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Does MBE Work For Losing Weight?

 Bark from the Magnolia officinalis tree is an ingredient in today's over-the-counter diet aids and supplements, but its use actually dates back to the first century A.D. in China. Native to the Chinese mountains, the magnolia tree now grows in many areas of the world, cultivated for its ornamental value. The FDA does not regulate the production of herbal weight loss supplements, and as such, there is no guarantee of their safety or effectiveness. See your doctor before using products that contain magnolia bark to lose weight.


Growers harvest the bark from the trunk and the branches of the magnolia tree. After drying, the bark is made into capsules or liquid extract. Magnolia bark contains neolignans, magnolol, honokiol, and volatile oils, according to the "PDR for Herbal Medicines." It may also contain other constituents so far unknown due to lack of testing. The bark has known anti-inflammatory and stimulant properties.


Although magnolia bark does not increase metabolism or decrease appetite, manufacturers of diet aids that contain the bark claim that the presence of magnolol reduces the production of a cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. The idea is that some people gain weight because they eat to alleviate stress. The theoretical reaction from taking magnolia bark is a calming of the stress triggers that result in overeating. While magnolia bark may be beneficial in this respect, clinical studies confirming these claims are nonexistent.


Magnolia bark, which is an ingredient in numerous weight loss supplements, is available in capsule, tablet, liquid extract and herbal tea forms. Do not exceed the suggested dosage on the package. You may also consult a medical professional for dosage advice.




Reported side effects from taking magnolia bark are few, according to the "Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine," but that may be in part because the herb is relatively new in Western herbal medicine. Possible side effects include dizziness or an allergic reaction to the bark. Do not give magnolia bark to pregnant women or nursing mothers, and do not use diet aids that contain the bark if you are taking blood pressure medication or prescription drugs for weight loss.