For those that grew up in the south, chances are high that you've had entire playtimes that revolved around a magnolia tree. These gorgeous trees are a staple in southern scenery, but did you know about the amazing medicinal and magical benefits of the tree? Lemme learn ya!
The Well-Traveled Magnolia
There are over 250 different types of magnolia in the world - all of them known for their beauty, fragrance, healing, and magic. The magnolia tree used to be found all over the world, from the southern regions of China, to the depths of South America, to the Himalayas, and to the southern areas in North America. Today, there are different genera of magnolia that are still found in different areas around the world. However, the main areas where they thrive are in the southern United States and southern China.
The Magical Magnolia
The magnolia tree has deep roots around the spiritual south. It's flowers have long been a marker of Spring, of new beginnings, and of love. Yet each different color flower has a different spiritual meaning.
The tree itself symbolizes luck and stability. You can use the bark and the wood to represent either of those in a working.
Depending on the color of the bloom, there is a different spiritual meaning:
- White: purity, perfection
- Pink: youth, innocense, joy
- Purple: good luck, health
- Green: joy, health, luck, good fortune
You can use the different blooms in workings for any of those items. Plus, the blooms smell absolutely amazing.
The Healing Magnolia
Even though the spiritual meaning of the magnolia is a wonderfully uplifting one, did you know that the tree itself is an amazing healing powerhouse? People have long used the bark and flower buds for medicinal uses. Over 250 different ingredients are found in the bark, flowers, and leaves of the magnolia tree. It has deep roots in multiple culture's medicinal cabinets. The tree is used in cosmetic, weight loss, anti-cancer, antioxidative, and anti-inflammatory methods.
First, the bloom petals are edible. They've been eaten around the world for millennia. Normally, they are pickled, made into jellies, and sometimes eaten raw. Know that the blooms have an intense flavor - extremely similar to their smell - and have a light ginger flavor. Every color of bloom will taste a little different, just so you know.
What Does The Magnolia Treat
- Anxiety: it's been shown to lower anxiety, especially in menopausal women
- Fixing the Qi (chi): in traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used to treat the "stagnation of qi" for depression and anxiety
- Digestive issues: it treats pain and constipation
- Allergies: it can help treat seasonal allergies
- Antioxidant: the bark and blooms are high in antioxidants
- Asthma: it has been shown to help treat bronchial asthma
- Common cold, flu, etc: it's been shown to help lessen the symptoms
- Headaches: it has been used to help treat the pain of headaches
- Facial dark spots: the blooms can be applied to dark spots on the face to lessen them
- Inflammation: it has been used to help with inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis
- Heart: it has been shown to help protect blood vessels from bad cholesterol and improve overall heart health
- Blood pressure: it has been shown to lower blood pressure
- Liver: it protects the liver
- It reduces the growth of bacteria
- Cancer: multiple studies have shown that the magnolia has been useful in fighting numerous types of cancer, it has reduced tumor sizes and increased life spans in mice with cancer
- Diabetes: it helps to reduce fat and protect against insulin resistance
- Stroke: the magnolia has a chemical that reduces damage in the brain after oxygen loss
- Menopause: it has been shown to reduce menopause symptoms
Risks and Interactions
There are some interactions and risks with magnolia, so make sure you're careful when using it.
Pregnant women shouldn't use magnolia as there have been studies that have shown that the magnolia flower can cause contractions and therefore could cause a miscarriage. There's not enough evidence to tout using it during breastfeeding either, so I'd steer clear of it.
It also should be stopped before surgery as it can cause slow blood clotting.
Don't take magnolia - or speak to your doctor first - if you are on any type of blood clotting medications, such as aspirin, plavix, cataflam, warfarin/coumadin, lovenox, and so on.
It can make you sleepy, so don't take while driving, doing anything strenuous, or during operating machinery. Don't take with other sleep medications.
**The FDA has not evaluated the magnolia for use in medicinal practices. However, it has been used around the world for a very long time to treat a variety of ailments. If you are on medications for any health issue, please consult your doctor before starting magnolia.