Biond’s magnolia flowers

Chinese: 辛夷

Pinyin: Xīn Yí

Parts used: Dried flower bud

TCM category: Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior

TCM nature: Warm

TCM taste(s): Pungent

Meridian affinity: StomachLung

Scientific name: Magnolia biondii

Other names: Hope for spring flower

Use of biond’s magnolia flowers (Xīn Yí) in TCM

Please note that you should never self-prescribe TCM ingredients. A TCM ingredient is almost never eaten on its own but as part of a formula containing several ingredients that act together. Please consult a professional TCM practitionner, they will be best able to guide you.

Preparation: Remove impurities and slightly pan-fry the flower buds until the outside fine hair turn black

Dosage: 3 - 10 grams

Main actions according to TCM*: Releases the Exterior and dispels Wind-Cold. Relieves nasal congestion.

Primary conditions or symptoms for which biond’s magnolia flowers may be prescribed by TCM doctors*: Nasal congestion Headache Sinusitis Common cold

Contraindications*: This herb should not be used by those who are Yin Deficient with signs of Heat as it is very drying. Overdose may cause dizziness and/or red eyes.

Key TCM concepts behind biond’s magnolia flowers' properties

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), biond’s magnolia flowers are plants that belong to the 'Warm/Acrid herbs that release the Exterior' category. Herbs that release the Exterior aim to to treat the early stages of diseases that affect the upper respiratory tract, the eyes, the ears, the nose, the throat or the skin. TCM believes that External diseases such as colds or allergies can only invade the body if the External environment overwhelms our Wei Qi (the TCM version of the immune system). In order to counteract this invasion Warm/Acrid herbs aim to induce sweating by increasing the flow of sweat to our capillary pores. The belief is that this will expel the disease from the body and stop it from invading further.

As suggested by its category biond’s magnolia flowers are plants that are Warm in nature. This means that biond’s magnolia flowers tend to help people who have too much "cold" in their body, although with less effect than a plant that would be Hot in nature. Balance between Yin and Yang is a key health concept in TCM. Those who have too much cold in their body are said to either have a Yin excess (because Yin is Cold in nature) or a Yang deficiency (Yang is Hot in Nature). Depending on your condition biond’s magnolia flowers can help restore a harmonious balance between Yin and Yang.

Biond’s magnolia flowers also taste Pungent. The so-called "five elements" theory in Chinese Medicine states that the taste of TCM ingredients is a key determinant of their action in the body. Pungent ingredients like biond’s magnolia flowers tend to promote the circulations of Qi and body fluids. That's why for instance someone tends to sweat a lot when they eat spicy/pungent food.

The tastes of ingredients in TCM also determine what organs and meridians they target. As such biond’s magnolia flowers are thought to target the Stomach and the Lung. In TCM the Stomach is responsible for receiving and ripening ingested food and fluids. It is also tasked with descending the digested elements downwards to the Small Intestine. In addition to performing respiration, the Lungs are thought to be a key part of the production chain for Qi and the body fluids that nourish the body.

Research on biond’s magnolia flowers

A wide range of pharmacological actions of Flos Magnoliae have been reported, including anti-allergy, anti-inflammation and anti-microbial activity.1

The addition of NDC-052 , an extract of the medicinal herb Magnoliae flos, to inhaled corticosteroids had a beneficial effect on asthma control in patients with mild to moderate asthma, with good tolerability and fewer side effects.2

Flos Magnoliae volatile oil nano-liposome nasal drops has some positive effects on pediatric allergic rhinitis.3

Sources:

1. Shen Y, Li CG, Zhou SF, Pang EC, Story DF, Xue CC. ( 2008). Chemistry and bioactivity of Flos Magnoliae, a Chinese herb for rhinitis and sinusitis. Curr Med Chem. , 15(16):1616-27.

2. Park CS, Kim TB, Lee JY, Park JY, Lee YC, Jeong SS, Lee YD, Cho YS, Moon HB. ( 2012). Effects of add-on therapy with NDC-052, an extract from Magnoliae Flos, in adult asthmatic patients receiving inhaled corticosteroids. Korean J Intern Med. , 27(1):84-90. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2012.27.1.84.

3. Wu M, Zhang JY, Zhang X. (2009). Clinical observation of Flos magnoliae volatile oil nano-liposome nasal drops in treating pediatric allergic rhinitis. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. , 29(8):740-2.