Essential Oil Cubeb (15 mL)
Essential Oil Cubeb
Cubeb (Piper cubeba), or tailed pepper is a plant in genus Piper, cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached – the “tails” in “tailed pepper”. The dried pericarp is wrinkled, and its color ranges from grayish-brown to black. The seed is hard, white and oily. The odour of cubebs is described as agreeable and aromatic and the taste as pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent. It has been described as tasting like allspice, or like a cross between allspice and black pepper.
Cubeb came to Europe via India through the trade with the Arabs. The name cubeb comes from Arabic kabāba (كبابة), which is of unknown origin, by way of Old French quibibes. Cubeb is mentioned in alchemical writings by its Arabic name. In his Theatrum Botanicum, John Parkinson tells that the king of Portugal prohibited the sale of cubeb to promote black pepper (Piper nigrum) around 1640. It experienced a brief resurgence in 19th-century Europe for medicinal uses, but has practically vanished from the European market since. It continues to be used as a flavouring agent for gins and cigarettes in the West, and as a seasoning for food in Indonesia.
Cubeba essential oil is a clear to pale yellow oil displaying a fresh, warm spicy-peppery, camphoraceous bouquet with dry woody undertone. In natural perfumes used in spice accords, incense bouquets.
HISTORY OF USE
In India, the ancient texts of Ayurveda (Sanskrit आयुर्वेद) include cubeb in various remedies. Charaka and Sushruta prescribe a cubeb paste as a mouthwash, and the use of dried cubebs internally for oral and dental diseases, loss of voice, halitosis, fevers, and cough. Unani physicians use a paste of the cubeb berries externally on male and female genitals to intensify sexual pleasure during coitus. Due to this attributed property, cubeb was called “Habb-ul-Uruus”.
In traditional Chinese medicine cubeb is used for its alleged warming property. In Tibetan medicine, cubeb (ka ko la in Tibetan) is one of bzang po drug, six fine herbs beneficial to specific organs in the body, with cubeb assigned to the spleen.
In Europe, cubeb was one of the valuable spices during the Middle Ages. It was ground as a seasoning for meat or used in sauces. A medieval recipe includes cubeb in making sauce sarcenes, which consists of almond milk and several spices. As an aromatic confectionery, cubeb was often candied and eaten whole. Ocet Kubebowy, a vinegar infused with cubeb, cumin and garlic, was used for meat marinades in Poland during the 14th century. Cubeb can still be used to enhance the flavour of savoury soups.
Cubeb was frequently used in the form of cigarettes for asthma, chronic pharyngitis and hay fever. Edgar Rice Burroughs, being fond of smoking cubeb cigarettes, humorously stated that if he had not smoked so many cubebs, there might never have been Tarzan. “Marshall’s Prepared Cubeb Cigarettes” was a popular brand, with enough sales to still be made during World War II. Occasionally, marijuana users claimed that smoking marijuana is no more harmful than smoking cubeb. In the musical The Music Man, set in rural Iowa in 1912, the character Harold Hill alarms parents by telling this that their sons are trying out cubeb cigarettes at the notorious pool hall in the song “Trouble”.
In 2000 cubeb oil was included in the list of ingredients found in cigarettes, published by the Tobacco Prevention and Control Branch of North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services.
Bombay Sapphire gin is flavoured with botanicals including cubeb and grains of paradise. The brand was launched in 1987, but its maker claims that it is based on a secret recipe dating to 1761. Pertsovka, a dark brown Russian pepper vodka with a burning taste, is prepared from infusion of cubeb and capsicum peppers.
Cubeb was recommended by Charaka and Sushruta, the legendary Ayurvedic philosophers for treating halitosis, cough, loss of voice, fever, gonorrhea and certain other oral problems. Cubeb is known in Sanskrit as kankol and in Hindi as kabab chini and is a part of the Ayurvedic family Pippali kul. It is also used in Ayurvedic formulations for treating impotence, tastelessness, asthma, inflammation, piles, indigestion and menstrual problems.
It stimulates the parathyroid, and so it would be an excellent addition to menopausal formulas, helping with problems of osteoporosis.
1. Natural aid to fertility problems: Cubeb essential oil has natural aphrodisiac properties for which it was used by ancient Arabians and in the Unani medicinal system in the treatment of fertility problems like infertility, loss of sexual interest, impotence, erectile dysfunction, all stages of gonorrhea and other STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).
2. Alleviates dental and oral infections: Cubeb gets a special mention in both the highly-held Ayurvedic encyclopedias, the Charaka Samhita and the Sushruta Samhita as an oral cleanser and as an aid for treating dental problems.
3. Relieves congestion and other respiratory illnesses: like nasal congestion, chest congestion, cold and other pulmonary infections including bronchitis.
4. Discards toxic substances in the body: Cubeb essential oil has diuretic properties that help in discharging the toxic substances in the body, the remains of improper digestion which slowly turns toxic. These toxic remains along with salt deposits, uric acid, cholesterol and fat can lead to numerous medical conditions including kidney problems and heart diseases.
5. Assists in proper digestion and bowel movements: Just like Pepper, Cubeb also has hot, spicy and pungent flavour. Massage your abdomen with 2 drops of Cubeb oil mixed with 2 ml of coconut oil for effective relief from digestive disorders.
Caution: NEVER USE INTERNALLY without consulting professional medical help
- Not recommended for pregnant women and infants.
Individuals with serious and chronic health issues should consult an expert prior to using oils.
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