The Top Magnolia Bark Extract Benefits, Uses, And More

The Top Magnolia Bark Extract Benefits, Uses, And More


Magnolia Bark is the bark from the Magnolia officinalis tree, which grows natively in the mountains and valleys of China. The bark is highly aromatic and has a very long history of use in traditional Chinese practices, where it is known as Hou Po. Magnolia Bark use outside of China is still in its infancy, but due to a large body of research on Magnolia Bark it has started to become quite a popular supplement for a variety of purposes! The main uses of Magnolia Bark centers around its cognitive effects; in particular Magnolia Bark’s unique calming effects.


Magnolia Bark contains a fairly large amount of bioactive compounds. The two most abundant and active compounds are Magnolol and Honokiol. These compounds fall in the class of lignans. Other lignan compounds include Sesamin, found in our OptimALA stack. Schisandrins are found in our Schisandra chinensis extract.

Since Magnolol and Honokiol produce the bulk of Magnolia Bark benefits, we’ve standardized our extract accordingly. In fact, we standardized our Magnolia Bark extract to a whopping 80% Magnolol + Honokiol content! This makes it one of the most potent Magnolia Bark extracts available on the market.

So what kind of Magnolia Bark benefits can we expect with such a high standardization of Magnolol and Honokiol? We’ve standardized our extract to prioritize Magnolol and Honokiol, as they produce the bulk of benefits. However, Magnolol and Honokiol may also produce some other interesting effects such as helping to support weight loss efforts! Below is a list of our top 5 Magnolia Bark benefits:


For the rest of this blog, we will be focusing on these 5 Magnolia Bark benefits. We will split it up into 5 sections, each focusing on the aforementioned Magnolia Bark benefits. Feel free to jump to your section of interest if you’d like to learn more about a specific benefit. To become a Magnolia Bark extract expert, delve into learning about all its benefits!


One of main Magnolia Bark benefits is its unique calming effects. The calming effects are unlike anything we have come across and produce a very comprehensive effect. It takes elements of our Lemon Balm extracts, and pushes the effects a little bit deeper. The relaxation from Magnolia Bark is like basking in the warmth of a campfire. A warm glow builds and helps melt away worries.

The bulk of these relaxing effects can be attributed to the way Magnolol and Honokiol interact with GABAergic signalling. Both Magnolol and Honokiol act as positive allosteric modulators (PAM) of GABA-A receptors. PAMs help promote the activity of receptors, but this action is dependent on stimulation of the receptors. Magnolol and Honokiol may enhance the response of GABA-A receptors, promoting relaxation and calmness. Through this effect, Magnolia Bark may produce a robust, yet natural and sustainable relaxing effect.

Magnolia Bark also appears to be quite good at regulating elevated stress levels. Prolonged low-level stress can elevate Corticosterone levels, potentially leading to various health issues over time. Elevated Corticosterone levels can cause many undesirable effects, potentially linking lethargy and mental fogginess to stress. Magnolia bark extract may help regulate Corticosterone levels and thereby may be helpful in supporting stress management.


In addition to helping to promote relaxation, Magnolia Bark extract may also help promote a positive mood! The relaxation and stress management effects certainly play a role here, however, Magnolia Bark extract goes a little bit further. Magnolia Bark extract may help regulate serotonergic activity in the brain. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter that plays an essential role in mood, and regulating serotonergic activity may help promote a positive mood. This is especially true in the context of stress, as stress has been shown to lower serotonergic activity. Within this context, Magnolia Bark extract may help support the restoration of balanced serotonergic activity.

Magnolia Bark extract may also help regulate brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels in the brain. BDNF is a very important protein that helps regulate neuroplasticity in our brains, specifically in the hippocampus. Recent research has found a link between low BDNF levels and low mood. This is likely why taking a Magnolia Bark supplement may help support a positive mood, as it appears to be quite good at regulating BDNF levels in the hippocampus.

Furthermore, Magnolia bark extract may also help promote motivation, which may contribute to supporting a positive mood! Magnolia Bark achieves this by regulating catecholaminergic activity in the brain. Catecholamines play a very important role in motivation and executive function, and low catecholaminergic activity has been linked to low mood. Magnolia Bark helps regulate catecholaminergic activity by blocking their reuptake, thereby supporting higher levels of catecholamines in the brain.

Overall, it appears that Magnolia Bark extract may be a great option for those looking to support a positive mood, as it appears to have a very comprehensive effect on various factors involved in mood.


For many of us, when we get really busy and stressed, sleep is often the first thing to suffer. After all, we often believe that we need more time in the day, and so we trade in sleep for more wakeful hours. However, what we usually end up doing is mindlessly watching TV late at night, hoping that we will at some point reach a satisfactory state of relaxation that allows us to face the next day head on with a renewed sense of vigor! Well, we likely don’t have to tell you this, but this strategy oftentimes does not work.

Instead, we miss out on sleep and fall into a cycle where we are constantly tired and mentally foggy during the day. All the while, falling asleep starts getting harder and harder. Not only does Magnolia Bark help support stress management, it also helps promote relaxation. This makes Magnolia Bark a great way to speed up the desired state of relaxation we need after a stressful day.

Better yet, Magnolia Bark is a positive allosteric modulator (PAM) of GABA-A receptors. This means that Magnolia Bark extract may help make our GABA-A receptors more sensitive, allowing these receptors to produce a stronger response when they are stimulated. We discussed this effect earlier in the relaxation section, and PAM of GABA-A receptors does indeed help promote a pleasant sense of relaxation. However, what PAM of GABA-A receptors also helps with is falling asleep! By promoting GABA-A activity, Magnolia Bark extract may help support shorter sleep latency, which may help you fall asleep faster!


Besides all of Magnolia Bark’s interesting effects on our brain, it also appears that it may be able to promote weight loss efforts! Magnolia Bark extract achieves this through a few mechanisms that act directly on fat cells (adipocytes). When we consume an excess amount of food, these adipocytes can react quite quickly, which results in adipocyte hypertrophy. This means that the fat cells start to grow in size, which can lead to body weight gain, but more importantly, can lead to changes in body composition. Another effect associated with adipocyte hypertrophy is that the adipocytes will start to induce inflammatory compounds. This will over time result in larger amounts of inflammation in the body. Magnolia Bark appears to help with both of these factors, both promoting slower rates of adipocyte hypertrophy, while also attenuating the inflammation associated with adipocyte hypertrophy.

Research has shown that supplementation with both Honokiol and Magnolol may be able to help reduce the weight of visceral white adipose tissue which, in layman’s terms, means that Magnolia Bark extract may help promote belly fat loss! Furthermore, Magnolia Bark may also promote energy expenditure, which may help mitigate the effects of excess food intake. This increase in energy expenditure manifests in the form of higher levels of beta-oxidation and carnitine palmitoyltransferase, two processes which help promote the breakdown of fatty acids. Furthermore, Magnolia Bark extract may also help support lower levels of fatty acid synthase, a process by which fats are synthesized.


We admit that this Magnolia Bark benefit seems a little bit far fetched, and we were skeptical at first too! How can a supplement that you take internally have a positive effect on dental health? It turns out that there is a lot you can do besides brushing your teeth and eating healthy foods that can promote dental health. One of these methods involves promoting dental health from within, and Magnolia Bark appears to have a unique effect on dental health via this pathway!

Often when we think about dental health, we only consider our teeth, as our teeth are what we are conscious of on a daily basis. However, there is a lot happening underneath your teeth that we are oftentimes not very conscious of. One of these factors is the fact that we have quite a bit of bone surrounding our teeth. This bone structure is called alveolar bone, and it is very important for maintaining dental health. As with normal bone however, we can see a gradual loss of alveolar bone density and mass, which can negatively impact our dental health.

This is where Magnolia Bark comes in, as it appears to selectively promote alveolar bone density and health! It does this through a few different mechanisms. The first of which does likely does not apply much to oral supplementation and likely would require direct contact of Magnolia Bark powder with our mouth. Magnolia Bark appears to be able to support lower levels or periodontopathic microorganism accumulation. These are specific types of bacteria that can have a negative effect on alveolar bone and tooth health.

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