Herb Reference Guide

Magnolia

History

Magnolia is a large genus of about 210 species named after botanist Pierre Magnol. This is one of the oldest species of trees having evolved before bees appeared, the flowers developed to encourage pollination by beetles. To avoid damage from pollinating beetles, the carpels of the flowers are extremely tough. Specimens of “Magnolia acuminata” fossils have been found dating to 20 million years ago, and of plants identifiably belonging to the “Magnoliaceae” dating to 95 million years ago. The natural range of Magnolia species is very wide with a center in east and southeast Asia and a secondary center in eastern North America, Southeastern North America the West Indes, and some species in South America.

Function

The bark has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Japanese Traditional Medicine. It is very fragrant and contains large amount of two aromatic compounds called magnolol and honokiol. It was common to find it used to help support healthy digestion. Magnolia's 'stimulant' and 'tonic' benefits were included in the U. S. Pharmacopoeia from 1820 through 1894. Much of the research on this plant has centered around these two constituents. Magnolia bark and it's various constituents have been shown to modulate cortisol production. The bark is commonly used in formulas to support healthy response to stress and calm occasional nervousness as well as to support sleep.

Uses of Magnolia

Disclaimer

This information in our Herbal Reference Guide is intended only as a general reference for further exploration, and is not a replacement for professional health advice. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

Active Constituents

Mgnolol, Honokiol

Parts Used

  • Bark

Important precautions

Not to be used during pregnancy or lactation. If you have a medical condition or take pharmaceutical drugs please consult with your doctor before using this.

Additional Resources

Kalman, Feldman, Feldman, Schwartz, Krieger, Garrison. Effect of a proprietary Magnolia and Phellodendron extract on stress levels in healthy women: a pilot, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutr J. 2008; 7: 11.