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Barking Up the Right Tree…Study Links Magnolia Bark to Treatment of Depression

Depressed Depression is a health issue the world over. The following statistics illustrate this fact:
  • 1 in 5 women in America suffer from clinical depression
  • Less than 30 percent of people report being “deeply happy”
  • Of the thousands of thoughts that go through the mind daily, 80 percent of them are negative
  • Everyone in the world will be affected by depression, whether they experience it themselves or through friends or family members
  • The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020, depression will be the second largest killer after heart disease
  • As of 2002, the rate of increase in depression among children is nearly 25 percent
  • Among depressed African American men, 92 percent do not seek treatment

These statistics are enough to make anyone depressed. It’s a disease that affects all aspects of life—personal as well as professional. Reports claim that employers lose some $51 billion in lost productivity due to absenteeism and poor performance while on the job.

In an effort to relieve depression and its destructive symptoms, people often turn to antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft for treatment. While these medications work for some, they don’t work for everyone. In fact, according to the British Journal of Psychiatry, antidepressants help less than half of those treated. Further, according to a report from the Washington Post in 2004, they sometimes lead to suicide, brain tumors and psychosis.

With all this negative news it is with great relief that I report some positive news from the world of natural health with regards to the treatment of depression. Because according to a report released by Chinese Medical News, the bark from magnolia trees is an effective treatment for depression.

Historically as well as today, magnolias have been used for a wide range of medical maladies. For example, the key components found in magnolia bark—i.e. honokiol and magnolol—have been used to treat lung and intestinal disorders. They’ve also been used to treat stroke, headache and anxiety.

With this in mind, researchers from Nanjing University in China tested the serotonin levels of rats to see what impact honokiol and magnolol had on them. When the rats were fed these compounds, their serotonin levels increased. Serotonin is a hormone found in the brain that is linked to one’s mood. The higher the levels, the higher the mood.

These compounds have been found to do other amazing things as well. Not only do they serve as a natural antidepressant, but they have also been used as an effective treatment in mice with colorectal cancer by inhibiting tumor growth, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties in the treatment of atherosclerosis, a disease that affects the blood vessels.

Again, while magnolia may seem like a foreign treatment to us here in America, its holistic healing powers are well known at the international level. It’s well worth the time for consumers and researchers alike to further investigate magnolia in the hopes of making it more mainstream than it already is.

In the meantime, keep an eye out for more positive news on how best to treat depression naturally, as its deleterious effects are felt the world over.

Related Posts

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