Chinese Pepper, Flatspine Prickly Ash, Frêne Épineux Chinois, Fresno Espinoso Chino, Hua Jiao, Pimienta China, Red Huajiao, Sansho, Sichuan Pepper, Szechwan Pepper, Szechuan Peppercorn, Zanthoxylum bungeanum, Zanthoxylum bungei, Zanthoxylum simulans.


Overview Information

Chinese prickly ash is a plant. The bark, leaves, and berry are used to make medicine. Be careful not to confuse Chinese prickly ash with ash, or northern or southern prickly ash.

People take Chinese prickly ash to treat pain, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

In foods, Chinese prickly ash is used as a spice.

How does it work?

There isn't enough reliable information to know how Chinese prickly ash might work.


Uses & Effectiveness?

Insufficient Evidence for

  • Diarrhea.
  • Drowsiness.
  • High blood pressure.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Pain.
  • Parasite infections.
  • Snakebite.
  • Stomach pain.
  • Water retention.
  • Other uses.
More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of Chinese prickly ash for these uses.

Side Effects

Side Effects & Safety

When taken by mouth: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Chinese prickly ash is safe or what the side effects might be.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if Chinese prickly ash is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Surgery: Chinese prickly ash might slow blood clotting. There is some concern that it might increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using Chinese prickly ash at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.



Moderate Interaction

Be cautious with this combination

  • Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs) interacts with CHINESE PRICKLY ASH

    Chinese prickly ash might slow blood clotting. Taking Chinese prickly ash along with medications that also slow clotting might increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
    Some medications that slow blood clotting include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.



The appropriate dose of Chinese prickly ash depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Chinese prickly ash. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.

View References


  • Chen IS, Wu SJ, Tsai IL. Chemical and bioactive constituents from Zanthoxylum simulans. J Nat Prod 1994;57:1206-11. View abstract.
  • Hong L, Jing W, Qing W, et al. Inhibitory effect of Zanthoxylum bungeanum essential oil (ZBEO) on Escherichia coli and intestinal dysfunction. Food Funct. 2017;8(4):1569-76. doi: 10.1039/c6fo01739h. View abstract.
  • Wu T, Zhong L, Hong Z, et al. The effects of Zanthoxylum bungeanum extract on lipid metabolism induced by sterols. J Pharmacol Sci. 2015;127(3):251-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphs.2014.12.002. View abstract.
  • Yang LC, Li R, Tan J, Jiang ZT. Polyphenolics composition of the leaves of Zanthoxylum bungeanum Maxim. grown in Hebei, China, and their radical scavenging activities. J Agric Food Chem. 2013;61(8):1772-8. doi: 10.1021/jf3042825. View abstract.
  • Yang YP, Cheng MJ, Teng CM, et al. Chemical and anti-platelet constituents from Formosan Zanthoxylum simulans. Phytochemistry 2002;61:567-72.. View abstract.
  • Zhang Y, Wang M, Dong H, Yu X, Zhang J. Anti-hypoglycemic and hepatocyte-protective effects of hyperoside from Zanthoxylum bungeanum leaves in mice with high-carbohydrate/high-fat diet and alloxan-induced diabetes. Int J Mol Med. 2018;41(1):77-86. doi: 10.3892/ijmm.2017.3211. View abstract.
  • Zhang Z, Shen P, Liu J, et al. In Vivo Study of the Efficacy of the Essential Oil of Zanthoxylum bungeanum Pericarp in Dextran Sulfate Sodium-Induced Murine Experimental Colitis. J Agric Food Chem. 2017:26;65(16):3311-9. doi: 10.1021/acs.jafc.7b01323. View abstract.

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CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

This copyrighted material is provided by Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Consumer Version. Information from this source is evidence-based and objective, and without commercial influence. For professional medical information on natural medicines, see Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database Professional Version.
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