English Name: zanthoxylum, prickly ash pepper tree peel, Szechuan pepper
Literal Translation: “flower pepper”
Pharmaceutical Name: Pericarpum Zanthoxyli
Medica Category: Interior-Warming Herbs
Properties: Hua Jiao enters the Kidney, Spleen, and Stomach channels; it is acrid in nature and hot in temperature.
The Chinese Herb Hua Jiao is the dried outer pod of the fruit of an aromatic shrub in the citrus family known commonly as Szechuan pepper (Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim.; and several other variations used interchangeably). This plant is native to China and now found throughout the temperate zones of China, Japan, the Himalayas and North America and the fruits are used commonly in Asian cooking because of their unique tart, peppery flavor and tingling mouth sensation they impart.
Hua Jiao dispels accumulated cold and dampness from the middle to address epigastric and abdominal pain and diarrhea. It also can be used topically to the teeth and gums to address toothache.
Hua Jiao kills parasites and is used in China to address parasitic infections that are causing vomiting and abdominal pain (e.g. roundworm).
**safety note—use with caution (i.e. under supervision) during pregnancy and while breastfeeding.