Wednesday, July 15, 2015 by: Daniel Barker
(NaturalNews) Magnolia bark has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine to promote physical health and treat a range of ailments. Its medicinal benefits include relief of menstrual cramps, abdominal distress, nausea, gas and indigestion. The Chinese also use magnolia bark for treating coughs and asthma.
Modern medical researchers have discovered many other benefits associated with magnolia bark. The active compounds found in the bark, honokiol and magnolol, are reported to have up to 1,000 times more antioxidant potency than Vitamin E. These chemicals have been proven to have anti-stress properties and a balancing effect on cortisol levels.
In modern medicine, the compounds are now used to promote weight loss; one of the effects of cortisol imbalance is weight gain. Magnolia bark is also capable of reducing anxiety in much the same way diazepam (Valium) does, but without the side effects. The compounds also have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer patients by slowing or reversing the disease's negative effects on the brain.
Perhaps the most important beneficial aspect of magnolia bark is its cancer-fighting ability. The compound honokiol has been shown in several studies to shrink tumors or prevent them from growing to begin with.
One of the studies, conducted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, proved that honokiol is effective in treating head and neck cancers.
Honokiol has the ability to block a protein that is associated with the growth of head and neck tumors. The protein, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), has been found to be present in overabundance in almost all cases of head and neck cancer.
More effective, fewer side effects
In fact, honokiol outperforms one of the pharmaceuticals on the market used in treating these types of tumors. The researchers noted that "honokiol binds more strongly with EGFR than does the drug gefitinib (sold as Iressa), which is commonly used to treat head and neck cancers."
The results of the study state:
Conclusively, honokiol appears to be an attractive bioactive small molecule phytochemical for the management of head and neck cancer which can be used either alone or in combination with other available therapeutic drugs.
Honokiol is less toxic and more effective than other commonly administered cancer treatment drugs. Getfenib (Iressa) and other similar drugs are "small molecule inhibitors," but their effectiveness is limited:
The poor response rates, toxicity and resistance of these drugs or inhibitors have limited their use as therapeutic agents for HNSCC (squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck). Therefore, development of less toxic and less resistance-associated alternative treatment options is urgently needed.
Natural medicine vs. Big Pharma
It is encouraging to see natural medicine being taken seriously by modern medical researchers. Maybe the medical establishment can eventually begin to recognize that almost all diseases and ailments can be effectively treated with natural methods and cures.
Western medicine certainly has its place next to traditional or "folk" medicine. However, it seems that the influence of Big Pharma has reduced doctors into being mere "pill pushers" for the massive profit-generating drug industry.
The drug makers would rather develop chemicals they can patent and control; they have little use for natural cures that cost little, have few side effects and are actually effective.
What is even more disturbing is that these drug makers don't want you to have an alternative. Their lobbyists are pushing for legislation outlawing natural medicines, herbal remedies, organic products and anything else that might cut into their profits and actually make people healthier.
In the meantime, however, you might consider at least adding some magnolia tea or magnolia bark extract to your health regime. The benefits are numerous and it's legal to buy... for now.