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Magnolia Bark Extract

  • Promotes a calm, relaxed state of mind
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps to support a healthy circulatory system


Magnolia Bark Extract contains a high concentration of plant alkaloids from a well-known plant that was traditionally used in Chinese Medicine for over a thousand years. The most important alkaloids are Magnolol and Honokiol, which have numerous benefits in the body. The best-known effect of this supplement is its ability to promote relaxation and healthy sleep while supporting a positive mood. People also use this supplement to support healthy cognitive health, as well as to support a healthy metabolism and circulatory system. Magnolia Bark Extract is best taken at a serving size of 200 – 400 mg, once to twice per day. 


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Magnolia Bark Extract Reviews




  • Magnolia bark is an ancient traditional remedy from Eastern medicine used for reducing stress and to support a healthy mood

  • Magnolia bark extract contains high concentrations of Magnolol & Honokiol which are effective at supporting healthy stress levels as well as promoting a calm and relaxed state of mind

  • Magnolia bark recommended serving size is 200-600 mg, taken once to twice daily

  • Side effects of the use of Magnolia Bark Extract are considered minimal, but it may interact with a variety of medications. 




Magnolia Bark Extract, also referred to as Houpu, Magnolia Officinalis, Saiboku-to, Honokiol, or Magnolol, is a well-known and well-researched natural supplement used for promoting a healthy mood and a relaxed mental state. It has been used in Eastern Traditional Medicine for thousands of years, with the first recorded use in 100 A.D., as written by Shennong Jing (China):

“Houpu is bitter and warm, non-toxic, mainly treating wind-stroke, cold damage, headache, cold and heat, fright qi, blood impediment, and dead muscle. It removes the three kinds of worms. It grows in mountains and valleys.”[1]

In subsequent Traditional Chinese Medicine, Houpu is mainly referred to as having properties to prevent the stagnation of Qi (pronounced “Chi”, meaning life-force) in the abdomen and in the chest. Even back then, the calming and relaxing properties of Magnolia Bark Extract were well known, as it was used to treat problems related to emotional stress, fear, and shortness of breath.

The Bark was a common ingredient in herbal TCM remedies used by respected Chinese herbal practitioners from around 200 A.D., and some of these remedies are still used TCM today. Often, the Bark would be used in a herbal formula which combined the use of other plants such as rhubarb, cinnamon, ginger and liquorice.[2]  In China today, Magnolia officinalis extracts are used in two popular remedies, known as Saiboku-to or Chai Po Tang. These remedies contain Magnolia, ginger, pinella ternate rhizomes, Poria cocos, and Perilla frutescens, and are typically used for lung health and to promote a healthy mood. [3]

Two groups of phytochemicals, bisphenols and essential oils, give magnolia bark its characteristic smell, which was thought to awaken the spleen in ancient Chinese medicine. The bisphenols are the main components of magnolia bark which give it its pharmacological properties and these major chemicals are Magnolol and Honokiol.


Magnolia Bark Extract Benefits/Effects


1.     Magnolia Bark Extract for Mood


Magnolia Bark Extract is known for its ability to help support a healthy mood. Although there is a need for further research into these benefits, some preliminary research exists to confirm these well-known benefits for those who use it. Unfortunately, most research has looked into the effects of Magnolia-containing remedies, so it’s difficult to isolate the effects of this supplement.

For example, a 2013 study looked into the effects of a combination of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense on mood. After 4 weeks of supplementation, mood rating was significantly improved (lower stress and fatigue levels, and higher levels of good mood state and vigour).[4]

In a 2015 literature review, researchers examined various herbs and plants that are often used for mood. They found that animal models support the claim that this supplement improves mood, while several clinical studies support the use of this supplement for mood (although these used multi-ingredient remedies). [5]

This supplement interacts with serotonin and dopamine receptors, which are known to be involved in the regulation of mood. It is an antagonist at most dopamine receptor sites and has mixed action at different serotonin receptor sites (acts as an agonist on 5-HT1B and an antagonist on 5-HT6, for example).[6]


2.     Support for Cognitive Health


A lesser-known benefit of this supplement is its ability to help support cognitive health. Importantly, the alkaloids Magnolol and Honokiol appear to be effective an increasing acetylcholine release in animal studies. [7] Acetylcholine is often referred to as the ‘learning transmitter’ and is essential for effective cognitive function. In some animal models, Honokiol and Magnolol were effective at preventing a decline in learning abilties as a result of toxins (scolopamine). [8] There is still room for more research into effects on human cognition.

In one literature review, published in 2013, researchers looked into the potential benefits of Magnolia Bark Extract and its constituent alkaloid Honokiol for improving cognition and memory. According to their research, Honokiol has effective neuroprotective effects, especially as an anti-inflammatory compound for the Central Nervous System, along with pain-relief and stress-reducing properties. [9]


3.     Promotion of Relaxation and Stress Reduction


In terms of its ability to reduce stress, Magnolia Bark Extract has long been known as an effective dietary supplement. By acting on GABAA receptors, this supplement helps to promote relaxation and feelings of calm.[10] The ability to act on GABA receptors appears to be a property of both Honokiol and Magnolol.[11] Substances that positively influence GABA receptors are known as GABA agonists and have been used for a long time in both herbal remedies and pharmaceutical research for their stress-reducing properties. 

As an example of studies examining these effects, several animal-based studies have pointed to these stress-reducing abilities, while simultaneously conveying potent neuroprotective benefits.[12] There is still room for further research looking into stress-reduction in human participants.


4.     Helps to Promote Healthy Sleep


This supplement’s ability to help promote healthy sleep also relates to its effects on GABA receptors. By increasing the activity of GABA receptors, it helps to reduce the number of signals being received through the Central Nervous System (CNS), which has a calming and relaxing effect. Examples of well known GABA agonists include alcohol and benzodiazepines. Magnolia Bark Extract has a much milder effect but is nevertheless effective at promoting healthy sleep.[13]

Although there is room for further studies on the sleep-promoting benefits of this supplement in humans, the anecdotal evidence certainly points towards the positive. Like this Amazon review of our supplement, for example:

“… I heard about Magnolia Bark on the Dr. Oz show. Reportedly, it helps reduce stress which can be a major contributor to a sleepless night. It is alleged that Magnolia Bark is the perfect remedy-- it relaxes you, calms your racing mind and facilitates a good night sleep. I had to try it.

I went from health store to health store - from major chains to small Ma and Pa - nobody carried it, many never even heard of it. Finally, I searched Amazon and came across LiftMode's Magnolia Bark - 95% Pure Honokiol + Magnolol.

I took it as directed and felt relaxed immediately. However, the big test was yet to come. Sure enough like clockwork, later that night I awoke at the dreaded 4 AM. I didn't even bother to look at the clock, that would only stress me out even more. Instead, I scooped up a little bit of LiftMode's Magnolia Bark, turned off the light and rolled over. I didn't really expect much. I guess I expected to toss and turn until the alarm went off like I always do. But that didn't happen. I actually fell back to sleep with the help of LiftMode's Magnolia Bark. The next thing I knew, I was getting out of bed at 7 AM feeling well rested. The same thing happened for 3 straight nights. Now I take a bit just before bed and don't wake until the morning. Needless to say, I am pleased with the purchase of this supplement.” – D.E. Boone. [14]


5.     Supports a Healthy Metabolism & Circulatory System


Animal studies have pointed to some interesting effects on the metabolism, and especially in the metabolism of glucose (sugar). Honokiol appears to be a partial agonist of PPARγ receptors, which helps to promote the uptake of glucose into cells.[15] This is important because it means that it allows greater energy and helps to support a healthy metabolism. Furthermore, animal studies have shown that Honokiol supplements helped to support a healthy circulatory system and blood glucose levels, without promoting weight gain.[16] In fact, in some animal studies, Magnolia Bark Extract supplements were shown to reduce fat gain when fed a high-fat diet, as well as to prevent inflammation and increase the rate of metabolism.[17]

Further studies have shown Magnolol to have anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relief) properties, as Eastern medicine has claimed for hundreds of years. An acetic-acid induced shock was depressed by Magnolol, indomethacin and ibuprofen. Unlike other anti-inflammatories, Magnolol appears not to increase the liver glycogen level and has been shown to be less toxic than other modern synthetic analgesics.[18]



Magnolia Bark Extract Recommended Usage


The recommended serving size for this dietary supplement is 200 – 400 mg, taken once to two times per day. Start at the lower suggested size to assess your response to its effects. It is not recommended to exceed this serving suggestion. Increasing the serving size above this recommendation may increase the chance of experiencing negative effects.

LiftMode Magnolia Bark Extract is 95% pure and can be bought in 50 gram or 20-gram containers. It comes with its own measuring spoon.


Magnolia Bark Extract Side Effects & Warnings


Adverse effects of this supplement are not well documented and are considered to be both rare and mild. Some people have reported feeling constipated when using this supplement, others have reported a sore throat, and some people have said that it makes them thirsty.[19]

Exceeding the recommended serving suggestion will likely increase the probability of experiencing mild side effects, which may also include headaches and nausea. Do not exceed the recommended serving suggestion.

There is limited information about the safety of Magnolia Bark Extract supplements for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Please speak to your doctor before using this supplement if you have any underlying medical conditions. This supplement may interact with various medications, especially with blood thinners. Do not use this supplement while taking medication if you have not yet spoken to your doctor about it. [20]




In summary, this is a great natural supplement with one and a half a thousand years of history in Traditional Chinese Medicine. As an extract, our supplement is much stronger than the ancient remedies used, with concentrated Magnolol and Honokiol alkaloids. These two phytochemicals have been shown to have several beneficial effects on the body, including stress reduction, promoting relaxation and healthy sleep, and supporting a healthy circulatory system.

It is important to consult with your doctor before using this supplement if you are taking medicine, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it may interact with a variety of medications.



Medical Disclaimer

Not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or ailment. Please read and fully understand potential adverse effects before using this product. These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA and are not written by a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before using any supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions.



[1] Yang Shou-zhong (translator), The Divine Farmer's Materia Medica, 1998 Blue Poppy Press, Boulder, CO.

[2]Magnolia Bark”, by Subhuti Dharmananda, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Traditional Medicine, Portland, Oregon, available online from

[3]Magnolia Officinalis”,, available online from

[4] Talbott SM, Talbott JA, Pugh M. “Effect of Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense (Relora®) on cortisol and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug 7;10(1):37

[5] Liu L, Liu C, Wang Y, Wang P, Li Y, Li B. “Herbal Medicine for Anxiety, Depression and Insomnia.” Current Neuropharmacology. 2015;13(4):481-493.

[6] Koetter U, Barrett M, Lacher S, Abdelrahman A, Dolnick D. “Interactions of Magnolia and Ziziphus extracts with selected central nervous system receptors.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Jul 30;124(3):421-5.

[7] Hou YC, Chao PD, Chen SY. “Honokiol and magnolol increased hippocampal acetylcholine release in freely-moving rats.Am J Chin Med. 2000;28(3-4):379-84.

[8] Lee YK, Yuk DY, Kim TI, Kim YH, Kim KT, Kim KH, Lee BJ, Nam SY, Hong JT. “Protective effect of the ethanol extract of Magnolia officinalis and 4-O-methylhonokiol on scopolamine-induced memory impairment and the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase activity.” J Nat Med. 2009 Jul;63(3):274-82

[9] Woodbury A, Yu SP, Wei L, García P. “Neuro-Modulating Effects of Honokiol: A Review.” Frontiers in Neurology. 2013;4:130.

[10] Squires RF, Ai J, Witt MR, Kahnberg P, Saederup E, Sterner O, Nielsen M. “Honokiol and magnolol increase the number of [3H] muscimol binding sites three-fold in rat forebrain membranes in vitro using a filtration assay, by allosterically increasing the affinities of low-affinity sites.” Neurochem Res. 1999 Dec;24(12):1593-602.

[11] Watanabe K, Watanabe H, Goto Y, Yamaguchi M, Yamamoto N, Hagino K. “Pharmacological properties of magnolol and honokiol extracted from Magnolia officinalis: central depressant effects.” Planta Med. 1983 Oct;49(2):103-8.

[12] Lee Y-J, Choi D-Y, Han SB, et al. “A Comparison between Extract Products of Magnolia officinalis on Memory Impairment and Amyloidogenesis in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease.Biomolecules & Therapeutics. 2012;20(3):332-339. doi:10.4062/biomolther.2012.20.3.332.

[13] Chen CR, Zhou XZ, Luo YJ, Huang ZL, Urade Y, Qu WM. “Magnolol, a major bioactive constituent of the bark of Magnolia officinalis, induces sleep via the benzodiazepine site of GABA(A) receptor in mice.Neuropharmacology. 2012 Nov;63(6):1191-9

[15] Abbott BD. “Review of the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha (PPAR alpha), beta (PPAR beta), and gamma (PPAR gamma) in rodent and human development.Reprod Toxicol. 2009 Jun;27(3-4):246-57.

[16] Atanasov AG, et al. “Honokiol: a non-adipogenic PPARγ agonist from nature.” Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Oct;1830(10):4813-9.

[17] Kim YJ, Choi MS, Cha BY, Woo JT, Park YB, Kim SR, Jung UJ. “Long-term supplementation of honokiol and magnolol ameliorates body fat accumulation, insulin resistance, and adipose inflammation in high-fat fed mice.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2013 Nov;57(11):1988-98.

[18] Anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of magnolol, Chen-Chih Chen et al., Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology, Vol 366, Issue 6, Dec 1992

[19]Magnolia Reviews”,, available online from 

[20] “Magnolia Risks and Uses”,, available online from