Properties of cubeb pepper
Cubeb pepper Piper cubeba L. is a perennial plant of the Piperaceae family also called tail pepper, embèbe, Kissi pepper, or Indonesian pepper. Originally, this plant grows mainly on the islands of Sumatra and Java, but also in Sri Lanka; it is also cultivated in West Africa. Since ancient times, cubeb pepper has been used in China for its respiratory and aphrodisiac properties before being imported by Arabs to Europe in the Middle Ages. Its trade disappeared in the 17th century when the King of Portugal banned it in favour of black pepper. Cubeb pepper is commonly used in the Maghreb, especially in the mixture of Ras El Hanout. But unlike black pepper, it is slightly spicy, slightly bitter and strongly fragrant, with a hint of cloves. It is very present in Asian cuisine where it spices up vegetable and fish dishes.
In the wild, the endemic cubeb pepper of Indonesia needs the support of a tree to grow and on which to wind its lianas, which can climb up to ten meters in height. This explains the difficulty of picking its pepper bunches. Cubeb berry contains cubebol, a natural alcohol with a fresh taste.
Coated with aromas, small peppercorns with a tail are renowned for their invigorating properties which help fight fatigue and improve blood circulation. Antipyretic, healing and diuretic, cubeb pepper is also cough suppressant and antiseptic; it promotes digestion thanks to its carminative properties, acts on menopausal disorders, and is used as a natural pain reliever.