honokiol What Is All The Fuss About Honokiol? Amazing Healing HerbWikipedia defines Honokiol as “Honokiol is a lignan present in the cones, bark, and leaves of Magnolia grandiflora that has been used in the traditional Japanese medicine Saiboku-to as an anxiolytic, antithrombotic, anti-depressant, anti-emetic, and anti-bacterial.”

The Chinese call it “hou po”, and use it in many herbal remedies and use it to treat digestive disorders. The Japanese refer to it as “saiboku-to”, and sure enough they drink it as a tea to treat anxiety.

The species Magnolia grandifloris and Magnolia officialis have been used for thousands of years in traditional Asian medicine. However recent research has shown that honokiol may be worthy as a treatment for cancer and autoimmune disorders. Honokiol is a bi-phenolic compound with the formula C18H18O2 and a molecular weight of 266 grams/mole. It is an isomer of magnolol which has 1000 times antioxidant effect than Vitamin E. Doctors now believe that its antioxidant properties may be beneficial for people with heart disease. The dried bark of M. officinalis usually has about 1-5% hanokiol and 2-10% magnolol.

Honokiol has been around for some 2000 years used in various herbal treatments and home remedies, and was and is used by practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine. But now it seems to have caught the eye of the western world. Long ago the magnolia bark was used to treat many illnesses; low chi, depression, anxiety, headaches, nervousness, fears, fever, coughs, nausea and digestion problems.

Modern medicine is beginning to take notice of this ancient treatment. Researchers have found that this compound may be helpful as a treatment for those with cancer. What doctors have found is that it seems to interrupt and stop cancer cell development. More than that, it is said that it may help those in radiation increase the desired effect.

Another benefit it seems is that it will also reduce inflammation, and lessen other symptoms of arthritis. Because of this there is now testing on using Honokiol for the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.

A doctor speaks on Honokiol and the Importance of using it to fight cancer.

Information on the Magnolia Tree
Common Names
Magnolia, Ch’Uan Pu, Chinese Magnolia, Choon Pok, Hou Pu, Magnolier Officinal

Botanical Name
Magnolia officinalis

70-75 feet

30-50 feet
Native to
West and Central China

Bark is collected in autumn and flowers in spring

Liquid extract

Properties – It is a pungent, bitter, warm herb

  • Improves digestion
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Anti fungal
  • Anti bacterial
  • Anti-allergic,
  • Anti-asthmatic
  • Anti-septic,
  • Anti-spasmodic
  • Anti-stress
  • Anxiolytic
  • Aphrodisiac
  • Appetizer
  • Digestive
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Expectorant
  • Ophthalmic
  • Stomachic
  • Tonic

Dried whole Magnolia bark in a dosage of 3 to 9 grams per day
2% honokiol extract take 400mg – 800mg per day
Powdered or pill form should be 250-750 mg/ per day

Medical Uses

  • Cancer
  • Abdominal distention
  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea
  • Menstrual Cramps
  • Loss of appetite
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Weight Loss
  • Vomiting
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatism
  • Indigestion
  • Asthma
  • Coughs with profuse
  • Phlegm
  • Pressure and fullness in the abdomen and chest
  • Shortness of breath

Take only in recommended dosages
Do not take if pregnant
Do not take if breast feeding
Do not use on animals or children as it may be toxic to them
Do not take if dehydrated
Do not take if you have kidney disease

Side effects
Large doses may make you dizzy
Large doses may make you sleepy

Testing on animals found: That this compound modulates neurotransmitters in the brain. In animals,
Honokiol in high doses, depressed the entire central nervous system and caused drowsiness.
Honokiol in low doses, relieved anxiety without any associated fatigue.

Researchers need to do much more research on Honokiol so its boundaries and uses become well established. A very good site to read up on the details and science of the Honokiol is CLL Topics.

Filed under: Healing Herbs

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