Magnolia officinalis

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Houpu Magnolia
Magnolia officinalis habit.jpg
Magnolia officinalis[1]
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: Magnolia
Section: Rhytidospermum
Species: M. officinalis
Binomial name
Magnolia officinalis
Rehder & Wilson

Magnolia officinalis (commonly called Houpu Magnolia or Magnolia-bark) is a species of Magnolia native to the mountains and valleys of China at altitudes of 300-1500 m.

Identification[edit]

It is a deciduous tree growing to 20m in height. The bark is thick and brown but does not fissure. The leaves are broad, ovate, 20-40 cm long and 11-20 cm broad. The flowers are fragrant, 10-15 cm wide, with 9-12 (rarely to 17) white tepals, and appear from May to June.

There are two varieties:

  • Magnolia officinalis var. officinalis, which has leaves with an acute apex.
  • Magnolia officinalis var. biloba, which has leaves with a notch at the apex. This variety does not appear in the wild, and is only known in cultivation. It is possibly not a true variety at all, but actually a cultigen instead, though this has yet to be determined.

M. officinalis differs very little from Magnolia obovata; the only difference that is consistently observed between the two being that the fruit aggregate of M. officinalis has a rounded base, while that of M. obovata has an acute base. Further research may or may not eventually determine if M. officinalis should be treated as a subspecies of M. obovata (Hunt 1998).

Uses[edit]

The highly aromatic bark is stripped from the stems, branches, and roots and used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as hou po (thus the common names). The traditional use indications are to eliminate damp and phlegm, and relieve distension.[2]

Today, the bulk of bark used for commercial and domestic use is supplied by plants in cultivation.

Pharmaceutical potential[edit]

The bark contains magnolol[3] and honokiol,[4] two polyphenolic compounds that have been demonstrated as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR gamma) agonists.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cirrus Digital: Houpu Magnolia - Magnolia officinalis
  2. ^ Wang L, Waltenberger B, Pferschy-Wenzig EM, Blunder M, Liu X, Malainer C, Blazevic T, Schwaiger S, Rollinger JM, Heiss EH, Schuster D, Kopp B, Bauer R, Stuppner H, Dirsch VM, Atanasov AG. Natural product agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ): a review. Biochem Pharmacol. 2014 Jul 29. pii: S0006-2952(14)00424-9. doi: 10.1016/j.bcp.2014.07.018. PubMed PMID: 25083916.
  3. ^ Fakhrudin N, Ladurner A, Atanasov AG, Heiss EH, Baumgartner L, Markt P, Schuster D, Ellmerer EP, Wolber G, Rollinger JM, Stuppner H, Dirsch VM.Computer-aided discovery, validation, and mechanistic characterization of novel neolignan activators of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma. Mol Pharmacol. 2010 Apr;77(4):559-66. doi: 10.1124/mol.109.062141. Epub 2010 January 11. PubMed PMID: 20064974; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3523390. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20064974
  4. ^ Atanasov AG, Wang JN, Gu SP, Bu J, Kramer MP, Baumgartner L, Fakhrudin N, Ladurner A, Malainer C, Vuorinen A, Noha SM, Schwaiger S, Rollinger JM, Schuster D, Stuppner H, Dirsch VM, Heiss EH. Honokiol: A non-adipogenic PPARγ agonist from nature. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Oct;1830(10):4813-9. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.06.021. Epub 2013 June 27. Pub Med PMID: 23811337. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23811337

External links[edit]