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No. 5061 - Cubeb Long Tailed Pepper

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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 flavor of savory soups.

Cubeb reached Africa by way of the Arabs. In Moroccan cuisine, cubeb is used in savory dishes and in pastries like markouts, little diamonds of semolina with honey and dates. It also appears occasionally in the list of ingredients for the famed spice mixture Ras el hanout. In Indonesian cuisine, especially in Indonesian gulés (curries), cubeb is frequently used.


Pepper Info

All about Pepper by: Chandra Shekhar Gupta -


A depiction of Calicut, published in 1572 during Portugal's control of the pepper trade

Black Pepper, christened as “King of Spices” and “Black gold” is the most important and the most widely used spice in the world, occupying a position that is supreme and unique. Black pepper essential oil is stimulating, warming, comforting and cheerful. The quality of pepper is contributed to by two components. Piperine that contributes the pungency and volatile oil that is responsible for the aroma and flavor.


Ayurvedic–Maricha (Charaka, Sushruta), Vellaja, Uushana, Suvrrita, Krishna

UnaniFilfil siyaah, Filfil safed


English–Black Pepper

Parts Used-Fruit

Common method of extraction-Steam distillation of the dried, unripe fruit

Aroma-Pleasant, fresh, spicy and peppery, warm, woody


Blends well with-Sandalwood, rosemary, citrus, lavender, ginger, clove, lemon, coriander, geranium



Black pepper is a native plant of the Malabar, a region on the Western Coast of South India and originated in the tropical evergreen forests of the Western Ghats of India. The Malabar Coast of India was the center of the pepper trade from time immemorial. The plant is cultivated in the hot and moist parts of India, Sri Lanka and other tropical countries like Malaysia, China and Madagascar. However, Vietnam is the world’s largest producer and exporter of pepper.




 Pepper belongs to family Piperaceae and genus Piper. Apart from black pepper (P. nigrum), the genus also includes economically important species like

 P. longum–long pepper
P. betle–betel leaf

P. chaba–Java long pepper
P. cubeba–Cubeb, Tailed pepper


Piper nigrum is a perennial climber, climbing by means of roots which adhere to the support tree. The old stem becomes thick and produces numerous lateral branches. Runner shoots arise from the base of the vine. Leaves are thick, coriaceous, glabrous shape but much variable—commonly ovate, elliptic or elliptic lanceolate.  The size varies from small to large. The base is round, acute or cordate, the tip acuminate, and tge upper surface is dark green to light green, with lower surface being dull green. The pendent spikes form inflorescence and are borne opposite the leaves on the plagiotropic branches. They are 13-15 cm long, bearing 50-150 minute flowers borne in the axils of ovate fleshy bracts. The flowers may be unisexual, with monoecious or dioecious forms, or may be hermaphrodite.


Most of the pepper oil in commerce is produced in Western Europe and North America from imported black pepper. The most important types of pepper for processing into essential oil are the Indonesian (Lampong) and Indian (Malabar). The pepper is crushed to a coarse powder and on steam distillation in which ammonia is evolved (in common with, for example, ginger, pimento and cubebs) it yields a colorless to a pale green essential oil with a mild, non-pungent flavor. Pepper oil is used in perfumery and flavorings. Black pepper oil is obtained upon steam distillation of the spice as an almost water-white or pale greenish-grey, mobile liquid, which becomes viscous on aging.


Fruits yielded piperine, piperetine and piperidine, amides-peperyline, piperoleins A and B and N-iso-butyl-cicosa-trans-2-trans-4-dienamide. The major constituent piperine (2-5%) showed CNS-depressant, antipyretic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and hepato-protective properties.

Dried seeds are used in prescriptions, for cough, rhinitis, consumption, anemia, fainting.

Black pepper oil is used as blended massage oil, or diluted in a bath to assist with circulation, bruises, rheumatoid arthritis and muscular aches and pains.

Black pepper is also used as a constituent in a blended cream which is commonly used to provide relief in muscular pain.

In the winters, black pepper essential oil becomes a great substitute used as warmth-generating aromatherapy constituents.

Black pepper essential oil is used as an aromatherapy massage oil, to increase the blood circulation.

The essential oil can make a room feel warmer and cozier when used in an aromatherapy diffuser

Piper cubeba, from Köhler's Medicinal Plants (1887)

In the 4th century BC, Theophrastus mentioned komakon, including it with cinnamon and cassia as an ingredient in aromatic confections. Guillaume Budé and Claudius Salmasius have identified komakon with cubeb, probably due to the resemblance which the word bears to the Javanese name of cubeb, kumukus. This is seen as a curious evidence of Greek trade with Java in a time earlier than that of Theophrastus. It is unlikely Greeks acquired them from somewhere else, since Javanese growers protected their monopoly of the trade by sterilizing the berries by scalding, ensuring that the vines were unable to be cultivated elsewhere.

In the Tang Dynasty, cubeb was brought to China from Srivijaya. In India the spice came to be called kabab chini, that is, "Chinese cubeb", possibly because the Chinese had a hand in its trade, but more likely because it was an important item in the trade with China. In China this pepper was called both vilenga, and vidanga, the cognate Sanskrit word. Li Hsun thought it grew on the same tree as black pepper. Tang physicians administered it to restore appetite, cure "demon vapors", darken the hair, and perfume the body. However, there is no evidence showing that cubeb was used as a condiment in China.

The Book of One Thousand and One Nights, compiled in the 9th century, mentions cubeb as a remedy for infertility, showing it was already used by Arabs for medicinal purposes. Cubeb was introduced to Arabic cuisine around the 10th century. The Travels of Marco Polo, written in late 13th century, describes Java as a producer of cubeb, along with other valuable spices. In the 14th century, cubeb was imported into Europe from the Grain Coast, under the name of pepper, by merchants of Rouen and Lippe. A 14th-century morality tale exemplifying gluttony by the Franciscan writer Francesc Eiximenis describes the eating habits of a worldly cleric who consumes a bizarre concoction of egg yolks with cinnamon and cubeb after his baths, probably as an aphrodisiac.

Cubeb was thought by the people of Europe to be repulsive to demons, just as it was by the people of China. Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, a Catholic priest who wrote about methods of exorcism in the late 17th century, includes cubeb as an ingredient in an incense to ward off incubus. Even today, his formula for the incense is quoted by neo-pagan authors, some of whom also claim that cubeb can be used in love sachets and spells.

More Information
Latin Name Piper Cubeba
Biological Family Piperaceae
SKU 5061
Shelf Life 10 Years
Packed United States of America
Common Uses

Dried seeds are used in prescriptions, for cough, rhinitis, consumption, anemia

All Natural Yes
Gluten Free Yes
Kosher Yes
Non-GMO Yes
Organic No
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