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Are there medical uses of Sichuan pepper


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In the last decade i have been suffering from swollen and hurting end joints of fingers and toes (Heberden Arthrose). That is considered a non-curable degenerative disease. However, in the last years the swelling and pain have diminished and now are almost gone. The only change i can think of is that in the last few years i have regularly been consuming huajiao (Just think of delicious dishes like角). So, is this maybe a known side-effect of consuming huajiao?

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From time to time I've seen articles in the popular press (in China, in Chinese) about how huajiao 花椒 is a "cure-all" ingredient, alongside  garlic and ginger. I'm not, however, aware of any rigorous research regarding its benefits in treating arthritis. 


But it is a great seasoning, regardless of whether or not it cures anything. 


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Thank you abcdefg. That's about what i expected to learn. But considering western ignorance regarding science in China and my own ignorance regarding Chinese prohibiting me from doing my own research in Chinese media there still was the possibility that there is a connection known in China.

Regarding huajiao: This May i have planted two scrubs. I am curious to see whether they will be strong enough to survive the next winter. Though the annual climatic catastrophe is not as severe as in Heilongjiang, it is still cold enough in my region so that frozen water falls from the sky and covers the earth, and even the soil and water expanses freeze ?

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Lots of huajiao bushes grow in Yunnan, northern parts, up near Tibet and Sichuan. I've walked among fields of them. Some are small trees. Farmer there tried to explain the several kinds and the pros and cons of each variety. It seems that lots depends, not only on the variety of the plant, but when the pods are picked (immature or ripe) and how they are cured and stored. 


In much of China they are used green, immature. One "finishes" a steamed fish, for example, by laying a branch of huajiao into the serving bowl with it and spooning sauce over the whole works. Some could have been included in the fish cavity beforehand as well, along with knotted bundles of spring onion. Couple hundred young "peppercorns" are on the dish on your table. It's a different experience. You don't actually eat them, of course. Their aroma and citrusy tang permeates the whole fish. Delightful and very "fresh." Would never see that in the west. 


One thing I've heard from friends on several occasions is that a single huajiao 花椒 put into or onto a decayed tooth would help dull the pain of a toothache as a first aid measure. (The same claim is made for clove 丁香。)

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