Zanthoxylum piperitum (Rutaceae), also known as Szechuan (Sichuan) pepper, is an aromatic spiny shrub  commonly known as the Japanese pepper that has been used as a spice and a natural medicine in Japan . The pulverized mature fruits of Japanese pepper are used as the standard spice for sprinkling on the broiled eel dish . The essential oils of green and ripe fruits and dried pericarp of the Japanese pepper, are also commonly used in Japanese dishes as spices . Image: Sichuan pepper by rduta under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0).
Other uses of Japanese pepper include the utilization of Sanshools, the major active constituent of Zanthoxylum piperitum, as food additives in East Asia. Sanshools cause irritant, tingling and sometimes paresthetic sensations on the tongue .
Common name: Japanese pepper, Sichuan pepper, Japanese pepper tree, Szechwan pepper, Japanese pricklyash.