Magnolia Tree

Magnolia Tree (Hou Po)


Magnolia Tree (Huo Po)

Botanical Name: Magnoliaceae. Western: M. acuminata and M. virginiana. Eastern: M. officinalis.

The bark and roots of the magnolia tree have a long tradition in Chinese Medicine for healing and calming upset stomachs, asthma, and vomiting. See Magnolia Flower for the functions of the flowers and buds.

Below is an overview of the magnolia tree, combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of the magnolia tree.

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Western Name: Magnolia Tree

Also Known As: Blue Magnolia, Swamp Sassafras, Cucumber Tree

Organs/Systems: Stomach, Lungs, Sinuses, Eyes, Intestines

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Mild diaphoretic, Tonic, Aromatic Stimulant, Gentle Laxative, Sudorific, Antimedic, Digestive, Tonic. Rheumatism, malaria, stress relieving, cortisol-lowering (cortisol can contribute to osteoporosis, diabetes, suppressed immune function and memory problems).  Bark promotes gastrointestinal motility; seeds improve eyesight; relaxes muscles, gastric ulcers, intermittent fevers, reoccurring typhoid symptoms, weight loss, constipation, anxiety, stroke, asthma.


Pin Yin: Hou Po

Also Known As: N/A

Meridians: Spleen, Stomach, Large Intestine, Lungs

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Aromatic Herb that Transforms Phlegm: Promotes Movement of Qi/Transforms Damp: food stagnation, chest or abdominal distention and fullness, loss of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea. Warms and Transforms Phlegm/Redirecting Rebellious Qi Downwards: wheezing, due to phlegm with cough. The bark promotes gastrointestinal motility; the seeds improve eyesight and Tonify Qi. Asthma, bloating, vomiting, Diarrhea. Activate Qi to Resolve Stagnation, Dry Dampness.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Magnolia is an ancient genus, appearing before bees did. It is theorized that the flowers evolved to encourage pollination by beetles. Fossilized specimens M. acuminata have been found dating to 20 million years ago, surviving many geological events from the ice age, mountain formations, and continental drift). Genus named in commemoration of Pierre Magnol, a professor of medicine and botany in the early 18th century. It is a large tree of 16-80 feet or more and diameter of 3-5 feet. Mainly eastern and southeastern Asia, with secondary locations in North America, Central America, the West Indies and South America. In China, it is mainly produced in Sichuan, Hubei and as well as some other regions.

Magnolia Tree (Hou Po)

Parts Most Frequently Used: Bark of Trunk, Branch and Root, Seed, Root and Flower (See Magnolia Flower for Flower and Bud functions)

Flavors/Temps: Bitter, Acrid, Warm

Caution: None noted.

History/Folklore: Used in Chinese Medicine since 100AD. Currently there are more than 200 Chinese patent drugs that are based on magnolia. Magnolias have been cultivated in Chinese Buddhist temple gardens since 600 AD. The latest research news from scientists in Illinois report that breath mints made with magnolia bark extract kill most oral bacteria that causes bad breath and tooth decay within 30 minutes of chewing the mints. The magnolia tree is a tree of life symbol; its branches and blossoms reach into the sky, their roots penetrating deep into the earth.  It dwells between heaven, earth and the underworld, uniting the energies of the universe.

Key Constituents:

Bark is rich in biphenol compounds (magnolol and honokiol), Magnolia alkali, magnolol, iso-magnolol, eudesmol, magnocrarine.

Did you know?

No More Nicotine

The bark can be chewed as a substitute for tobacco, to cure the habit of smoking.


Symbol of Longevity

The magnolia tree is often shown with other symbols of longevity such as the pine tree.

Fun fact!

Mississippi State Tree

In the U.S., it is both the state tree and flower for Mississippi.


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ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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