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Cubibs Recorded as Cubebs

Recorded in the Pharmacopeia and the Compendium as Cubebs, it consists of the dried unripe fruit of the plant Cubeba officinalis, which is cultivated in Java. (

Cubeb is listed in the Compendium as a Diuretic that is also slightly purgative. It can be used in the treatment of gonorrhoea, gleets, fluor albus, urinary irritations, and gravel.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Cubebs Cubeba

“The dried unripe fruit of Cubeba officinalis… Cultivated in Java.”[1]


“The size of black pepper, globular, wrinkled, blackish, supported on a stalk of rather more than its own length; has a warm camphoraceous taste and characteristic odour.” Given in dose of 30-120 grains, in powder. Used in the preparations of:[2]

  • Oleum Cubebae
  • Tinctura Cubebae

Preparations of Cubebs

Oil of Cubebs / Oleum Cubebae[3]

  • “The oil distilled in Britain from cubebs… Colourless or pale greenish-yellow, having the peculiar odour and taste of cubebs.”
  • dose: 5-20 minims

Tincture of Cubebs / Tinctura Cubebae[4]

  • cubebs, in power (2 ½ oz), rectified spirit (1 pint)
  • dose: ½ - 2 fl drachms

A Compendium of Domestic Medicine, 1865 Cubebs

All page numbers are recorded as (PDF #/SOURCE #)

Classified as a Diuretic (Remedies Which Cause an Increased Secretion of Urine) by Savory[5]

Also known as Java Pepper, Cubebs are “diuretic and slightly purgative.” They have been used to treat gonorrhoea and gleets by Oriental practitioners, and used to season food in Arabic cuisine. [6]

Remedies Containing or to be used with Cubebs

  • Balsam, Copaiva: combined with cubebs to treat gleets, and fluor albus.[7]
  • Cubeb, or Java Pepper: can be administered either in the form of a volatile oil or powder, the former being preferred by Savory as due to “not losing its properties by keeping.”[8]
  • Tincture of Buchu Leaves: tincture of cubebs included in Buchu Mixture, used to treat “urinary irritation, gravel, spasmodic stricture, gleet, fluor albus &c.”[9]
  • Tincture of Cubebs: used in a mixture to treat “diseases of the bladder and of the urinary passage, and in gonorrhoea and gleet.”[10]

Prescriptions Containing Cubebs


  • Buchu Mixture for Chronic Inflammation of the Bladder: tincture of cubebs[11]


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 94
  2. GMCGB, 94
  3. GMCGB, 222-23
  4. GMCGB, 329-30
  5. Savory, John. A Compendium of Domestic Medicine (London: John Churchill and Sons, 1865), 392.
  6. Savory, 52
  7. Savory, 25
  8. Savory, 52
  9. Savory, 155
  10. Savory, 158
  11. Savory, 356

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