Cubebs (Piper cubeba) is the berry of a shrub indigenous to Java, Southern Borneo, and Sumatra. Masudi (413) in the tenth century refers to cubebs as a product of Java. Edrisi (221), 1153, mentions the berries as among the imports of Aden. That they were known in Europe as early as the eleventh century is evident from the writing's of Constantius Africanus (165), of Salerno, while Abbatissa Hildegarde (316) of Germany mentions them in the thirteenth century, at which time they had become an article of European trade. They were sold in England in 1284, and at that time, or thereabout, were known to European countries generally. The price in 1596 was equal to that of opium or of amber. Cubeb berries were introduced into medicine by the Arabs of the Middle Ages.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.