After a long weekend, you have that inevitable moment on the first day back to school or work where the reality of everything you have to catch up on sets in. Suddenly, the fun-loving spirit of the weekend is gone, you start to sweat, your heart races and you drown your stress in a frozen, creamy coffee drink.
You feel better for a while, but then you go home and try to unwind. When your finally head hits the pillow it all starts up again. Everything you didn't get done that day and everything waiting for you tomorrow. Where do the hours go? Before you know it, it's 4 a.m. and you've barely slept a wink.
Sound like you? Stress and anxiety, and the insomnia and poor eating habits they can cause are a common issue that can be dealt with in a natural way. One such herbal solution gaining attention is magnolia bark.
Magnolia Bark Basics
Magnolia bark is sourced from a Chinese tree known as Magnolia officinalis. The two compounds within magnolia bark that are credited with its medicinal benefits are honokiol and magnolol, which impact hormone production. Honokiol is considered the more powerful of the two. This action supports mental and physical health in a number of ways.
Possible Uses for Magnolia Bark
One of the main reasons magnolia bark is becoming so popular is its ability to mimic the effects of prescription medications without the harmful side effects or chance of addiction. Here are some of the reasons consumers are picking up magnolia bark:
Stress/Anxiety Reliever and Mood Lifter -- The two active compounds within magnolia bark previously mentioned help increase the amount of acetylcholine within the brain, which helps produce a calming effect. You'll feel less frazzled and better able to handle what the day brings because your body isn't producing as much cortisol, which is the stress hormone that can make you feel anxious. Magnolia bark is traditionally included in two specific Chinese medicines, Hange-koboku-to, which is comprised of five herbal extracts, and Saiboki-to, which contains 10 different extracts. In a study published in 2000 in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology confirmed honokiol had an anxiolytic, or anti-anxiety effect.
Weight Management -- Another nasty side effect of having too much cortisol is weight gain. Cortisol triggers your body's fight or flight response, sending a "batten down the hatches" message to your metabolism, causing fat to collect, particularly in the abdomen. Since you're suppressing this hormone production by using magnolia bark, you may be able to prevent this stress-related weight gain and maybe shed some excess pounds by cutting out stress eating.
Sleep Aid -- Stress and anxiety also impact your ability to sleep well, making magnolia bark a great sleep aid and popular alternative to melatonin (a hormone). Magnolia bark was even endorsed for this purpose by Dr. Mehmet Oz and his guest Michael Dr. Breus on the October 24, 2012 episode of "The Dr. Oz Show" (Editor's Note: Dr. Oz doesn't endorse any specific product or brand).
Other possible benefits of magnolia bark still being research include inflammation, digestion and asthma.
How to Use It
While this supplement doesn't have any reported side effects, research is ongoing to determine its exact benefits. Be sure to speak with your doctor before adding it to your daily routine, especially if you're pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated for a medical condition, especially those mentioned above. Your doctor can help you determine the best dose and for how long to take supplement. Some products are recommended for daily use while others recommend cycling, using the product for a certain amount of time and then taking a break.
You can find magnolia bark on its own as a capsule or tincture (an extract combined with alcohol) or in a blend of other herbal extracts. It's most often combined with Phellodendron amurense, another plant extract that helps fight infection and promote overall health. This combination is known as relora, which has been praised for its ability to prevent prevent stress-related eating, burn belly fat and maintain a calm, relaxed state. Follow instructions carefully and make sure to pay attention to how you feel and any changes in your sleep, good or bad.
Check out our entire selection of supplements at eVitamins and let us know how this one works for you! Have a great week!