Recently I was having tea with a newly acquainted individual who asked me if I knew anything about magnolia bark. I was intrigued. Magnolia bark is a central herb in Chinese medicine usually used to regulate the liver, large intestine, and lung.
Magnolia bark is aromatic and drying and is particularly helpful for fluid metabolism and microbial imbalances like candida. Since it is drying, it can be helpful for wet asthma. Magnolia bark also possesses a quickening nature, which stirs a sluggish liver and assists it in its detox function, by extension assisting the large intestine in its tasks of elimination.
Dagobert, the new acquaintance, mentioned that he was taking magnolia bark to calm anxiety, which I found to be quite interesting. He noted that it was something that he would purchase on the well-known on-line shopping platform, but that he was no long able to source it there. I also remember him mentioning some other popular herb for addressing anxiety which proved to be of little use. I cannot remember what that herb was but it demonstrates that a condition like anxiety does not have a single cause and that what one finds effective for anxiety does not mean the same causes in another. Emotional imbalance does not have a single cause even though it may go by the same name. Anxiety is the name given to an effect for which there can be several different causes.
Dagobert is 20 yo and considers himself high-strung. He looks fit and his features are well defined. This is a type-A personality and is often equated with the “liver” type constitution in Chinese medicine. Some other types might be more associated with the digestive system, for example.
Later on, some research on the use of a certain Chinese formula containing Magnolia bark for depression came to mind. Anxieity and depression seem to be closely related phenomena. In Chinese medical theory it can often involve a stagnant liver and poor water metabolism. Never is it the case were a single herb is administered in treating a condition. In part this is because other elements need to balance or assist the herb being used. Another reason is because a formula may contain something to address the underlying causes of the problem to begin with along with the effect. Cause and effect are critical concepts in Chinese medicine.