Hou Po

Hou Po

Hou Po (Cortex Magnoliae Officinalis) is the dried bark from the branches and roots of Magnolia officinalis Rehd. et Wils, family Magnoliacae. The medicinal material is mainly produced in Sichuan, Hubei and Anhui provinces. The bark is collected between April and June. It is dried in the shade and then placed in boiling water for a short period. It ‘s then left under shade again to sweat until the surface turns a brownish colour.  It can be used in this crude form or after being prepared with ginger juice.

Category: Dampness resolving.

Common Name: Magnolia Bark.

Channels Entered: Lung, Spleen, Stomach and Large Intestine.

Properties and Functions: Hou Po is bitter and pungent in flavour, and warm in nature. It acts to:

  • Activate the circulation of Qi and resolve stagnation.
  • Remove Dampness and dissolve Phlegm.
  • Promote digestion and descend rebellious Qi.
  • Directs Qi downwards to calm cough, wheezing and dyspnoea.

Indications: Clinical indications for the use of Hou Po include:

  • Obstruction of Damp and Qi stagnation in the Middle Jiao, manifesting as epigastric and abdominal pain, fullness, distension, nausea and diarrhoea.
  • Food stagnation and Qi stagnation in the Stomach and Intestines accompanied by constipation.
  • Cough, wheezing and dyspnoea due to stagnation of Phlegm and Dampness in the Lung with copious, thick sputum.

Dosage: 3 – 10g

Cautions and Contra-Indications: Use with caution during pregnancy.