This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
The unripe fruit of Piper Cubeba Linne Alius (nat. ord. Piperaceae).
Globular, about 4 or 5 mm. in diameter, contracted at the base into a rounded stipe about 6 or 8 mm. long, reticulately wrinkled, blackish-gray, internally whitish and hollow; odor strong, spicy; taste aromatic and pungent. Resembling Cubeb. - Pepper and Pimenta; neither has a stalk.
The chief constituents are - (1) The volatile oil 5 to 15 per cent. (see below). (2) The Oleoresin, 6 per cent. (see below), which contains Cubebin, a white, crystalline, odorless substance, and Cubebic Acid. (5) A little Piperine.
Dose, 30 to 60 gr.; 2. to 4. gm.
2. Oleoresina Cubebae. - Oleoresin of Cubeb.
By percolation with Ether; distil off, and evaporate the Ether.
Oleoresin of Cubeb is used to make Trochisci Cubebae. Dose, 5 to 30 m.; .30 to 2.00 c.c.
3. Tinctura Cubebae. - Tincture of Cubeb. Cubeb, 200. By maceration and percolation with Alcohol to 1000.
Dose, 1/2 to 3 fl. dr.; 2. to 12. c.c.
4. Trochisci Cubebae. - Troches of Cubeb. Oleoresin of Cubeb, 4; Oil of Sassafras, 1; Extract of Glycyrrhiza, 25; Acacia, 12 gm.; Syrup of Tolu, sufficient quantity to make 100 troches. Each troche contains 2/3 m.; .04 c.c., of the Oleoresin.
Dose, 1 to 6 troches.
A volatile oil distilled from Cubeb.
A colorless, pale greenish, or yellowish liquid, having the characteristic odor of Cubeb, and a warm, camphoraceous, aromatic taste. Sp. gr., about 0.920.
Soluble in an equal volume of Alcohol.
Dose, 5 to 20 m.; .30 to 1.20 c.c. suspended in Mucilage.
Like other substances containing a volatile oil, cubeb is rubefacient when rubbed into the skin.
Small doses are stomachic and carminative, and improve digestion, but moderate doses are very liable to cause dyspepsia. Cubeb enters the blood, and, like many volatile oils, slightly stimulates the heart, and also excites the organs through which it is excreted. Occasionally, therefore, it causes an erythematous eruption on the skin; it increases and disinfects the bronchial secretion, and is consequently an expectorant; but its main action is on the genito-urinary passages, the mucous membrane of which is powerfully stimulated. and the secretions of which are disinfected. The kidneys are also irritated, hence cubeb is a diuretic. It appears in the urine in a form (probably as a salt of cubebic acid) which may be precipitated by nitric acid.
It is sometimes employed as troches, or as a powder, or as the smoke of cubeb cigarettes, to stimulate the mucous membrane in cases of slight bronchitis, chronic sore throat, or follicular pharyngitis. Chronic nasal catarrh and hay-fever have been treated by insufflations of the powder. The symptom asthma is sometimes relieved by the cigarettes. Many popular bronchial troches contain cubeb; in them it exercises its expectorant action. Cubeb is rarely used as a stomachic or cardiac stimulant, because it is so liable to upset digestion; but as it is less likely to do so than copaiba, is a little pleasanter to take, and is almost as powerful a stimulant to the genito-urinary mucous membrane; it is largely used in gleet, gonorrhoea, and chronic cystitis.