The bark of Magnolia officinalis – which is used in Chinese traditional medicine (houpu) to treat lung and intestinal disorders. Magnolia bark extracts contain honokiol and magnolol, which are considered to be the active ingredients. Magnolia bark extracts have anti-depressant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-bacterial activity in animal and cell culture experiments.
Standardized magnolia bark extracts are used in certain weight loss supplements to improve mood and reduce the potential for stress-related eating. A human study on a proprietary blend of Magnolia and Phellodendron extracts (Relora), demonstrated modest improvements in the subjects’ cortisol levels and eating in response to stress. Magnolia bark extract is also being used in breath mints and chewing gum, due to its efficacy in reducing mouth bacteria responsible for halitosis (bad breath).