The Miracle Herb Magnolia

When I hear “Magnolia” I think of the term “steel magnolias,” referring to the strength of women in the South.

The term probably came about because the tree is beautiful and strong—and very hardy, giving it properties that help our health.

Magnolia actually encompasses more than 200 different species within the Magnoliaceae family of flowering plants, shrubs, and trees.

It was originally native to East and Southeast Asia, and you might be surprised to learn that this ancient flower has been around for more than 100 million years—it predates the evolution of bees.

Some types of magnolia grow in North America, Central America, and parts of South America, where its hardy nature allowed it to thrive in harsh conditions.

Throughout time, it developed a unique nutrient and organic compound composition, which we benefit from today.

The flowers and bark of magnolia plants long been praised in Chinese traditional medicine but this herb is now widely regarded as a beneficial supplement and herbal remedy around the world.

The magnolia tree has bright flowers with a fragrant aroma. In the summer, the root and bark are harvested, dried, and boiled so they turn into a purple brown color.

This bitter extract is then used in medicine and dietary supplements to:

  • Reduce the effects of stress
  • Treat menstrual cramps
  • Help with weight loss
  • Improve respiratory health
  • Detoxify the body
  • Boost cognition
  • Prevent cancer
  • Soothe the digestive system
  • Stimulate the appetite
  • Protect against severe allergic reactions.

Luckily we can take it in supplement form so we don’t have to worry about the bitter taste.

That gives us the opportunity to take it in an herbal blend, so we can get the health benefits of several different herbs.

Magnolia has many benefits, and you can see that it relaxes us and calms our nerves thanks to a few active compounds in the bark.

Honokiol and Magnolol, superstar compounds

The above health benefits are largely due to several natural, bioactive compounds found in magnolia tree bark that function as anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-allergic agents.

The major active components are two lignans called honokiol and magnolol, which do a host of things.

They work together to prevent and treat depression.

Honokiol is a strong anxiety treatment because it has anxiolytic qualities that impact the hormonal balance in the body, particularly stress hormones. 

Magnolia regulates the endocrine system and lowers hormone release in the body. A similar chemical pathway allows it to help relieve depression as it stimulates the release of dopamine and pleasure hormones.

Honokiol and magnolol both produce antidepressant effects and improve energy levels by increasing serotonin and noradrenaline levels in the prefrontal cortex.

Honokiol has many more health benefits for your nerves. It maintains sodium-potassium channel activity that is vital for communications between neurons.

It prevents glucose intolerance, a condition which damages neuron cells because they require a high amount of energy to function.

Honokiol also prevents neurotoxicity by inhibiting the production of nitric oxide by an enzyme called nNOS.

Honokiol and magnolol block glutamate receptors, preventing glutamate from binding to them, and thus preventing seizures and premature cell death.

Along with those huge health benefits, Honokiol produces a relaxing and calming effect by stimulating the GABA-A receptor.

It also activates genes controlled by the molecule Nrf2, which protects against oxidative stress, so it fights the signs of aging and cancer.

The active compound, magnolol, is even linked to preventing prostate cancer. It also prevents the spread or increase of prostate cancer cells.

Help For Better Sleep

Magnolia bark is a very effective sleep promoter in two ways.

First, it relaxes the mind and body.

Magnolia bark has the power to increase GABA activity, which is important for sleep. It’s been discovered that people with reduced GABA activity are likely to suffer from sleep problems and insomnia.

The bioactive compounds in magnolia bark reduce the time it takes you to fall asleep, and they can increase how long you stay in both REM and NREM sleep

Secondly, Magnolia’s ability to lower adrenaline, the alertness-producing hormone, also makes it an effective natural sleep aid if you tend to be wired or stressed at night.

So if you have trouble falling asleep because your mind is racing, Magnolia supplements can ease you into sleep.

Adding Magnolia to your diet

Many herbs like magnolia are good candidates for mixing in an herbal formula for better health—that gives you the health benefits from a host of herbs instead of just one.

Imagine having magnolia and chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender.

If you don’t like taking a number of pills, you can find a good supplement with several different herbs.

Nutrition Blends Inner Peace Formula uses 18 herbs along with hops for ultimate relaxation, plus other herbs and natural ingredients for energy, digestion, mood, and well-being.

In addition, Inner Peace Formula contains ingredients that are scientifically proven to lift mood, improve sleep, support immunity and relieve the negative effects of stress.

A few key ingredients besides magnolia, chamomile, lemon balm, and lavender are:

  • Ashwagandha, an adaptogen that helps us cope with stress, and improve our thinking ability.
  • Valerian, a root extract that has been used for centuries to enhance sleep and encourage calmness.
  • Hops, to promote sleep and calms you without any side-effects.
  • Passion Flower supports normal mood function.
  • Bacopa, a herb that has been utilized traditionally to enhance memory, learning power, and concentration.
  • Mucuna Pruriens supports healthy nervous system by handling your body’s stress, improving energy and endurance.

Learn more about the Inner Peace Formula at, where you’ll also find a long list of studies to support the benefits of each ingredient.


“The Health Benefits of Magnolia Bark”

“10 Impressive Benefits of Magnolia.”

Watanabe K, et al. Studies on the active principles of magnolia bark. Centrally acting muscle relaxant activity of magnolol and hōnokiol. Jpn J Pharmacol. (1975)

Lee YJ, et al. Therapeutic applications of compounds in the Magnolia family. Pharmacol Ther. (2011)