Magnolia bark extract is an ancient herbal remedy from Ancient Chinese medicine. The Ancient Chinese used magnolia bark in combination with a number of other herbs and plants. Modern science is now exposing the health benefits of magnolia bark supplements.
You can use magnolia bark extract as a dietary supplement to help promote a calm, relaxed state, and to promote healthy sleep. Magnolia bark extracts also have a number of potential health benefits including improving cortisol and glucocorticoid levels, and reducing inflammation.
In this article, we’ll answer the common question: “What is magnolia bark extract?”
Magnolia bark benefits and effects
1. Promotes better sleep
Magnolia bark extract is a great dietary supplement for promoting healthy sleep. In 2012, researchers showed that magnolia bark helps to induce sleep in animal tests. It works by binding to GABA receptors in your brain, lowering the time to fall asleep.
In another study, scientists showed that the other component of magnolia bark, honokiol, produced similar effects to magnolol. Magnolia bark may also help to reduce the time taken for you to fall asleep. 
2. May help to reduce anxiety
Scientists have conducted numerous animal tests to help show that magnolia bark may be beneficial in reducing anxiety in humans. Of course, ancient Chinese medical practitioners knew all about these effects long before we started doing our experiments. The ancient Chinese used magnolia bark extract to help with a number of ailments, including symptoms caused by emotional distress (anxiety).
Animal studies have shown that magnolia bark has the potential to significantly reduce anxiety. Unfortunately, human studies usually use magnolia bark with other herbs, making it hard to determine whether the effects are from magnolia bark alone.
3. May improve cortisol levels
In 2013, researchers published a study in the Journal of International Social Sports Nutrition, showing that magnolia bark extract (combined with Phellodendron amurense) helped to reduce cortisol levels in 56 participants.
When your stress and anxiety levels decrease, so do your cortisol levels. So it’s only natural that a substance that reduces stress also helps to reduce cortisol (the ‘stress hormone’).
Cortisol is actually a very important hormone in our bodies. It helps to control your blood sugar levels, regulates your metabolism, reduces inflammation, and helps with maintaining healthy brain function.
However, chronic stress and anxiety mean that your cortisol is overused, and this can cause a number of psychological and physical problems. These include depression, digestive problems, headaches, and weight gain.
4. May help maintain healthy glucocorticoids
Natural steroids are important hormones in our bodies. They are especially important for reducing inflammation and in reducing the symptoms of asthma. Inflammation is responsible for a number of ailments as well as chronic pain.
In a number of animal studies, researchers have shown that magnolia bark extract has the potential to reduce inflammation and improve glucocorticoid levels.  Although promising, these results don’t show for sure that magnolia bark can reduce inflammation in humans. More human studies are needed before this can be known for sure.
Magnolia bark extract recommended dosage
Most recommended doses for magnolia bark are based on animal studies. Ancient Chinese cultures used magnolia bark in combination with a number of other pharmacologically active herbs and plants.
The recommended dosage for magnolia bark extract is around 250 – 500 mg. This dosage range may be effective at stimulating GABA receptors, reducing anxiety and stress, and improving sleep.
Magnolia bark side effects and warnings
Magnolia bark is listed as possibly safe on WebMD, a good source of information about side effects of supplements. Most human studies on Magnolia bark have combined magnolia bark extract with other herbs.
Magnolia bark extract should not be used by pregnant women or breast feeding women, and may be dangerous to use before surgery. It is recommended to stop using magnolia bark supplements at least 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Liftmode.com’s Magnolia bark extract is not intended to treat or cure any disease or ailment and is sold strictly as a dietary supplement. Please consult your physician if you have any questions, any underlying medical conditions, or are taking prescription medication.
Magnolia bark review
“I recommend Magnolia Bark Extract to anyone that may be, or even may not, experiencing a sense of self-doubt, social anxiety, lack of motivation, and even lack of sleep. Surprisingly, I did not discover the somnolent property of Magnolia until last week, when I could not sleep properly for four days straight, and after taking the extract I rebounded to my normal, balanced sleep schedule. The product is paramount in its category and is in no way addictive. I applaud its anxiolytic and calming effects.” – Vitaliy, Magnolia bark extract review on Liftmode.com
In conclusion, magnolia bark extract is a great dietary supplement for promoting healthy sleep, reducing anxiety and stress, improving cortisol levels, and promoting healthy glucocorticoid production. Magnolia bark extract is a dietary supplement and is not intended to treat or cure any ailment or disease. More human studies would be great to show more of the benefits of magnolia bark.
 Magnolol, a major bioactive constituent of the bark of Magnolia officinalis, induces sleep via the benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptor in mice, Chen CR et al., Neuropharmacology. 2012 Nov;63(6):1191-9. doi: 10.1016, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22771461
 Honokiol promotes non-rapid eye movement sleep via the benzodiazepine site of the GABAA receptor in mice, WM Qu et al., Br J Pharmacol. 2012 Oct; 167(3): 587–598, doi: 10.1111, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3449263/
 Honokiol, a putative anxiolytic agent extracted from magnolia bark, has no diazepam-like side-effects in mice, H Kuribara et al., J Pharm Pharmacol. 1999 Jan;51(1):97-103, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10197425
 Effect of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora®) on cortisol and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects, SM Talbott, JA Talbott and M Pugh, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug 7;10(1):37. doi: 10.1186, available from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23924268
 What Does Cortisol Do? Hormone Health Network, available from http://www.hormone.org/hormones-and-health/what-do-hormones-do/cortisol
 Chronic Stress Puts your health at risk, Mayo Clinic Staff, Mayoclinic.org, retrieved on 6 September 2016
 Magnolia officinalis, Examine.com, available from https://examine.com/supplements/magnolia-officinalis/
 Magnolia, Side Effects, WebMD.com, retrieved on 6 September 2016