What Is Magnolia Bark?

Magnolia bark (magnolia officinalis) is a traditional chinese medicine used since 100 a.D. To support the body and nurture wellbeing and to treat a plethora of ailments. Magnolia bark has been used to treat menstrual cramps, abdominal pain, abdominal bloating and gas, nausea, and indigestion. The bark is also an ingredient in formulas used for treating coughs and asthma. The bark is used internally in the treatment of abdominal distension, loss of appetite, gastro-enteritis, vomiting, diarrhoea, asthma and coughs with acute phlegm.

The bark and flower buds of magnolia officinalis have been used to treat coughs and colds and intestinal problems. Japanese researchers have determined that “honokiol” and “magnolol”, two chemicals found in magnolia bark, are up to 1000 times more potent than vitamin e in antioxidant activity. These two active compounds are thought to contribute to the primary anti-stress and cortisol-balancing effects of the plant. Numerous animal studies have demonstrated honokiol to act as an anti-stress agent at lower doses. Magnolol, a compound isolated from the cortex of magnolia officinalis, has been found to possess anti-allergic and anti-asthmatic activity.

Weight loss

Magnolia bark is getting much press as a “cortisol”, the stress hormone-lowering supplement. Cortisol has also been associated with weight gain (particularly fat in the abdominal area), sugar control problems, memory problems, and a host of other stress induced disorders.


In studies, honokiol was compared with diazepam (valium), a well known pharmaceutical anxiolytic. Honokiol was found to be five times stronger than diazepam in reducing anxiety without the side effects of diazepam. While diazepam does reduce anxiety, it also induces muscle relaxation, an effect not shared by honokiol. It would seem that honokiol is less likely than diazepam to induce physical dependence, central nervous system depression, motor nerve disruption, or amnesia at doses eliciting the anxiolytic effect. Because honokiol reduces anxiety without disruption of motor activity, it is postulated that the mechanism of the anxiolytic effect of honokiol is at least partially different from that of diazepam.
Magnolia Bark Extract is an ancient medicinal treatment used for thousands of years in China and by Native Americans. It has recently gained popularity in the weight loss industry. This review will take a look at the uses for magnolia bark extract to see if they hold any credence as related to weight loss.

Magnolia Bark Extract has been added to weight loss supplements for the belief that it inhibits the production of the stress hormone cortisol which is thought to be responsible for the gain of body fat. The theory is that if cortisol can be blocked, it can lead to weight loss in those areas (particularly the midsection as cortisol is thought to affect those fat stores more than any others.) Magnolia Bark Extract also acts as a mild laxative.

Magnolia Bark Extract has been used to treat a variety of different ailments and afflictions, generally issues where the stomach, intestines, lungs, or spleen is concerned. It may be useful in treating conditions such as cramping, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea.