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. 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).
The 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). This bark is highly aromatic and contains magnolol and honokiol, two polyphenolic compounds that have demonstrated both anti-anxiety and anti-angiogenic properties. It has also been shown to reduce allergic and asthmatic reactions. Today, the bulk of bark used for commercial and domestic use is supplied by plants in cultivation.
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