Imagine there was an amazing natural ingredient that could help with all kinds of health problems… insomnia, pain and cavities.
Imagine this same ingredient could also help reduce anxiety and inflammation, and even keep your neurons healthy, thereby reducing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
If you’ve ever seen a magnolia tree, you’ve caught a glimpse of this natural wonder. It can help with all those conditions and more!
Magnolia trees are abundant in the American South. In the spring, these magnificent trees are packed full of beautiful, fragrant flowers.
Magnolias are found elsewhere, too. And “elsewhere” is where it seems doctors have the most appreciation for their medicinal properties. . .
Prized in Asia
A number of different types of magnolia are found in China and Japan, where they’re valued for their beauty, but even more for their ability to heal and prevent health problems. They’ve been used for centuries in natural Chinese and Japanese medicine.
Both the magnolia flower and the bark are used in Asian natural medicine traditions. But there are two ingredients in the bark that modern scientists are most excited about – magnolol and honokiol. Studies show they address many different health problems, including tooth decay.
Now, there’s more to tooth decay than just cavities. It’s actually an oral disease that affects 80-90% of the world’s population. It’s caused by a strain of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans). S. mutans creates dental plaque which — once it’s formed — has to be professionally removed.
But studies show magnolia bark has antimicrobial properties that help prevent S. mutans from forming plaque.1
One very recent study wanted to see if chewing gum made with magnolia bark extract could help. It did. Participants who chewed the gum had much less plaque than the participants who were given a placebo.2
But to me, it’s the research around another type of plaque that’s even more interesting. . .
Fights Alzheimer’s and Dementia
A recent study in China looked at nine different compounds that researchers thought may help people with Alzheimer’s. Honokiol and magnolol were among them. The study aimed to find if any of the nine compounds could prevent neural cell death caused by amyloid-beta peptides. The study was conducted on lab-cultured cells.
You may know that amyloid-beta peptides are the main component in the plaque found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Of the nine compounds studied, only honokiol and magnolol significantly reduced neural cell death caused by the peptides.3
So this shows promise for a possible Alzheimer’s therapy. But magnolia may also have the ability to protect nerve cells from damage and help prevent people from developing Alzheimer’s in the first place.
Damaged neurons in the brain can lead to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The healthier you keep your neurons, the longer your brain will stay healthy, too.
Inflammation is one of the leading sources of damage to nerve cells. It’s known that people with Alzheimer’s and dementia have higher levels of inflammation in their brains. Honokiol is particularly good at reducing inflammation.
And because honokiol easily passes through the blood-brain barrier, it gets direct access to our brain cells.4
In sum, there’s a growing body of scientific evidence to suggest honokiol and magnolol may be effective in helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease. And they may even help as a therapy for people who already suffer from the disease. But more research is need to confirm this, particularly more studies involving animal and human subjects.
Even so, you can still get some of the other benefits from magnolia if you’re interested. Some people say it helps them sleep better. And others say it helps with anxiety.
Supplements are available online. I’ve seen them in pill form, as a liquid extract or a powder. If you do give it a try, I’d be interested to hear what you think of it.