The health benefits of Cubeb tea are numerous and the drink has been used for varied purposes since olden days. This strongly-flavored and aromatic brew is known to possess antiseptic, expectorant, carminative, diuretic and antiflatulent properties. It is also often used as an aphrodisiac and as remedy for certain sexually-transmitted diseases.
Cubeb is a plant in the genus Piper that is grown for its berries and essential oil. Known by its scientific name of Piper cubeba, the plant is typically grown in the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. The plant reaches up to 20 feet in height. It has oval-shaped leaves that are green in color. The leaves are oval shaped and green in color.
Cubeb berries look similar to black pepper but with stalks attached – hence its other nickname ‘tailed pepper’. They grow from the small flowers of the cubeb plant. The pericarp of the cubeb berry is wrinkled and ranges in color from dark gray to black. The seed of the cubeb berry is hard, white and oily. It has a pungent and slightly bitter taste and a strong aroma.
Cubeb berry is typically used as a flavoring in food and tobacco. It is often used as a spice substitute for peppers. Its agreeable aroma makes it a good choice for use as fragrance in soaps and perfumes.
The active constituents of dried cubeb berries are the essential oil consisting of monoterpenes (such as sabinene, α-thujene, and carene) and sesquiterpenes (such as caryophyllene and copaene, α- and β-cubebene), the oxides 1,4- and 1,8-cineole and the alcohol cubebol.
Cubeb tea can be prepared in a variety of ways. The simplest way is to infuse the dried cubeb berries in a cup of hot water for about 3 to 4 minutes. Another way is to add the cubeb herbs to a black tea base, thus giving the brew a spicy twist.
Cubeb berry and cubeb tea should not be used by those who have inflammation of the digestive tract.
The following are the health benefits attributed to this tea:
- May help in the treatment of bronchitis and other related respiratory ailments as it is known to help thin mucus.
- May help fight infections in the urinary tract.
- May help relieve flatulence and bloating of the digestive tract.
- Said to be a remedy against infertility. It is also said to help enhance the pleasures of the sexual intercourse.
- May help fight fever.
- May help fight cough and loss of voice.
- May help combat halitosis and other mouth and oral problems.