Magnolia bark extract is a fluid alcohol extracted from the bark of a magnolia plant and frequently administered as an herbal medicine. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine called houpu or hou po for hundreds of years, and it is recognized worldwide for its medicinal properties. This extract is used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms, especially upset stomach, allergic reactions, impaired breathing, anxiety, weight loss, and halitosis. The active ingredients in the medicine are present in almost all species of magnolia, but the Magnolia officinalis, or Houpu magnolia, is the most frequently used.
The primary active ingredients in magnolia bark extract are magnolol and honokiol, biphenol compounds, which are thought to reduce stress and stress-related symptoms and inhibit cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone associated with stress and flight or fight responses, as well as weight gain, diabetes, and immunosuppression. The extract also contains eudesmol, an essential oil with possible antioxidant advantages. Antioxidants repair and prevent cellular oxidative damage caused by free radicals, which can lead to increased cell strength, increased immune function, and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. The magnolia flower is sometimes used to treat sinus congestion and headaches.
Honokiol is present in magnolia bark at about 1 to 5%, and magnalol is present at roughly 2 to 10%. Typical doses use 3 to 9 grams of bark in hot water. Other traditional formulas include pin yin for constipation and congestion, which incorporates different proportions of magnolia bark extract, rhubarb, and chih-shih depending on its targeted function. Pin yin formulas for digestive system weakness tend to mix magnolia bark with ginger and licorice. Respiratory issues are often treated with formulas mixing it with cinnamon twig.
Magnolia bark is also used to treat halitosis, or bad breath, because of its antibacterial properties and fragrance. The antibacterial activity of the extract may also help to prevent tooth decay and is thought to kill most halitosis-associated oral bacteria within 30 minutes. Magnolol can also help prevent plaque build-up by inhibiting the enzyme glucotransferase. Some chewing gums and breath mints are manufactured with the extract to promote fresh breath and tooth health.
This extract usually comes from cultivated trees, typically in China. It is usually marketed in capsule or tablet form, especially in the Western world. No adverse effects have been associated with the use of normal dosages of magnolia bark extract. The herbal medicine should not be taken, however, with any drugs that act on the central nervous system, such as barbiturates, alcohol, or mood altering medications. Tuhoupu, an herb made from manglietia, is sometimes used as a substitute for magnolia bark.