This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Cubebae Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. Cubebae vulgares C. B. Cubebs: dried berries, of an afh brown colour, generally wrinkled, greatly re-sembling pepper, but furnished each with a slender stalk, whence they are called by some piper caudatum. They are the fruit of an East Indian tree, of which we have no particular account, said to resemble the apple tree, and to produce its berries in clutters.
Cubebs are a warm spice; of a pleasant smell, and a moderately pungent taste. Their heat and pungency are weaker than thole of pepper, but of the same kind; and reside, like those of that spice, not in the volatile, but in the more fixt matter. In distillation with water, they yield a small quantity of a ponderous essential oil, of an agreeable and moderately strong smell, but in taste mild: the remaining decoction, in-fpiffated to the consistence of an extract, retains a considerable share of the warmth and pungency of the cubebs. An extract made with rectisied spirit possesses the whole of their flavour in perfection, for even the odorous principle does not exhale or distill with this men-struum: the taste of this extract is very hot and pungent, though not near so much so as that of the spirituous extract of pepper.
(a) Geoffroy, Tract. de mat. med. torn. i. p. 95. (b) Pott, Chymiscbe unterfuchungen von der lithogeognofia, p.45.