Cubeb Pepper (cures sadness and depression)

  • Cubeb pepper (Piper cubeba) berries are mostly grown in Java. They look similar to black pepper, but have stalks, or “tails” attached
  • Cubeb pepper makes the mind more clear, concentrated, cheerful and perceptive, and improves the mood
  • Cubeb berries are used in folk medicine for memory problems, sadness and depression
  • Chewing the whole grains reduces anxiety and eliminates headaches (in German heilkunde, Cubeb pepper is known as “dizzy seeds”)
  • Hildegard von Bingen recommends chewing 2 pieces of cubeb pepper several times a day to enhance mental strength
  • Paracelsus describes Cubeb pepper as a “warming spice” and attributes to it life-prolonging effects
  • Cubeb is an expectorant with mucus-dissolving properties
  • It is also a cough-suppressant for bronchitis, and generally to address respiratory symptoms
  • It is an antiseptic for gonorrhea treatment – the grains are given in all stages of gonorrhea
  • Cubeb berries improve fertility, and aid to treat problems related to the urinary tract and the prostate gland
  • It is said to darken the hair, and perfume the body
  • Cubeb berries quickly harmonize the bladder and the kidneys
  • They are also used to treat gleet (discharges from wounds)
  • They are also employed to treat fever, oral and dental conditions, bad breath and infections
  • Cubeb is an aphrodisiac, but at the same time helps with semen retention
  • Hildegard von Bingen says: “When someone eats cubeb, the unseemly desire that is in him is tempered. The inordinate warmth of the cubeb extinguishes the unseemly glut of desire in which stinking and muddy liquids are hidden. Cubeb makes the spirit of man and his mind brightly clear”
  • The appearance of cubeb peppers supports a strong relationship with the mind, based on the Doctrine of Signatures.

Recipes and formulas:

  • Hildegard von Bingen recommendeds the combination of cubeb pepper with bertram, licorice and nutmeg
  • A medieval European recipe includes cubeb in making sauce sarcenes, which consists of almond milk and several spices
  • Cubeb was traditionally candied and eaten whole as an aromatic confectionery
  • In the Middle Ages, people in Poland infused cumin, cubeb and garlic in vinegar to prepare ocet kubebowy, which was used to marinate meat.
  • Cubeb is very used to augment the taste of soups
  • These berries must ground fresh and whole. When ground, they lose their essential oil very rapidly.
  • Cubeb cigarettes were manufactured until World War II and they were prescribed as a remedy for asthma (Marshall’s Prepared Cubeb Cigarettes was a popular brand)

Folklore

  • During the Middle Ages, alchemists had a special preference for cubeb berries, as they were thought to protect from demonic possession
  • In Europe and China it was used to repel demons and was used in exorcism
  • Several love potions contain cubeb berries
  • African-American hoodoo folk magic often uses cubeb berries for drawing magic spells, especially for love
  • Its medicinal properties used to be well-known, but sine the King of Portugal prohibited the sale of cubeb in the 1600s to promote his monopoly on black pepper (Piper nigrum) around 1640, it has practically vanished from the European market since.
  • The Book of One Thousand and One Nights mentions cubeb as a remedy for infertility

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