Magnolia flowers bloom in early spring, but can also have bursts of flowers at other times in the year, and are an absolute delight to behold.
They have a beautiful fragrant smell to them and can come in varying colours; mostly white, yellow or pink.
They are not only beautiful to look at, but their flowers are actually edible. With a floral and gingery taste (I also really love using the branches for Macramé wall hangings - it's my favourite wood to work with and the tree from which I harvest grows just outside of my old bedroom at my family home) - which I only discovered in 2020 due to a wonderful forager called Fern.
Click for recipes:
Magnolia Syrup and Tea (Lyra & Atlas)
Magnolia and Wild Garlic stir-fry (Lyra & Atlas)
Flower Cookies (The Black Forager - Alexis Nikole)
Medicinally, the flowers (and bark of the tree) contain chemicals honokiol and magnolol. It is believed that these chemicals can help with anxiety, asthma and sleep* amongst other things. The latter is thought to be due to increased steroid production.
By releasing these chemicals, it is believed that Magnolia can help regulate the endocrine system, soothing and relaxing the hormonal responses (also reducing inflammation causing period pains) and inducing sleep and relaxation. The petals are said to be more mild than that of the bark (please note this post and recipe are not making any medical claims)
Magickally, Magnolia is a feminine plant and her planetary ruler is Venus. She falls under the Earth element, although is often associated with water.
Some cultures associate her pink flowers with joy, health and good fortune, and in Christianity it has been argued that she may have even been present in the Garden of Eden - although these days it is very popular amongst bee's (be sure to check the flowers before bringing them in - I like to think I check quite thoroughly but we still managed to find a few stowaways in our last gathering)
If you wish to try any of the above recipes, be sure to gather the flowers with permission and only take a small fraction of what is available - leaving plenty for the wildlife.
To learn about planting and caring for your own Magnolia, click here to be taken to a post by Happy DIY Home (this link will take to you a different website, which I do not own)
Lyra&Atlas and owner Hayleigh Walker hope you enjoy this recipe and any other featured on this blog, but we are not responsible for the outcome of any recipe you try from www.lyraandatlas.com. Always use your best judgement with ingredients & storage and be aware that results can and may vary. Be aware of all heated surfaces and any sharp or dangerous instruments used when crafting these recipes. Any medicinal mention is from my own research, knowledge or personal use and should not be taken as fact. Always do your own research and contact a trained herbalist and/or GP.
Any external links are clicked at the discretion of the reader, I hold no responsibility for them and do not receive anything for providing them.
References: https://happydiyhome.com/magnolia-tree/ https://www.eatweeds.co.uk/list-of-edible-magnolia-flowers https://www.rxlist.com/magnolia/supplements.htm https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/magnolia.html https://thesleepdoctor.com/2018/02/27/magnolia-bark-affects-sleep-health/ https://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-magnolia.html https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-188/magnolia Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magickal Herbs, (2nd ed, 2018), Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn Publications.