Magnolia bark is a natural remedy said to offer a range of health benefits. Long used in traditional Chinese medicine, magnolia bark is sourced from Magnolia officinalis (a tree native to China). Magnolia bark contains honokiol, a natural compound that acts as a phytoestrogen.
Uses for Magnolia Bark
In alternative medicine, magnolia bark is said to aid in the treatment or prevention of the following health problems:
In addition, magnolia bark is said to promote sleep, support weight loss, stimulate the digestive system, protect against cancer, and reduce stress。
Health Benefits of Magnolia Bark
So far, research on the health effects of magnolia bark is limited. But theres some evidence that magnolia bark may offer certain benefits. Heres a look at several key findings from the available studies:
1) Menopausal Symptoms
Magnolia bark may help ease the symptoms associated with menopause, according to a study published in Minerva Ginecologica in 2006. For the study, 89 midlife women experiencing menopausal symptoms were assigned to 24 weeks of treatment with either a combination of calcium and vitamin D, or a supplement containing calcium and vitamin D, plus magnolia bark, soy, probiotics and magnesium.
Study results revealed that the supplement containing magnolia bark was more effective than the combination of calcium and vitamin D in relieving hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, depression, irritability, vagina dryness, and loss of libido.
But its not yet known whether magnolia bark on its own might have a significant benefit in relieving symptoms associated with menopause.
Preliminary research suggests that magnolia bark may aid in treatment of depression. In a 2009 study published in Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry, for instance, tests on mice found that a combination of magnolia bark extract and essential oil of ginger produced anti-depressant effects by moderating abnormalities in certain brain chemicals.
Magnolia bark shows promise for anxiety relief, according to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. In tests on mice, scientists determined that honokiol extracted from magnolia bark may help reduce anxiety without triggering the side effects associated with diazepam (a drug commonly used in the treatment of anxiety disorders).
4) Bad Breath
Magnolia bark may help fight bad breath, suggests a small study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2007. For the study, nine healthy volunteers were given either Listerine mouthwash or a mint containing magnolia bark after eating lunch. Tests on saliva samples showed that magnolia bark was effective in destroying several types of bacteria known to cause bad breath.
Due to a lack of research, little is known about the safety of using magnolia bark. Theres some concern that it may trigger certain side effects (such as nausea, headaches, and drowsiness).
Its important to keep in mind that supplements havent been tested for safety and dietary supplements are largely unregulated.
In some cases, the product may deliver doses that differ from the specified amount for each herb. In other cases, the product may be contaminated with other substances such as metals. Also, the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and those with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established. You can get further tips on using supplements here.