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Magnolia

Magnolia

Description

Many species of magnolia are used in both Eastern and Western herbalism. The Chinese have used the bark of Magnolia officinalis, called in Chinese hou po since the first century a.d. M. officinalis is a deciduous tree that grows to a height of 75 ft (22 m). It has large leaves surrounding a creamy white fragrant flower. The pungent aromatic bark is used in healing. Originally native to China where it grows wild in the mountains, M. officinalis is now grown as an ornamental for use in landscaping around the world.

Chinese herbalists also use the bud of Magnolia liliflora in healing. The Chinese name for magnolia flower is xin yi hua. Note that in Chinese herbalism, magnolia

bark and magnolia flower are considered different herbs with different properties and uses.

Other species of magnolia are used by Western herbalists. These include Magnolia virginiana, M. glauca, M. acuminate and M. tripetata. Other names for magnolia include white bay, beaver tree, swamp sassafras (not to be confused with other forms of sassafras used in the West), and Indian bark. The New World species of magnolia are smaller than their Asian counterparts, ranging in height from 6-30 ft (2-10 m). Both the bark and the root are used in Western herbalism .

General use

In Chinese herbalism, magnolia bark, hou po, is associated with the stomach, lungs, spleen, and large intestine. It is used to treat menstrual cramps, abdominal pain , abdominal bloating and gas, nausea, diarrhea , and indigestion . Injections of magnolia bark extract are said to cause muscle relaxation . It is also used in formulas to treat coughing and asthma . The bark is said to make the qi descend and is used for symptoms of disorders thought to move upward in the body.

Research suggests that compounds found in magnolia bark may have mild antibacterial and antifungal properties. These studies are in their preliminary stages, however, and have been limited to test tube research.

Magnolia flower, xin yi hua, is associated with the lungs. It is used to treat chronic respiratory infections , sinus infections , and lung congestion. Its main function is to open the airway. Little scientific research has been done on the magnolia flower.

Magnolia bark and root are also used occasionally in Western herbalism, although they are not major healing herbs. At one time, magnolia root was used to treat rheumatism, and was thought to be superior to quinine in treating chills and fever . It is not used much today. Russian herbalists use an oil extracted from the flowers and young leaves to treat hair loss and as an antiseptic on skin wounds . In homeopathic medicine a tincture of magnolia flower is a minor remedy for asthma and fainting.

Little recent scientific research has been done on magnolia in the West; however, Asian researchers have isolated a compound from M. officinalis known as honokiol. As of 2002, honokiol has attracted interest for its antiplatelet effects. In addition, it is being studied for its ability to induce apoptosis, or cell self-destruction, in lung cancer cells. In Japan, honokiol is considered a useful anxiolytic; herbal preparations containing honokiol are prescribed as mild tranquilizers.

Preparations

Magnolia bark is most commonly used in the following formulas:

  • Agastache: for treatment of stomach flu and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Apricot seed and linum: for treatment of chronic constipation and hemorrhoids.
  • Bupleurum, inula and cyperus : for treatment of stress-related gastrointestinal disturbances.

All these formulas can be made into teas or are commercially available as pills or capsules.

Magnolia flower is most commonly used in xanthium and magnolia formula. It is used to relieve sinus congestion associated with a yellow discharge and to treat allergy symptoms such as runny nose. This formula can be made into a tea or is available in commercially produced capsules.

American herbalists dry magnolia bark and root and pound it into a powder or make a tincture that is taken several times daily. Russian herbalists soak the bark in vodka.

Precautions

Chinese herbalists recommend that magnolia bark not be used by pregnant women and that magnolia flower be used with caution if the patient is dehydrated.

Side effects

There are no unwanted side effects reported with normal doses of any of the different uses of magnolia. Large quantities of magnolia preparations, however, have been reported to cause dizziness . In addition, allergic reactions to the pollen from magnolia trees are not unusual.

Interactions

In Chinese herbalism, both magnolia bark and flowers are often used in conjunction with other herbs with no reported interactions. There are no formal studies of its interactions with Western pharmaceuticals; however, there are anecdotal reports of harmful interactions between magnolia bark and prescription weight-loss medications. In addition, magnolia should not be taken together with any medications given to lower blood pressure, as it increases their effects.

Resources

BOOKS

Chevallier, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Boston, MA: DK Publishers, 1996.

Molony, David. Complete Guide to Chinese Herbal Medicine. New York: Berkeley Books, 1998.

Reid, Daniel. Chinese Herbal Medicine. Boston, MA: Shambhala, 1996.

PERIODICALS

Pyo, M. K., Y. Lee, and H. S. Yun-Choi. "Anti-Platelet Effect of the Constituents Isolated from the Barks and Fruits of Magnolia obovata." Archives of Pharmacal Research 25 (June 2002): 325-328.

Yang, S. E., M. T. Hsieh, T. H. Tsai, and S. L. Hsu. "Down-Modulation of Bcl-XL, Release of Cytochrome C and Sequential Activation of Caspases During Honokiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Squamous Lung Cancer CH27 Cells." Biochemical Pharmacology 63 (May 1, 2002): 1641-1651.

ORGANIZATIONS

American Association of Oriental Medicine (AAOM). 433 Front Street, Catasauqua, PA 18032. (610) 266-2433.

Herb Research Foundation. 1007 Pearl Street, Suite 200, Boulder, CO 80302. (303) 449-2265. <www.herbs.org>.

Tish Davidson

Rebecca J. Frey, PhD

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Magnolia

Magnolia (family Magnoliaceae) A genus of trees and shrubs with showy flowers, many of which are cultivated as ornamentals. The tepals are petaloid. The stamens and carpels are in an elongate receptacle, and fruiting carpels are follicular. Magnolia is one of the most ancient of flowering plants, noted for the relatively primitive structure of its flower. Magnolia leaves are first recorded from Kansas, USA, in the lower Cretaceous. There are about 125 species occurring from the Himalayas to Japan and western Malaysia, and in southern N. America to Venezuela and the W. Indies.

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magnolia

magnolia especially associated with the southern states of the US, and Mississippi, which has the flower for its emblem, is known as the Magnolia State.

The term Steel Magnolia, epitomizing a southern woman who has a steely character beneath a feminine and apparently fragile exterior, was applied particularly to Rosalynn Carter, First Lady of the US, 1977–81.

The tree is named after Pierre Magnol (1638–1715), French botanist.

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Magnolia

Magnolia One of the most ancient of flowering plants, noted for the relatively primitive structure of its flower. Magnolia leaves are first recorded from Dakota, USA, in the mid-Cretaceous. Magnolia paeopetala is a reconstruction, by E. E. Leppik, of a whole flower based on the earliest angiosperm petal ever found (also from the Dakota fossil flora).

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"Magnolia." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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magnolia

mag·no·lia / magˈnōlyə/ • n. a tree or shrub (genus Magnolia, family Magnoliaceae) with typically creamy-pink, waxy flowers, widely grown as ornamentals. Numerous species include M. campbellii, native to the Himalayas.

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magnolia

magnolia Any of about 40 species of trees and shrubs of the genus Magnolia, native to North and Central America and e Asia. They are valued for their white, yellow, purple or pink flowers. Height: to 30m (100ft). Family Magnoliaceae.

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Magnolia (city, United States)

Magnolia (măgnō´lyə), city (1990 pop. 11,151), seat of Columbia co., SW Ark.; inc. 1855. Its oil industry has been important since 1938. Metal products, apparel, chemicals, and lumber are also produced. Southern Arkansas Univ. is there.

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magnolia (in botany)

magnolia, common name for plants of the genus Magnolia, and for the Magnoliaceae, a family of deciduous or evergreen trees and shrubs, often with showy flowers. They are principally of north temperate regions with centers of distribution in Asia and E North America. Among the few native American species of the chiefly Asian genus Magnolia are the deciduous umbrella tree (M. tripetala); the cucumber tree (M. acuminata), named for the appearance of its unripe fruits; the evergreen sweet, or swamp, bay (M. virginiana); and the bull bay, or Southern magnolia (M. grandiflora), with enormous blossoms resembling water lilies. Many imported magnolias are also cultivated in the South, as are several species of the Asian genus Michelia. The only other member of the family native to North America is the tulip tree or tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipfera), named for the tuliplike shape of its greenish-yellow, orange-centered blossoms. The tulip tree, relic of a past geological era when it was widespread throughout North America and Europe, now grows only in the E United States and in China. Its yellowish softwood, prized for cabinetwork and furniture, is commonly called yellow poplar, canary wood, or whitewood. The magnolia family is considered one of the most primitive group of angiosperms. The magnolia family is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Magnoliales.

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magnolia

magnolia XVIII. modL., f. name of Pierre Magnol (1638–1715) professor of botany at Montpellier; see -IA1.

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magnolia

magnoliamyalgia, nostalgia •sporangia •florilegia, quadriplegia •Phrygia • Thuringia • loggia • Borgia •apologia, eulogia •Perugia •Czechoslovakia, Slovakia •Saskia •clarkia, souvlakia •rudbeckia •fakir, Wallachia •Ischia •Antalya, espalier, pallia, rallier •shilly-shallyer • Somalia •hotelier, Montpellier, sommelier, St Helier •Australia, azalea, bacchanalia, Castalia, dahlia, echolalia, genitalia, inter alia, Lupercalia, Mahalia, marginalia, paraphernalia, regalia, Saturnalia, Thalia, Westphalia •Amelia, camellia, Celia, Cordelia, Cornelia, Delia, Elia, epithelia, Karelia, Montpelier, Ophelia, psychedelia •bougainvillea, Brasília, cilia, conciliar, familiar, haemophilia (US hemophilia), Hillier, juvenilia, memorabilia, necrophilia, paedophilia (US pedophilia), sedilia •chanticleer •collier, volleyer •cochlea • haulier •Anatolia, magnolia, melancholia, Mongolia •Apulia, dulia, Julia, peculiar •nuclear, sub-nuclear, thermonuclear •buddleia

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