Is Magnolia Bark the Future for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy?


Each year, about 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with epilepsy induced seizures. Over a lifetime, in the United States alone, 1 in 26 people will be diagnosed with the disease. Epilepsy is the fourth most common neurological disease after migraines, stroke, and Alzheimer’s. It might surprise you to know that 30 to 40 percent of people with epilepsy will continue to have seizures despite treatment due to medication-resistant epilepsy. Not to mention, even when medications do work they can result in serious side effects, reducing quality of life. With so many people that don’t respond well to conventional anti-seizure medications, researchers continue their search for a solution.

In February 2020 a team of researchers published a paper in the ACS Chemical Neuroscience journal suggesting that the ancient Chinese remedy of magnolia bark could help treat drug-resistant epilepsy. With the aim of discovering new compounds that could be developed into medication for drug-resistant seizures, 14 plants used in traditional Chinese medicine for epilepsy were collected and tested. This led them to the magnolol compound, derived from the magnolia tree. When tested in laboratory studies, it proved successful in stopping (or reducing) drug-resistant seizures in both fish and mice.

Based on initial findings, it appears that magnolol and similar compounds in magnolia bark could provide a starting point for the future development of medication effective against therapy-resistant epilepsies. We will definitely keep our readers updated as this develops.  In the meantime those who are struggling with medication-resistant epilepsy are turning to alternative treatments to reduce seizures like diet and lifestyle changes. One such diet is Modified Atkins for Seizures (MAD). If you’re thinking of starting the MAD journey you might find our support kit helpful as well as connecting with our Facebook community

Wherever you are in your quest for a seizure free life we wish you the best and hope you are as  encouraged by this new research as we are.