Arab World, from Morocco and Tunisia to Saudi Arabia, and incorporating Levantine, Egyptian .-History:...

 around the 10th century. The Travels of Marco Polo
The Travels of Marco Polo
Books of the Marvels of the World or Description of the World , also nicknamed Il Milione or Oriente Poliano and commonly called The Travels of Marco Polo, is a 13th-century travelogue written down by Rustichello da Pisa from stories told by Marco Polo, describing the...

, written in late 13th century, describes Java as a producer of cubeb, along with other valuable spices. In the 14th century, cubeb was imported into Europe from the Grain Coast, under the name of pepper, by merchants of Rouen
Rouen
Rouen , in northern France on the River Seine, is the capital of the Haute-Normandie region and the historic capital city of Normandy. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe , it was the seat of the Exchequer of Normandy in the Middle Ages...

 and Lippe
Lippe
Lippe is a Kreis in the east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Herford, Minden-Lübbecke, Höxter, Paderborn, Gütersloh, and district-free Bielefeld, which forms the region Ostwestfalen-Lippe....

. A 14th-century morality tale
Morality play
The morality play is a genre of Medieval and early Tudor theatrical entertainment. In their own time, these plays were known as "interludes", a broader term given to dramas with or without a moral theme. Morality plays are a type of allegory in which the protagonist is met by personifications of...

 exemplifying gluttony
Gluttony
Gluttony, derived from the Latin gluttire meaning to gulp down or swallow, means over-indulgence and over-consumption of food, drink, intoxicants or wealth items to the point of extravagance or waste...

 by the Franciscan writer Francesc Eiximenis
Francesc Eiximenis
Francesc Eiximenis was a Franciscan Catalan writer that lived in the XIVth century Crown of Aragon. He was possibly one of the medieval Catalan writers that had more success, since his works were widely read, copied, published and translated. Therefore, it can be said tat both in the literary and...

 describes the eating habits of a worldly cleric who consumes a bizarre concoction of egg yolks with cinnamon and cubeb after his baths, probably as an aphrodisiac.

Cubeb was thought by the people of Europe to be repulsive to demons, just as it was by the people of China. Ludovico Maria Sinistrari
Ludovico Maria Sinistrari
Ludovico Maria Sinistrari was an Italian Franciscan priest and author.-Biography:Born in Ameno, Italy, he studied in Pavia and entered the Franciscan Order in 1647...

, a Catholic priest
Holy Orders
The term Holy Orders is used by many Christian churches to refer to ordination or to those individuals ordained for a special role or ministry....

 who wrote about methods of exorcism
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

 in the late 17th century, includes cubeb as an ingredient in an incense to ward off incubus
Incubus (demon)
An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have intercourse with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus...

. Even today, his formula for the incense is quoted by neopagan authors, some of whom also claim that cubeb can be used in love sachets and spells.

After the prohibition of sale, culinary use of cubeb decreased dramatically in Europe, and only its medicinal application continued to the 19th century. In the early 20th century, cubeb was regularly shipped from Indonesia to Europe and the United States. The trade gradually diminished to an average of 135 t (132.9 LT) annually, and practically ceased after 1940.

Chemistry


The dried cubeb berries contain essential oil consisting monoterpene
Monoterpene
Monoterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of two isoprene units and have the molecular formula C10H16. Monoterpenes may be linear or contain rings...

s (sabinene
Sabinene
Sabinene is a natural bicyclic monoterpene with the molecular formula C10H16. It is isolated from the essential oils of a variety of plants including holm oak and Norway spruce...

 50%, α-thujene
Thujene
Thujene is a natural organic compound classified as a monoterpene. It is found in the essential oils of a variety of plants, and contributes pungency to the flavor of some herbs such as Summer savory....

, and carene
Carene
Carene, or delta-3-carene, is a bicyclic monoterpene which occurs naturally as a constituent of turpentine, with a content as high as 42% depending on the source. Carene has a sweet and pungent odor. It is not soluble in water, but miscible with fats and oils....

) and sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpene
Sesquiterpenes are a class of terpenes that consist of three isoprene units and have the molecular formula C15H24. Like monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes may be acyclic or contain rings, including many unique combinations...

s (caryophyllene
Caryophyllene
Caryophyllene , or -β-caryophyllene, is a natural bicyclic sesquiterpene that is a constituent of many essential oils, especially clove oil, the oil from the stems and flowers of Syzygium aromaticum , the essential oil of hemp Cannabis sativa, rosemary Rosmarinus oficinalis, and hops...

, copaene
Copaene
Copaene, or more precisely, α-copaene, is the common chemical name of an oily liquid hydrocarbon that is found in a number of essential oil-producing plants. The name is derived from that of the resin-producing tropical copaiba tree, Copaifera langsdorfii, from which the compound was first...

, α- and β-cubebene, δ-cadinene
Cadinene
Cadinene is the trivial chemical name of a number of isomeric hydrocarbons that occur in a wide variety of essential oil-producing plants. The name is derived from that of the Cade juniper , the wood of which yields an oil from which cadinene isomers were first isolated.Chemically, the cadinenes...

, germacrene
Germacrene
Germacrenes are a class of volatile organic hydrocarbons, specifically, sesquiterpenes. Germacrenes are typically produced in a number plant species for their antimicrobial and insecticidal properties, though they also play a role as insect pheromones...

), the oxides 1,4- and 1,8-cineole and the alcohol cubebol
Cubebol
Cubebol is a natural sesquiterpene alcohol first identified in cubeb oil. It was patented as a cooling agent in 2001 by Firmenich, an international flavor company...

.

About 15% of a volatile oil is obtained by distilling cubebs with water. Cubebene, the liquid portion, has the formula C15H24. It is a pale green or blue-yellow viscous liquid with a warm woody, slightly camphoraceous odor. After rectification with water, or on keeping, this deposits rhombic
Rhombus
In Euclidean geometry, a rhombus or rhomb is a convex quadrilateral whose four sides all have the same length. The rhombus is often called a diamond, after the diamonds suit in playing cards, or a lozenge, though the latter sometimes refers specifically to a rhombus with a 45° angle.Every...

 crystals of camphor
Camphor
Camphor is a waxy, white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odor. It is a terpenoid with the chemical formula C10H16O. It is found in wood of the camphor laurel , a large evergreen tree found in Asia and also of Dryobalanops aromatica, a giant of the Bornean forests...

 of cubebs.

Cubebin (C10H10O3) is a crystalline substance existing in cubebs, discovered by Eugène Soubeiran
Eugène Soubeiran
Eugène Soubeiran was a French scientist who served as chief pharmacist at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital. He was one of three researchers who discovered chloroform independently of one another...

 and Capitaine in 1839. It may be prepared from cubebene, or from the pulp left after the distillation of the oil. The drug
Medication
A pharmaceutical drug, also referred to as medicine, medication or medicament, can be loosely defined as any chemical substance intended for use in the medical diagnosis, cure, treatment, or prevention of disease.- Classification :...

, along with gum
Natural gum
Natural gums are polysaccharides of natural origin, capable of causing a large viscosity increase in solution, even at small concentrations. In the food industry they are used as thickening agents, gelling agents, emulsifying agents, and stabilizers...

, fatty oils, and malate
Malate
Malate is the ionized form of malic acid. It is an important chemical compound in biochemistry. In the C4 carbon fixation process, malate is a source of CO2 in the Calvin cycle....

s of magnesium
Magnesium
Magnesium is a chemical element with the symbol Mg, atomic number 12, and common oxidation number +2. It is an alkaline earth metal and the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and ninth in the known universe as a whole...

 and calcium
Calcium
Calcium is the chemical element with the symbol Ca and atomic number 20. It has an atomic mass of 40.078 amu. Calcium is a soft gray alkaline earth metal, and is the fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust...

, contains also about 1% of cubebic acid, and about 6% of a resin
Resin
Resin in the most specific use of the term is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees. Resins are valued for their chemical properties and associated uses, such as the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents; as an important source of raw materials...

. The dose of the fruit is 30 to 60 grains
Grain (measure)
A grain is a unit of measurement of mass that is nominally based upon the mass of a single seed of a cereal. From the Bronze Age into the Renaissance the average masses of wheat and barley grains were part of the legal definition of units of mass. However, there is no evidence of any country ever...

, and the British Pharmacopoeia
British Pharmacopoeia
The British Pharmacopoeia is an annual published collection of quality standards for UK medicinal substances. It is used by individuals and organizations involved in pharmaceutical research, development, manufacture and testing....

 contains a tincture with a dose of 4 to 1 dram
Avoirdupois
The avoirdupois system is a system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still widely used to varying degrees by many people in Canada, the United Kingdom, and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption...

.

Medicinal


In India, Sanskrit texts included cubeb in various remedies. Charaka and Sushruta prescribed a cubeb paste as a mouthwash, and the use of dried cubebs internally for oral and dental diseases, loss of voice, halitosis
Halitosis
Halitosis is a term used to describe noticeably unpleasant odors exhaled in breathing. Halitosis is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for seeking dental aid, following tooth decay and periodontal disease.- General :...

, fevers, and cough. Unani
Unani
Unani-tibb or Unani Medicine also spelled Yunani Medicine means "Greek Medicine", and is a form of traditional medicine widely practiced in South Asia...

 physicians use a paste of the cubeb berries externally on male and female genitals to intensify sexual pleasure during coitus. Due to this attributed property, cubeb was called "Habb-ul-Uruus".

In traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

 cubeb is used for its alleged warming property. In Tibetan medicine
Traditional Tibetan medicine
Traditional Tibetan medicine is a centuries-old traditional medical system that employs a complex approach to diagnosis, incorporating techniques such as pulse analysis and urinalysis, and utilizes behavior and dietary modification, medicines composed of natural materials and physical therapies...

, cubeb (ka ko la in Tibetan
Tibetan language
The Tibetan languages are a cluster of mutually-unintelligible Tibeto-Burman languages spoken primarily by Tibetan peoples who live across a wide area of eastern Central Asia bordering the Indian subcontinent, including the Tibetan Plateau and the northern Indian subcontinent in Baltistan, Ladakh,...

) is one of bzang po drug, six fine herbs beneficial to specific organs in the body, with cubeb assigned to the spleen
Spleen
The spleen is an organ found in virtually all vertebrate animals with important roles in regard to red blood cells and the immune system. In humans, it is located in the left upper quadrant of the abdomen. It removes old red blood cells and holds a reserve of blood in case of hemorrhagic shock...

.

Arab physicians of the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 were usually versed in alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, and cubeb was used, under the name kababa, when preparing the water of al butm. The Book of One Thousand and One Nights mentions cubeb as a main ingredient in making an aphrodisiac remedy for infertility:
The mixture, called "seed-thickener", is given to Shams-al-Din, a wealthy merchant who had no child, with the instruction that he must eat the paste two hours before having intercourse with his wife. According to the story, the merchant did get the child he desired after following these instructions. Other Arab authors wrote that cubeb rendered the breath fragrant, cured affections of the bladder, and that eating it "enhances the delight of coitus".

In 1654, Nicholas Culpeper
Nicholas Culpeper
Nicholas Culpeper was an English botanist, herbalist, physician, and astrologer. His published books include The English Physician and the Complete Herbal , which contain a rich store of pharmaceutical and herbal knowledge, and Astrological Judgement of Diseases from the Decumbiture of the Sick ,...

 wrote in the London Dispensatorie that cubebs were "hot and dry in the third degree... (snip) they cleanse the head of flegm and strengthen the brain, they heat the stomach and provoke lust". A later edition in 1826 informed the reader that "the Arabs call them Quabebe, and Quabebe Chine: they grow plentifully in Java, they stir up venery. (snip) ...and are very profitable for cold griefs of the womb".

The modern use of cubeb in England as a drug dates from 1815. There were various preparations, including oleum cubebae (oil of cubeb), tincture
Tincture
A tincture is an alcoholic extract or solution of a non-volatile substance . To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60%...

s, fluid extracts, oleo-resin compounds, and vapors, which were used for throat complaints. A small percentage of cubeb was commonly included in lozenge
Lozenge
A lozenge , often referred to as a diamond, is a form of rhombus. The definition of lozenge is not strictly fixed, and it is sometimes used simply as a synonym for rhombus. Most often, though, lozenge refers to a thin rhombus—a rhombus with acute angles of 45°...

s designed to alleviate bronchitis
Bronchitis
Acute bronchitis is an inflammation of the large bronchi in the lungs that is usually caused by viruses or bacteria and may last several days or weeks. Characteristic symptoms include cough, sputum production, and shortness of breath and wheezing related to the obstruction of the inflamed airways...

, in which the antiseptic
Antiseptic
Antiseptics are antimicrobial substances that are applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection, sepsis, or putrefaction...

 and expectoral properties of the drug are useful. The most important therapeutic application of this drug, however, was in treating gonorrhea
Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are burning with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain...

, where its antiseptic action was of much value. William Wyatt
William Wyatt
William Wyatt was a pioneer settler and philanthropist in Australia.-Early life:Wyatt was born in Plymouth, Devon, England, the son of Richard Wyatt. He was apprenticed at 16 years of age to a Plymouth surgeon, Thomas Stewart. Wyatt continued to study medicine and obtained the qualification of...

 Squire wrote in 1908 that cubebs "act specifically on the genito-urinary mucous membrane
Mucous membrane
The mucous membranes are linings of mostly endodermal origin, covered in epithelium, which are involved in absorption and secretion. They line cavities that are exposed to the external environment and internal organs...

. (They are) given in all stages of gonorrhea
Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is a common sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. The usual symptoms in men are burning with urination and penile discharge. Women, on the other hand, are asymptomatic half the time or have vaginal discharge and pelvic pain...

". As compared with copaiba
Copaiba
Copaiba is a stimulant oleoresin obtained from the trunk of several pinnate-leaved South American leguminous trees . The thick, transparent exudate varies in color from light gold to dark brown, depending on the ratio of resin to essential oil...

 in this connection cubeb has the advantages of being less disagreeable to take and somewhat less likely to disturb the digestive apparatus in prolonged administration.

The volatile oil, oleum cubebae, was the form in which cubeb is most commonly used as a drug, the dose being 5 to 20 minim
Minim (unit)
The minim is a unit of volume in both the imperial and US customary systems of measurement. Specifically it is of a fluidram or of a fluid ounce....

s, which may be suspended in mucilage
Mucilage
Mucilage is a thick, gluey substance produced by most plants and some microorganisms. It is a polar glycoprotein and an exopolysaccharide.It occurs in various parts of nearly all classes of plant, usually in relatively small percentages, and is frequently associated with other substances, such as...

 or given after meals in a wafer
Wafer (cooking)
In cooking, a wafer is a crisp, often sweet, very thin, flat, and dry biscuit, often used to decorate ice cream. Wafers can also be made into cookies with cream flavoring sandwiched between them. They frequently have a waffle surface pattern but may also be patterned with insignia of the food's...

. The drug exhibited the typical actions of a volatile oil, but exerted some of these to an exceptional degree. As such, it was liable to cause a cutaneous erythema
Erythema
Erythema is redness of the skin, caused by hyperemia of the capillaries in the lower layers of the skin. It occurs with any skin injury, infection, or inflammation...

 in the course of its excretion by the skin, had a marked diuretic
Diuretic
A diuretic provides a means of forced diuresis which elevates the rate of urination. There are several categories of diuretics. All diuretics increase the excretion of water from bodies, although each class does so in a distinct way.- Medical uses :...

 action, and was a fairly efficient disinfectant of the urinary passages. Its administration caused the appearance in the urine of a salt of cubebic acid which was precipitated by heat or nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

, and was therefore liable to be mistaken for albumin
Human serum albumin
Human serum albumin is the most abundant protein in human blood plasma. It is produced in the liver. Albumin constitutes about half of the blood serum protein...

, when these two most common tests for the occurrence of albuminuria
Albuminuria
Albuminuria is a pathological condition wherein albumin is present in the urine. It is a type of proteinuria.Measurement=The amount of protein being lost in the urine can be quantified by collecting the urine for 24 hours, measuring a sample of the pooled urine, and extrapolating to the volume...

 were applied.

The National Botanic Pharmacopoeia printed in 1921 tells that cubeb was "an excellent remedy for flour albus or whites."

Culinary


In Europe, cubeb was one of the valuable spices during the Middle Ages. It was ground as a seasoning
Seasoning
Seasoning is the process of imparting flavor to, or improving the flavor of, food.- General meaning :Seasonings include herbs and spices, which are themselves frequently referred to as "seasonings"...

 for meat or used in sauces. A medieval recipe includes cubeb in making sauce sarcenes, which consists of almond milk
Almond milk
Almond milk is a milky drink made from ground almonds. Unlike animal milk, almond milk contains no cholesterol or lactose. Regular, unsweetened almond milk can be used as a substitute for animal milk in many recipes, and as it does not contain any animal products, is suitable for vegetarians and...

 and several spices. As an aromatic confectionery, cubeb was often candied and eaten whole. Ocet Kubebowy, a vinegar
Vinegar
Vinegar is a liquid substance consisting mainly of acetic acid and water, the acetic acid being produced through the fermentation of ethanol by acetic acid bacteria. Commercial vinegar is produced either by fast or slow fermentation processes. Slow methods generally are used with traditional...

 infused with cubeb, cumin and garlic, was used for meat marinades in Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 during the 14th century. Cubeb can still be used to enhance the flavor of savory soups.

Cubeb reached Africa by way of the Arabs. In Moroccan cuisine, cubeb is used in savory dishes and in pastries like markouts, little diamonds of semolina
Semolina
Semolina is the coarse, purified wheat middlings of durum wheat used in making pasta, and also used for breakfast cereals and puddings. Semolina is also used to designate coarse middlings from other varieties of wheat, and from other grains such as rice and corn.-Name:The term semolina derives from...

 with honey and dates. It also appears occasionally in the list of ingredients for the famed spice mixture Ras el hanout
Ras el hanout
Ras el hanout or Rass el hanout is a popular Moroccan blend of spices that is used across North Africa. The name means "top of the shop" in Arabic and refers to a mixture of the best spices a seller has to offer...

. In Indonesian cuisine, especially in Indonesian gulés (curries), cubeb is frequently used.

Cigarettes and spirits



Cubeb was frequently used in the form of cigarette
Cigarette
A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

s for asthma
Asthma
Asthma is the common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, and bronchospasm. Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath...

, chronic pharyngitis
Pharyngitis
Pharyngitis is an inflammation of the throat or pharynx. In most cases it is quite painful, and is the most common cause of a sore throat.Like many types of inflammation, pharyngitis can be acute – characterized by a rapid onset and typically a relatively short course – or chronic....

 and hay fever
Hay Fever
Hay Fever is a comic play written by Noël Coward in 1924 and first produced in 1925 with Marie Tempest as the first Judith Bliss. Laura Hope Crews played the role in New York...

. Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American author, best known for his creation of the jungle hero Tarzan and the heroic Mars adventurer John Carter, although he produced works in many genres.-Biography:...

, being fond of smoking cubeb cigarettes, humorously stated that if he had not smoked so many cubebs, there might never have been Tarzan
Tarzan
Tarzan is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungles by the Mangani "great apes"; he later experiences civilization only to largely reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer...

. "Marshall's Prepared Cubeb Cigarettes" was a popular brand, with enough sales to still be made during World War II. Occasionally, marijuana users claimed that smoking marijuana is no more harmful than smoking cubeb.

Cubeb oil was included in the list of ingredients found in cigarettes, published by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch of North Carolina
North Carolina
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

's Department of Health and Human Services.

Bombay Sapphire
Bombay Sapphire
Bombay Sapphire is a brand of gin distributed by Bacardi that was launched in 1987. Its name originates from the gin's popularity in India in of the days of the British Raj and the sapphire in question is the Star of Bombay on display at the Smithsonian Institution...

 gin is flavored with botanicals including cubeb and grains of paradise. The brand was launched in 1987, but its maker claims that it is based on a secret recipe dating to 1761. Pertsovka, a dark brown Russian pepper vodka
Vodka
Vodka , is a distilled beverage. It is composed primarily of water and ethanol with traces of impurities and flavorings. Vodka is made by the distillation of fermented substances such as grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruits....

 with a burning taste, is prepared from infusion of cubeb and capsicum
Capsicum
Capsicum is a genus of flowering plants in the nightshade family, Solanaceae. Its species are native to the Americas where they have been cultivated for thousands of years, but they are now also cultivated worldwide, used as spices, vegetables, and medicines - and have become are a key element in...

 peppers.

Other



Cubeb is sometimes used to adulterate
Adulterant
An adulterant is a chemical substance which should not be contained within other substances for legal or other reasons. Adulterants may be intentionally added to more expensive substances to increase visible quantities and reduce manufacturing costs or for some other deceptive or malicious purpose...

 the essential oil
Essential oil
An essential oil is a concentrated hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aroma compounds from plants. Essential oils are also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils or aetherolea, or simply as the "oil of" the plant from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove...

 of Patchouli
Patchouli
Patchouli is a species from the genus Pogostemon and a bushy herb of the mint family, with erect stems, reaching two or three feet in height and bearing small, pale pink-white flowers...

, which requires caution for Patchouli users. In turn, cubeb is adulterated by Piper baccatum (also known as the "climbing pepper of Java") and Piper caninum.

Cubeb berries are used in love-drawing magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

 spells by practitioners of hoodoo, an African-American form of folk magic.

In 2000, Shiseido
Shiseido
is a major Japanese hair care and cosmetics producer. It is the oldest cosmetics company in the world and the fourth largest cosmetics company in the world.-History:...

, a well-known Japanese cosmetics company, patent
Patent
A patent is a form of intellectual property. It consists of a set of exclusive rights granted by a sovereign state to an inventor or their assignee for a limited period of time in exchange for the public disclosure of an invention....

ed a line of anti-aging products containing formulas made from several herbs, including cubeb.

In 2001, the Switzerland-based company Firmenich
Firmenich
Firmenich SA is a private Swiss company in the perfume and flavor business, it is the largest privately-owned company in the perfume and flavor business, and ranks number two worldwide., Firmenich has created many of the world’s favorite perfumes for over 100 years and produced a number of the most...

 patented cubebol
Cubebol
Cubebol is a natural sesquiterpene alcohol first identified in cubeb oil. It was patented as a cooling agent in 2001 by Firmenich, an international flavor company...

, a compound found in cubeb oil, as a cooling and refreshing agent. The patent describes application of cubebol as a refreshing agent in various products, ranging from chewing gum
Chewing gum
Chewing gum is a type of gum traditionally made of chicle, a natural latex product, or synthetic rubber known as polyisobutylene. For economical and quality reasons, many modern chewing gums use rubber instead of chicle...

 to sorbets, drinks, toothpaste, and
gelatin
Gelatin
Gelatin is a translucent, colorless, brittle , flavorless solid substance, derived from the collagen inside animals' skin and bones. It is commonly used as a gelling agent in food, pharmaceuticals, photography, and cosmetic manufacturing. Substances containing gelatin or functioning in a similar...

-based confectioneries.

Works cited


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