Sichuan pepper (xanthoxylum peperitum) is native to the Sichuan province of China and is not related to black pepper (peper nigrum), which is native to India. This pepper is quite aromatic but not very hot. Szechuan peppercorns are rust coloured with hair-thin stems and open ends. The dried berries resemble tiny beechnuts measuring 4 – 5 mm in diameter. It has a numbing property. This pepper, in addition to its unique flavor, will produce a light tingling sensation in the mouth. The berries are warm , mildly peppery, woodsy and acrid. The leaves have a citrus fragrance.
Szechuan peppercorn is one of the five ingredients that makes up five spice powder (the others are star anise, fennel, clove, and cinammon).
The berries are carminative and anti-spasmodic.