Magnolol: A multifunctional compound isolated from the Chinese medicinal plant Magnolia officinalis

Yung Hsiang Chen, Po Hsun Huang, Feng Yen Lin, Wen Chi Chen, Yuh Lien Chen, Wei Hsian Yin, Kee Ming Man, Po Len Liu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Introduction: Chinese herbs are widely used as important remedies in Oriental integrative medicine. Magnolol is a small polyphenolic molecule with low toxicity that is isolated from the herb genus Magnolia. In preclinical experiments, magnolol was found to have anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumorigenic, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-neurodegenerative and anti-depressant properties. Magnolol can also effectively regulate pain control, hormonal signalling, gastrointestinal and uterus modulation as well as provide cardiovascular and liver protective effects. Materials and methods: We briefly conducted PubMed and MEDLINE database reviews for articles that related to magnolol. Results: The major biological mechanisms of action and potential health benefits of magnolol are described. Conclusions: These health benefits of magnolol have provided an increased interest in bringing this herbal compound to the clinic as a novel therapeutic agent. Knowledge of the multiple activities of magnolol can assist with the development of magnolol derivatives and the design of clinical trials that will maximize the potential benefit of magnolol in the patient setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e317-e324
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • Antioxidant
  • Chinese medicine
  • Inflammation
  • Integrative medicine
  • Magnolol


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