Climbing evergreen perennial growing to 20 ft (6 m). Has oval to oblong leaves, small flowers forming spikes, and round brown fruit.
Habitat & Cultivation
Native to Indonesia, cubeb is cultivated in much of tropical Asia, especially in the shade of coffee bushes (Coffea arabica). The fruit is gathered when immature.
Cubeb contains a volatile oil (up to 20%), a bitter principle (cubebin), an alkaloid (piperidine), resin, and fixed oil.
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Like other members of the pepper family, cubeb has a significant anti-flatulent and antiseptic action. The fruit is used medicinally as a means to counter infections of the urinary tract, and has been taken in the past as a treatment for gonorrhea. In addition, the fruit is helpful in relieving digestive problems such as flatulence and bloating. Cubeb is occasionally employed as an expectorant in the treatment of chronic bronchitis.
Cubeb should not be taken by people suffering from kidney disease or inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract.