Magnolia bark extract(MBE) has been used in traditional eastern medicine for centuries to aid in anxiety and depression. The 2 main compounds are magnolol and honokiol. Both molecules act on your GABA receptors, which inhibit your central nervous system(calm you down, get your body ready for sleep). Studies show that these 2 compounds act in a similar fashion to pharmaceutical benzodiazepines(Xanax), modulating the GABA A receptor. This allows for an all natural anxiolytic(anti-anxiety) response.

There was even a direct comparison study of MBE and diazepam(Valium) showing it had a very similar anti-anxiety effect and similar binding affinity. Studies have shown that MBE can effectively induce sleep and increase non-REM sleep in very low doses. MBE also has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory properties via inhibition of your NMDA receptors. MBE is a great natural supplement to help with sleep and relaxation and I often take it after a hard workout to “calm” my CNS from stimulants and caffeine. Look for a product that has a 90%+ standardization for magnolol and honokiol, and start with a low dose, 100-200mg.