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Piper cubeba Cubeb pepper Piperaceae
Cubeba pepper (Javanese pepper, Piper cubeba)
Plant family: Piperaceae (pepper family).
Origin: Indonesia. Most cubeb pepper is today harvested in Java and other Indonesian islands, but also from some African countries (Sierra Leone, Congo), cubeb pepper is exported.
Used plant part: Fruit. The stalked berries are a little bit larger than pepper corns, having a furrowed surface. Most berries are hollow. They are sold whole and should be crushed or ground before usage.
Sensoric quality
Pungent and bitter with a strong terpene aroma. The aroma is variously described dry-woody, warm-camphoraceous and spicey-peppery.
Cubeb peppercorns Use:
In Europe, the bitter and hot cubebs have been a popular substitute for black pepper in the 16th and 17th century, but have fallen much in disfavour since then. Their fate resembles negro pepper, which is a spice of similar flavour and today largely unavailable on the European market. The main reason for both spices' sudden disappearance is probably their pronounced bitterness, which made them inferior to black pepper as soon as the latter got imported at reasonable price. Today, cubebs are mostly used in some North African states, most notably in Tunisia and Morocco.

Country of Origin: Indonesia
Extraction Method: Steam distilled
Characteristics and Constituents of Piper Longum :
The fruits contain 1% volatile oil, resin, alkaloids piperine and piperlonguminine, a waxy alkaloid N-isobutyldeca-trans-2-trans-4-dienamide and a terpenoid substance. Roots contain piperine, piperiongumine or piplartine. Dihydrostigmasterol has been isolated.
Actions and Uses :
Antiallergic activity of the fruit has been studied. It effectively reduced passive cutaneous anaphylaxis in rats and protected guinea pigs against antigen-induced bronchospasm; a 30% protection of mast cells was observed in an in-vitro study. Both alcoholic extract and piplartine extracted from the stems showed significant inhibition of ciliary movements of oesophagus of frog. Neogi et al studied the pharmacology of piperine. Piperine decreased the rate and amplitude of respiration and showed nonspecific blockade of acetylcholine, histamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine induced spasm on isolated guinea pig and rabbit intestine. The oil of fruit has been found to possess significant paralytic action on the nerve-muscle pre- paration of A. lumbricoides. The hepatoprotective effect has been shown in carbon tetrachloride-induced liver damage in rats. A common use of the fruit is in the prevention of recurrent attacks of bronchial asthma. Another important indication is in chronic malaria. In a study of 240 children with a long term use of fruit 58.3% had decreased severity of attacks. In another study 20 children were studied for one year with the same treatment. Eleven had no recurrence. All patients had strongly positive skin test which became negative in 6 and decreased significantly in 12 after five weeks of treatment. Along with Piper nigrum and C. officinale it has been useful in viral hepatitis.
Piper longum is in widespread use for many centuries.