The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!


Scientific Names


  • Piper cubeba L.
  • Piperaceae
  • Pepper family

Common Names

  • Cubeb berries
  • Cubebs
  • Java pepper
  • Tailed cubebs
  • Tailed pepper

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Parts Usually Used

Unripe berries (dried)
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Description of Plant(s) and Culture

Cubeb is a perennial vine or shrub; the round branches of the creeping or climbing stem are ash-gray and take root at the joints. The leaves are smooth, oblong-ovate, and pointed. The flowers grow in smooth, scaly spikes, developing into a cluster of berries. Cubebs are dried, unripe berries, which look like black pepper.
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Where Found

Grows in the forests of Penang, Java, Sumatra, New Guinea, and he neighboring islands. Usually grows extensively in plantations under the shade of coffee trees.
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Medicinal Properties

Antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic, aromatic, purgative, antisyphilitic
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Biochemical Information

10 to 185 volatile oil, amorphous cubebic acid, colorless crystaline cubebin and resins
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Legends, Myths and Stories

Cubebs were first introduced into Europe by Arabians as pepper with tails; so called because of the short stem attached to the fruit. The King of Portugal forbade imports of this new kind of pepper for fear it should spoil the sail of other pepper.

The odor of cubeb is agreeably aromatic. The taste warm, bitterish, and camphorous, leaving in the mouth a peculiar sensation of coolness like that produced by the oil of peppermint. Cubeb is used mainly as an ingredient in French medicated gin bitters. Cubeb berries add flavor and certain qualitites to tobacco or botanical mixtures. Once widely offered in cigarettes as a medicinal smoke.
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Helps indigestion, catarrh, bronchitis, coughs, and lung problems. Cubeb cigarettes are said to relieve hay fever, asthma, and pharyngitis. Cubeb oil is useful for urinary ailments and acts as an antiseptic against gonorrhea, syphilis, chronic bladder troubles, burning urine, leukorrhea, colic. Cubeb gives tone to stomach and bowels, increases the flow of urine, relieves join pains, gleet (penile discharge), abscesses of the prostate gland, and hemorrhoids. Has been used largely for seasoning soups. The whole berries are chewed for offensive breath.
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Formulas or Dosages

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. cubebs in 1 cup water. Take hot or cold, a mouthful 3 times a day or 1/2 cup when going to bed.

Fluid extract: take 1/4 to 1 tsp. in a glass of water.

Oil: a dose is 5-15 drops.

Powder: a dose is 1/2 to 2 tsp.
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Buy It! American Folk Medicine, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1973

Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

Buy It! The Herbalist Almanac, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, copyright 1988, fifth printing, 1994

Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

Buy It! Old Ways Rediscovered, by Clarence Meyer, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, published from 1954, print 1988

Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

Buy It! The Yoga of Herbs: An Ayurvedic Guide to Herbal Medicine, by Dr. David Frawley & Dr. Vasant Lad, Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, Second edition, 1988.

Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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