Piper Cubeba, Linne filius, Cubeba Cubeba, (Linne' filius) Lyons. The dried, nearly full-grown, unripe fruit, with not more than 5 p.c. shriveled fruits or stems nor 2 p.c. foreign organic matter, yielding not less than 10 p.c. volatile ether-soluble extractive.

Habitat. Java, Sumatra, Borneo; cultivated in two former islands, and in W. Indies, Ceylon.

Syn. Cubeb, Cubeba, Tailed Cubeba, Cubeb-, Java-, or Tailed-Pepper; Br. Cubebae Fructus (Baccae), Piper Caudatum; Fr. Cubebe, Poivre a Queue; Ger. Cubebae, Kubeben.

Pi'per. L. See etymology, above, of Piperaceae.

Cu-be'ba. L. fr. Gr...., of Actuarius; name used since the 10th century; Pers. Kababa, their native name of the plant.

Plant

Climbing woody perennial; stem jointed, flexuous, 6 M. (20 degrees) high; leaves 15 Cm. (6') long, lanceolate, leathery, shining, nerved, petiolate; flowers dioecious, spikes, 2.5-5 Cm. (1-2') long.

Fruit

upper portion globular, 3-6 Mm. (1/5-1/4') broad, abruptly contracted into a slender, stem-like portion (stipe, thecaphore -- not a true pedicel, but stigma remnant), 5-7 Mm. (1/5-1/4') long; pericarp brown, dark brown, rarely gray, coarsely reticulate, .3 Mm. (1/75') thick; 1-locular, 1-seeded, the seed attached at base of pericarp, usually not completely filling loculus; odor aromatic, characteristic; taste strongly aromatic, pungent.

Powder

brown -- numerous starch grains, .002-.012 Mm. (1/12500-1/2000/) broad, and stone cells with yellowish porous walls; few wood bundles with spiral tracheae and fibers; with sulphuric acid against white background -- crimson-red. Solvents: ether; alcohol. Dose, gr. 15-60 (1-4 Gm.)

Adulterations

Fruit

Rachis or stalks (inodorous, increasing fibro-vascular tissue and ash), partially grown fruit, siftings (darker and without starch masses), black pepper and other piperaceous fruits (P. cani'num, P.cras'sipes, P. Lo'wong, P. mollis'simum, P. ribes-oi'des, , P. clusii, Sit'sea citra'ta, etc.), all distinguished by characteristic shape, odor, and taste. Rhamnus cathartica fruit (pedicellate and contains 4 seed), allspice (much larger, 2-seeded, no pedicel). Juniperus communis fruit (much larger, different taste);

Powder

Deteriorates unless kept in tight containers, hence best to powder only when needed, sometimes mixed with powdered allspice, flour, or starch.

Commercial

Plant grows extensively in coffee plantations or on grounds reserved for the purpose, being supported usually on shade trees; fruit is gathered when full-grown, but before ripe -- still of a green color -- dried carefully in the sun, and exported from Java to Singapore, whence it enters market.

Constituents

Volatile oil 5-15 p.c., Resin 2.5-3.5 p.c., Cubebin .4-3 p.c., Cubebic acid 1-3.5 p.c., fixed oil 1 p.c., gum 8 p.c., starch, ash 5-8 p.c. (cubeb stalks 10 p.c.).

Oleum Cubebae. Oil of Cubeb. -- This volatile oil, distilled with water or steam from the unripe fruit, is a colorless, pale green, yellowish-green liquid, characteristic odor and taste of cubeb, sp. gr. 0.915, levorotatory, soluble in equal volume of alcohol, neutral reaction; contains a little dipentene, CH, but mostly sesquiterpene, cadinene, CH.  If old, or distilled from old fruit, has additionally an inodorous stearoptene, cubeb camphor, CHHO, which soon deposits.  Dose, mv-20 (.3-1.3 cc.).

Resin. -- Extracted by ether, which also takes up volatile oil, fixed oil, cubebin, chlorophyll, and wax; evaporate off volatile oil, when cold cubebin and wax deposit; decant from these, separate fat and have left the resin, which is amorphous, soluble in alkalies, alcohol not precipitated by alcoholic solution of lead acetate.

Cubebin, CHO. -- This constitutes the precipitate from oleoresin upon standing; it is white, crystalline, inodorous, inert; alcoholic solution bitter.

Cubebic Acid, CHO. -- Brownish, resin-like mass, soluble in alkalies, alcohol, ether, chloroform, precipitated by lead acetate; diuretic.  Dose, gr. 5-10 (.3-.6 Gm.).  Last three are red with sulphuric acid.

Preparations

1. Fluidextractum Cubebae, N.F. (alcohol), dose, mxv-60 (1-4 cc.).  2. Oleoresina Cubebae, N.F. (alcohol); on standing deposits waxy crystalline precipitate -- must use only liquid portion, dose, mv-30 (.3-2 cc.).  3. Tinctura Cubebae, N.F., 20 p.c. (alcohol), dose, 3ss-2 (2-8 cc.).  4. Fluidextractum Buchu Compositum, N.F., 12.5 p.c.  5. Pilulae Antiperiodicae, N.F., 1/8 gr.  6. Tinctura Antiperiodica, N.F., 1/5 p.c.

Unoff. Preps.: Extract, gr. 2-10 (.13-.6 Gm.).  Infusion, 5 p.c., 3j-2 (30-60 cc.).  Troches (each 1/3 gr. oleoresin).

Properties

Diuretic (resin + cubebic acid), stimulant, carminative, expectorant, disinfectant, local irritant (volatile oil), may cause headache, giddiness, nausea, purging, paralysis; it is eliminated by bronchial mucous membrane, skin, and kidneys, all being stimulated and the increased secretions disinfected; imparts to urine a peculiar odor.

Uses

Gonorrhea, urethritis, vesical irritability, cystitis, abscess of prostate gland, piles, chronic bronchitis, catarrh.  Arabians used it similarly to black pepper, and were the first to introduce it into Europe.

1. Piper Lo'wong (Cubeba Lowong) and P. ribesoi'des (C. Wallich'ii), fruit of both much like the official.

2. P. cani'num (C. canina), fruit smaller than official, contracted below into a stalk half the length of the globular portion, and P. cras'sipes (C. crassipes), fruit larger than the official.

3. False Cubeb. -- Origin unknown, fruit wrinkled, brownish-gray, size of the official, stalk 5 Mm. (1/5') long, odor mace-like.