Piper cubeba L f

[From Greek, peperi = pepper and from Arabic, kababah = cubeb]

Physical description: It is a climbing shrub which grows to a length of 1 m in tropical Asia. The plant is native to Indonesia and Malaysia. The stems are glabrous, articulate and succulent.

Common names: Java pepper, cubebs, or tailed pepper; lada berekur (Malay); tieu that (Vietnamese); thippli (Tamil); poivre de Java (French).

Leaves: simple and alternate. The petiole is 1.5cm-1.7cm long, velvety, and channeled. The blade is broadly elliptic, velvety underneath, very thin, and 11cm x 6.4 cm-8.5 cm x 4.8 cm. The margin is wavy, the apex of the blade is acuminate, and the base is asymmetrical and cordate. The blade shows 5-7 pairs of secondary nerves which are raised on both surfaces. The inflorescences are 4cm x 3 mm spikes (Fig. 25).

History: The dried unripe fruit forms the condiment cubebs. Cubebs (British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1934) consists of the dried unripe fully-grown fruit of Piper cubeba L. f. It was formerly employed as a urinary antiseptic (liquid extract; 1 in 1; dose 2mL-4mL). Lozenges of cubebs have been used to treat bronchitis. Cubeb

Fig. 25. Piper cubeba L. f. From: KLU Herbarium 33497. Flora of Malaya. Date: 1979. Geographical localization: Nursery Garden, Dept of Botany, U.M. Obtained from AGR. RES. Center Semongok, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. Field collector & botanical identification: KG Peare.

Oil (British Pharmaceutical Codex, 1949) is the oil obtained by the distillation of cubebs. It has been used as an emulsion or in capsules as a urinary antiseptic at doses of 0.3 mL to 1.2 mL, and to make cosmetics. A British Standard Specification for cubeb oil (B.S. 2999/5: 1965) has been published by the British Standards Institution.

Uses: The fruits of Piper cubeba L. have been used in Europe as a spice as early as the 11th century. It has the repute of being antiseptic. In China, the fruits of Piper cubeba L. are eaten to promote digestion, and to stop vomiting. In Indonesia, Piper cubeba L. is used to treat venereal diseases and dysentery. In Taiwan, Piper cubeba L. is used to treat diabetes, gonorrhea, and to promote appetite. In Malaysia, Piper cubeba L. is used during confinement.

Pharmaceutical interest: The fruit of Piper cubeba L. contains terpenes, sesquiterpenes and some lignans including the dibenzylbutyrolactone lignan (-)-cubebin. The anti-viral, antifungal, antibacterial and cytotoxic potential of (-)-cubebin awaits further experimentation. Note that cubebin, isolated from the crude hexane extract of the leaves of Zanthoxyllum naranjillo (Family Rutaceae), protects rats against edema induced by carrageenan and prostaglandin PGE2 and protects mice against the pain caused by both acetic acid and PGI2 in mice (Bastos JK etal., 2001). In addition (-)-cubebin derivatives abrogate the survival of amastigote forms of Trypanosoma cruzi (de SouzaVA et al., 2005).

Continue reading here: Peperomia pellucida L HBK

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