Magnolia, or magnolia officinalis in Chinese literature, has, according to our research, been used for 1000’s of years throughout China, and has been well known for its benefits.
Since the modern age, science has determined the 2 main ingrediants; magnolol, and Hondiol, which are in the phenol (plant molecules that usually have anti oxidant qualities) group. This herb may seem like a normal basic herb, with not many health benefits, however it has been studied extensively, and these are the results in a lab...
In simple terms, and then complex terms:
1) The 2 phenolic compounds found in magnolia, have been shown to have nootropic effects in rats. For example, acetylcholine is an excitatory neurotransmitter, and is linked to memory and muscle excitability, there is an enzyme that can degrade the levels of this neurotransmitter called acetylcholinesterase, high levels of this enzyme are linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia. Magnolol and honokiol inhibit the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, and thus increase levels of acetylcholine within the rats studied. Further, this study showed an increase in the potential ability to increase levels the of this neurotransmitter within the synapse, by increasing and enzyme the is needed to make it - choline acetyltransferase.
2. Again, the compounds in magnolia show nootropic effects, this time it is the isolated chemical honokiol that has the benefits, which showed to stimulate neurite outgrowth. In short, this means communication pathways increase. For example, one with better neurite connections to the sense of smell in the brain (olfactory), would have more links to smell part of the brain e.g. the smell may be stronger, have memories linked to it and what those smells could be useful for in terms of survival etc ... than comparing to someone with poorer neurite branches e.g. they just smell it and nothing more. To increase neurite connection, neurite growth is needed, which can be done in normal functioning brains, and is mostly done prenatally. It is speculated, and proven, that increased neurite growth, is linked to higher cognitive function. For example, mercury has the ability to damage neurites rapidly, which can result in severe brain retardation.
3. The 2 compounds, also have anti cancer effects in vitro too.
4. Anti fungal and anti bacterial effects in vitro.
5. Finally, magnolol was 470 times more potent, yes 470 times, than vitamin e in terms of anti-oxidant properties.
The potential benefits of this herb extract are clear for all, and - most importantly – we should give credit to the rats that have given their lifes for these studies, the owner of this company is a vegetarian, and is against animal suffering, but these studies have potential to help so many in the future and we must thank the rats. Hopefully in the future, more human studies will be conducted.