Meet Citron, the wizard formulator behind Moment mints who talks about his first experience with szechuan flower and the magic of its tingle.
Owner & Formulator at Subtle Citron and Owner of Reviving the River
What is szechuan flower?
It is an Amazonian flower that is often confused with sichuan pepper, which comes from China, but is a very different flower.
It has a really unique phytochemistry that produces a tactile electric sensation when it is consumed.
Where does it grow?
It grows where it is hot, sunny, and humid! Though originally from the Amazon, szechuan flowers can be found in various other parts of the world as well. The leading theory is that it is a very old plant, whose seeds were distributed to other countries by early navigators of the sea from the Amazons.
What is it used for?
Well, one of its names is toothache plant. So, it could be assumed it is supportive of oral health, and additional research shows that it has potentially strong antagonistic actions on a large variety of bad bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes this flower as a potent aphrodisiac.
How did you first learn about it?
I have a good friend from Iran named Karim whose mother taught him how to cultivate it, and he showed me the plant.
What was your first experience with it?
That same friend offered me a giant flower bud, and I ate it all at once and I ended up unexpectedly salivating all over my friend's carpet.
Why do you like working with it?
Because the tingle!
Also, it is an extremely potent plant that is effective for supporting a large variety of issues historically and is currently under-utilized.
How would you describe szechuan flower if it was a person?
My friend Karim is probably the embodiment of the plant I am suspecting. He has been working with this plant for 40+ years. He is notably funny, with an electric sense of humor. He has always paired his invaluable advice to me with laughter, funny anecdotes, and even poetry occasionally.
If szechuan flower had a mantra, what do you think it'd be?
Something my friend Karim always says to me comes to mind, as I think it holds pretty true as a mantra for szechuan, as a plant that has so many different utilities.
"Okay, whatever you need, no problem, I can do that for you."
What do you think the future holds for szechuan flower?
I expect this plant to be a dominant botanical extract in the natural product market in the next few years. It's not really easy to forget the tactile sensation that this plant offers, which will lend to its expansion in the market.