Quick Navigation

Magnolia officinalis

Magnolia officinalis is a traditional chinese medicine known for its neuroprotective and relaxing properties, being used to treat depression and anxiety as well as acting as a slight sedative. It may also possess anti-cancer effects in higher doses.

Our evidence-based analysis on magnolia officinalis features 100 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by .
Reviewed by
Examine.com Team
Last Updated:

Summary of Magnolia officinalis

Primary information, health benefits, side effects, usage, and other important details

Magnolia Officinalis is a plant from the Magnolia species of plants which share a set of similar compounds. Two of them, known as Honokiol and Magnolol, are seen as the active ingredients.

Magnolia plants tend to be significantly cancer protective, and show protective effects on the liver and the brain via fighting inflammation and oxidation. They have also been linked to anti-depressant and anxiety reducing effects.

One of the compounds, Honokiol, is currently in trials for usage as an adjunct treatment for cancer therapy.

Benefits can be found with drinking Magnolia teas, known as Saiboku-to, although the tea should be consumed with meals due to the fat-solubility of the active ingredients.

Make sure you only take supplements that work

Examine.com bases all of its recommendations on published scientific research. We’re a trusted resource because we don’t sell or even advertise supplements.

If you’re tired of wasting time and money on supplements that don’t work, our 17 Supplement Guides will help you figure out precisely what to take — and what to skip — based on your health goals and the latest scientific evidence. There’s a reason why over 50,000 customers rely on Examine.com’s independent and unbiased analysis.

Includes free lifetime updates so you always have the most accurate information.


I want unbiased recommendations to improve my health »

How to Take

Medical Disclaimer

Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details

The dosage of magnolia officinalis to take varies on goal. For those related to GABA (including anxiety, sedation, stress, and epilepsy) an oral dose of 0.2mg/kg in mice appears effective and suggests very lose doses (5-10 mg) are effective in humans.

For those goals related to learning or depression, higher doses may be required. This usually means 15-30mg/kg in rats, and suggests a human dose of:

  • 160-330 mg for a 150lb person

  • 220-440 mg for a 200lb person

  • 270-550 mg for a 250lb person

The above doses refer to the total neolignans (usually magnolol plus honokiol), which are usually at 1-10% of a basic bark extract unless otherwise concentrated.

Get the latest information on 400+ supplements and their effects on 600+ health conditions & outcomes.

By becoming an Examine Plus member, you'll have access to all of the latest nutrition research. Quickly and easily look up scientific research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine Plus members

The Human Effect Matrix summarizes human studies to tell you what effects Magnolia officinalis has on your body, how much evidence there is, and how strong these effects are.

Full details are available to Examine Plus members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-c Notable - See study
An improvement in dental health is noted with gum containing magnolia bark, which outperforms that of Xylitol in regards to reducing acid, plaque, and gum bleeding

Become an Examine Plus member to access the latest nutrition research on over 400 supplements across over 600 different health goals, outcomes, conditions, and more.

Becoming an Examine Plus member not only unlocks the Human Effect Matrix for supplements, but also all health topics on Examine.com. We neatly summarize all the latest research so you can make the best decisions for your health based on what's accurate and not out-dated information.

Things to Note

Primary Function:

Also Known As

Saiboku-to, Magnolia Bark Extract, Honokiol, Magnolol

Do Not Confuse With

Moringa oleifera

Goes Well With

  • Ginger (ginger enhances the antidepressive effects of magnolia officinalis)

  • Pinellia ternata (synergistically antidepressive)

  • Enemas of magnolia officinalis bark appear to result in higher circulating levels of bioactives than oral ingestion[1]

Tired of misinformation? Get unbiased info on supplements.

At Examine.com, our incentives line up with yours — getting unbiased information. It’s why we don’t sell any advertising or supplements.

Join over 250,000 people who’ve learned about effective versus overrated supplements, supplement buying tips, and how to combine supplements for safety and efficacy.

Click here to see all 100 references.