Botanical Name

Piper retrofractum Vahl.




Piper chaba Hunter, Piper officinarum (Miq.) C. DC.

Regional Name

English : Cubeb, Hindi :Chavya, Sanskrit : Cavika, Urdu : Peepal Chab, Kababah, Assamese : Chepaan, Bengali : Chei, Gujrati :Chavka, Chavaka, Kannada :Kadumenasinaballi, Chavya, Malayalam : Kattumulaku, Kattumulakunveru, Marathi : Chavaka, Oriya : Chainkath, Punjabi : Chabak, Tamil : Chavyam, Chevuyam, Telugu : Chevyamu.


It is a glabrous, fleshy climber, cultivated mainly in Southern Indiacultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit of Piper retrofractum is similar in appearance and taste to that of the Long Pepper (P. longum). This plant is a climbing vine with stems of about 3–4 mm in diameter. Its leaves have blades that are glabrous, lanceolate, with acuminate apex and asymmetric base, and are about 10–12 cm long and 3–3.5 cm wide. The vine is dioecious, with male spikes of about 5 cm long and female spikes about 4 cm long and 0.5–1 cm wide, and part of the ovaries are attached on the axis. Its berries are spherical and arranged densely on the axis.

Part Used



It  contains Alkaloids (Piperine, Sitosterol, Piplartine), Glycosides and Steroids.

Ayurvedic Properties

Rasa : Katu, Guna : Laghu, Ruksa, Tiksna, Virya : Usna, Vipaka : Katu, Karma : Bhedana, Dipana, Kaphahara, Pacana, Recana, Vatahara.

Ayurvedic Applications

Arsa, Anaha, Gulma, Krimi, Udara Roga, Pliha Roga, Sulal.

Medicinal Uses

It is useful in treating indigestion, abdominal colic, worm infestation, poisoning, anorexia, productive cough, asthma, bronchitis, fever, diarrhea, IBS, hemorrhoids, piles, fistula, chronic respiratory disorders, throat disorders and rheumatic conditions etc.


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