Magnolia bark is a popular medicinal remedy in traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine. It’s been used to treat:
- Menstrual cramps
- Stomach troubles
Modern medicine is showing magnolia bark for head and neck cancers may be a viable cancer treatment, and a new study out of University of Alabama at Birmingham reveals it may be particularly effective at treating and preventing head and neck cancers.
Honokiol to the Rescue
According to the National Cancer Institute, 3 out of 4 head and neck cancers are caused by alcohol and tobacco use. With only a 50% survival rate, head and neck cancers claim the lives of approximately 20,000 Americans annually. Thus far, cancer treatment drugs have shown only limited effectiveness at treating these types of cancers, but a compound in magnolia bark may provide a less toxic and more natural cancer treatment alternative.
Honokiol is 1 of 5 primary active compounds in magnolia bark. Along with magnolol, another of magnolia bark’s compounds, honokiol is reported to have up to 1000 times the potency of vitamin E. University of Alabama researchers showed that it works against head and neck cancers—such as oral cavity, larynx, tongue, and pharynx cancers—by suppressing a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR).
Research has shown that most head and neck cancer cells have extremely elevated levels of EGFR. By binding to these cells even more effectively than commonly used cancer treatment drugs such as gefitinib (sold as Iressa), honokiol squelches cancer cells. Researchers also tested honokiol on tumors implanted into mice, and the magnolia bark compound was likewise effective.
Senior author Dr. Santosh K. Katiyar and his colleagues report, “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.”
Put magnolia bark’s potency to work for you by adding magnolia bark extract or magnolia tea to your daily alternative healthcare prescription.