Magnolia Flower (Hou Po Hua, Xin Yi)
Botanical Name: Magnoliaceae. Western: M. acuminata and M. virginiana. Eastern: M. officinalis and M. liliflora.
Magnolia flowers and buds have a long tradition in Chinese Medicine for treating nasal congestion, whitening skin and calming toothaches. See Magnolia Tree for the functions of the bark and roots.
Below is an overview of magnolia flower, 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 magnolia flower.
Western Name: Magnolia Flower
Also Known As: N/A
Organs/Systems: Sinuses, Liver, Skin, Gums
Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Analgesic, Decongestant. Treats sinus, colds, stuffy nose, hay fever, facial dark spots.
Pin Yin: Hou Po Hua (Flowers), Xin Yi (Buds)
Also Known As: N/A
Meridians: Lungs, Stomach, Liver
Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Similar actions to bark, but milder with greater focus on the upper and middle burners (Jiao). Also Regulates Liver Qi. Often used to treat stifling sensation in the chest or stomach due to upset between Liver and Stomach. Buds are a good gynecology medicine. Buds have been applied directly to the gums to treat toothaches. The fragrance is said to awaken the Spleen’s function to distribute and penetrate dampness.
Parts Most Frequently Used: Flowers and Buds (See Magnolia Tree for Bark, Roots and Seeds functions.)
Flavors/Temps: Acrid, Warm, Aromatic
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 flower. The plant compounds magnolol and honokiol are credited with much of the efficacy of this herb. Magnolias have been cultivated in Chinese Buddhist temple gardens since 600 AD. Rubbed on the skin, magnolia flower/bud extract is used to whiten skin tone. The pink magnolia blossom symbolizes joy, health, and good fortune.
Biphenol compounds magnolol and honokiol. Also Magnolia alkali, magnolol, iso-magnolol, eudesmol, magnocrarine.
Peaceful in Japanese
The flower’s name in Japanese translates to “peaceful and harmonious flower.”
Beauty, Purity, & Long Life
In China, the magnolia blossom symbolizes a beautiful woman. In the Tang Dynasty, it was also regarded as a symbol of purity and sweetness and was planted on the grounds of the Emperor’s palace. It also represents endurance and long life.
Flower of Shanghai
Magnolia is the official flower of Shanghai.
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