19 Magnolia Bark Medicinal Uses (Kidney Failure Side Effects?)


Table of Contents

What are some Medicinal uses of the Magnolia plant?

The bark, leaves, and flower buds of the Magnolia tree have many medicinal uses that have been studied in medical literature, including the following:

  1. anti-inflammatory
  2. anticancer
  3. antimicrobial
  4. antioxidant
  5. improved menopause symptoms
  6. reduced menstrual cramps
  7. treats respiratory issues (asthma, stuffy nose, runny nose, common cold, sinus pain, hay fever)
  8. anti-allergic
  9. improved sleep
  10. reduced anxiety and stress
  11. fights depression
  12. reduced gingivitis
  13. helps weight loss
  14. helps diabetes
  15. helps Alzheimer’s disease
  16. improved liver health
  17. lower blood pressure
  18. improved dental health
  19. digestive problems, constipation, diarrhea

In the video below, Dr. Lindsey talks about the benefits of Magnolia Bark Extract:

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What are the Side Effects of Magnolia Bark?

The following are some side effects of magnolia bark:

  1. Heartburn
  2. Shaking hands
  3. Sexual problems
  4. Thyroid dysfunction
  5. Headache
  6. Skin rashes after topical application
  7. Possible kidney damage after long-term use

These side effects are rare and magnolia bark is safe for most adults for short-term use for up to 1 year. However, long-term use is not recommended due to a lack of safety data. Also, supplementation with magnolia bark is not recommended in pregnant and breastfeeding women. 

Does Magnolia Bark cause Kidney failure?

Magnolia bark may cause kidney failure after long-term use. Some early case studies of women undergoing weight management treatment reported kidney issues caused due to a preparation containing magnolia bark, however, further analysis revealed possible contamination, adulteration, or use of substandard products as the cause of kidney damage.  

On the other hand, Magnolia bark offers short-term protection to kidneys against the toxicity induced by anticancer treatment. The study suggests that magnolia bark protects kidneys from oxidative stress, maintains the oxidative capacity of cells, and stabilizes the structure of epithelial cells during cancer treatment.

Animal studies show the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of magnolia bark protect kidneys from high-fat diet-induced damage. 

Given the contradictory nature of studies and the available information, more human studies and clinical trials are required to establish the effects of magnolia bark on kidneys. 

Can you use Magnolia Bark for Menopause Symptoms?

Evidence in studies with menopausal women suggests that Magnolia Bark extract may decrease the frequency and severity of menopause symptoms including:

  • flushing
  • night sweats
  • hot flashes
  • vaginal dryness
  • libido loss
  • palpitations
  • insomnia
  • low mood
  • irritability
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • depression
  • psycho-affective symptoms
  • evening cortisol levels
  • improved systolic blood pressure

Side Effects of Magnolia Bark for Menopause

Menopausal women taking Magnolia Supplements may experience some side effects including:

  • constipation
  • breast tension
  • blood loss

Magnolia Bark for Menopause Dosage

One study treated menopause patients with a dosage of one 60 mg tablet of Magnolia Bark extract daily for 24 weeks.

Does Magnolia Bark Extract have Skin Benefits?

  • Anti-oxidant: protects against free radicals and decelerates the aging process.
  • Anti-inflammatory: helps reduce redness, irritation, and soothes the skin.
  • Anti-bacterial: helps against acne and itching.
  • Moisturizer: prevents the loss of skin elasticity and reduces small wrinkles. The skin looks firmer, fresher and younger.
  • Skin whitener: helps fade dark spots and gives the appearance of an even complexion.

Can Magnolia Bark extract be used for Acne?

Magnolia Bark extract can be used for acne as it exhibits antibacterial effects on the face. Researchers also noticed that magnolia extract could have a strong anti-inflammatory effect. Moreover, the organic components such as magnolol and honokiol found in the extract have strong antioxidant properties, which may help fight free radicals off the skin. 

These effects were enough for an introduction as a cosmetic material in moisturizers and face washes to alleviate irritated skin or manage skin diseases such as acne and atopic dermatitis. 

If you use magnolia bark extract directly on the skin, the best way is with a solubilizer such as Pentylene Glycol Natural. Only then can it exhibit its maximum antimicrobial potential. However, use the extract only after consulting a medical professional.

Does Magnolia Bark affect Thyroid function?

Thyroid dysfunction is reported as one of the side effects of supplementation with magnolia bark. The side effects were reported only in a single case, and the study did not explain their cause in relation to the treatment. Further, magnolia bark has a well-established safety profile for short-term use. 

Additional studies and research is required to establish a relationship between thyroid function and magnolia bark usage if any. 

Is Magnolia Bark useful for Weight loss?

Magnolia bark can be useful for weight loss because it reduces stress-induced food consumption. 

A clinical trial was conducted on overweight women aged between 20-50 years. During the trial, the treatment group consumed Magnolia along with Phellodendron extract 3 times a day for 6 weeks. After the studies, researchers found that the treatment group did not gain any weight as opposed to the placebo group. They also discovered that cortisol levels in the treatment group remained low in the evening and at bedtime.  

However, it should be noted that there are no studies that claim magnolia bark can cause weight loss. 

How to make Magnolia Petal Tea?

Magnolia petal tea can be made easily at home for consumption. To make the tea use dry petals available commercially or collect petals from an organically grown magnolia tree. After collecting petals, wash them thoroughly and dry them over a baking sheet. 

  • Boil 3 cups of water in a vessel and add about 2 cups of dry magnolia petals. Then turn off the gas.
  • Once cool, place the vessel overnight in a refrigerator allowing further extraction of petals. 
  • Strain the liquid and remove any petals before drinking the petal tea. 
  • The remaining liquid can be stored back in the refrigerator for future use.

Is Magnolia Bark safe?

Magnolia Bark has been used for over 1,000 years in traditional Chinese Medicine without indications of safety concerns. A 2018 review of 44 articles on the safety and toxicity of honokiol and magnolol (compounds in Magnolia Bark) determined that it’s generally considered safe for human consumption for most people when used orally and for the short term. 

It is not known if any side effects experienced when taking Magnolia Bark are really caused by it, or some other factor.

Not enough is known to rate the safety of topical supplements with Magnolia Bark applied to the skin. Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers should avoid taking Magnolia Bark.

Does Magnolia Bark have any interactions with other supplements?

Magnolia bark can have interactions with the following classes of drugs:

  • Sedative and anti-anxiety agents: The constituents of magnolia bark promote sleep and consuming other sedatives or depressants can potentiate the effects leading to excessive sleepiness and slow breathing. 
  • Anti-coagulants: Magnolia interferes with platelet activation leading to increased clotting time. Concurrent administration of anticoagulants or blood thinners may lead to bleeding or bruising. 
  • Magnolia bark may potentiate the effect of anti-diabetic drugs. 
  • Magnolia bark may alter the effects of drugs that affect the functioning of the cytochrome P450 enzyme. 

Can Magnolia Bark cause Addiction?

Magnolia bark can cause addiction given its sedative effects. Also, it creates effects similar to the benzodiazepine class of drugs which can result in dependency. 

A literature review reveals that the following group of people can misuse it:

  • People who use benzodiazepine may use magnolia bark as a natural sedative.
  • Drug users may misuse magnolia bark for its feel-good effect.
  • People who are unaware of potential addiction-causing effects of magnolia.

The review suggests that its easy availability, affordability, potent effects, favorable legal status, and natural origin may contribute to its misuse and addiction.

How can Magnolia Bark help in managing High Blood Pressure?

Magnolia extract can help in managing high blood pressure as research has observed it to have various effects such as:

Each of these effects may contribute to lowering high blood pressure. Especially for lowering stress, studies observed that consuming 500 mg of magnolia and Phellodendron bark extract per day greatly reduced cortisol levels. This result is significant as high cortisol levels have been strongly linked to high blood pressure.

Furthermore, an animal study concluded that chronic treatment with magnolia bark extract has an antihypertensive effect. Its vasorelaxant action and antioxidant properties may contribute to reducing elevated blood pressure.

Can Magnolia Bark extract be used for getting rid of Bad Breath?

Magnolia Bark extract is a great method for getting rid of bad breath as research shows it can kill bacteria that may cause a bad odor in the mouth. 

This research looked at both lab trails and human trails. In the lab trails, magnolia bark extract killed 100% of the bad odor-causing bacteria. In human trials, among nine healthy adults, those who chewed on mints laced with magnolia bark extract showed a 61% drop in bad odor-causing bacteria one hour after eating. In contrast, those who chewed on normal mints showed only a 4% drop in bad odor-causing bacteria.

Furthermore, this research concluded that magnolia bark extract has two main components, magnolol and honokiol, responsible for this inhibitory effect against bacteria in the mouth.

Want to know more?

Click the links below to access the individual topic pages:


This article makes use of information from the U.S. National Library of Medicine under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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19 Magnolia Bark Medicinal Uses (Kidney Failure Side Effects?)
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