Medicinal Plants

Magnolia Champaca (Champak)

Magnolia champaca, also known as champak, is a large evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia, renowned for its fragrant yellow or orange flowers. It can reach heights of up to 50 meters and has a broad, spreading crown. Culinary uses of Magnolia champaca are limited but notable; its petals are sometimes used in the flavoring of teas and traditional dishes, providing a subtle, aromatic flavor. The plant is valued for its medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial effects. It is traditionally used in various forms, such as extracts and oils, to treat headaches, fevers, and inflammation. The health benefits of Magnolia champaca extend to its use in aromatherapy to reduce stress and improve sleep quality, and its extracts have been incorporated into treatments for skin conditions and to enhance overall immunity.

What is Magnolia champaca

Magnolia champaca, scientifically named Magnolia champaca, is a variety of Magnolia, commonly known as champak. It belongs to the Magnoliaceae family and the Magnolia genus. The roots of Magnolia champaca are used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes.

Synonyms & Vernacular Names

Common NameChampak
Botanical NameMagnolia champaca
Botanical SynonymMichelia champaca
EnglishChampak, Joy Perfume Tree
Hindiचंपा (Champa)
Sanskritचम्पक (Champaka)
Ayurvedic MedicineChampaka
Unani MedicineChampaka
Siddha MedicineChampaka
Chinese Medicine黄蘤 (Huáng xiāo)
Tamilசம்பங்கி (Sambangi)
Punjabiਚੰਪਾ (Champa)
Bengaliচম্পা (Champa)
Gujratiચંપો (Champo)
Magnolia Champaca tree

Plant Taxonomy

Taxonomic RankClassification
SpeciesMagnolia champaca

Plant Description

Here’s a detailed plant description table for Magnolia champaca:

Type of PlantEvergreen tree
Native Range (Geographic Distribution)From India, southwestern China, Indochina to Malesia (Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands)​​
Height (grows up to)Up to 50 meters​​
HabitatEvergreen forest, up to 800 m altitude​​
RootsNot specified
StemStraight and columnar with smooth grey bark​​
LeavesElliptic or narrowly ovate, spirally arranged, slightly hairy on the underside, 10 – 35 cm long by 4 – 11 cm wide​​
FlowersFragrant, light yellow when young and becoming orange-yellow as it matures, blooming during June to September​​​​
FruitsWoody and pale brown with large cream coloured lenticels, splitting open to reveal 2 – 6 seeds​​
SeedsCovered with red or pink flesh, hanging freely on a thin white thread​​
SpreadNot specified
Bloom TimeJune to September​​
Bloom DescriptionCream to yellow-orange flowers​​
SunFull Sun​​
WaterModerate Water​​
Suggested UseRoadside Tree / Palm, Fragrant/Aromatherapy Garden​​
FlowerOrnamental and fragrant​​
LeafEvergreen, green, smooth or slightly hairy​​
AttractsButterflies and hummingbirds​​, birds and mammals (for seed dispersal)​​
TolerateNot specified
Invasive PotentialNot specified
Growing SeasonNot specified
OthersThe flowers are used for Hindu and Buddhist religious offerings​​
Legal StatusThe species is protected from logging in some states of India​​
Magnolia Champaca fruit
Magnolia Champaca fruit

Medicinal Parts of Magnolia champaca

Magnolia champaca has various medicinal uses across its different parts, including flowers, fruits, leaves, roots, and bark.

The flowers are known for their bitterness and potential benefits in treating skin conditions like leprosy, boils, and itch. They, along with fruits, are also used for dyspepsia, nausea, and fever due to their cool and bitter properties.

Leaves have been applied for mental health issues, while the root and bark are utilized for their anti-inflammatory and emmenagogue effects. Additionally, the essential oil derived from the flowers is used for headache, ophthalmia, and gout, and the seed oil for relieving flatulence​​.

Edible Parts of Magnolia champaca

While the Magnolia champaca is primarily known for its ornamental and medicinal uses, its flowers are sometimes used in culinary applications, particularly in Southeast Asian and Indian cuisines. The petals can be used to flavor tea or as a garnish for some dishes, adding a subtle, fragrant note. However, the use of Magnolia champaca in food is not as common as other magnolia species, and it’s more celebrated for its aromatic and therapeutic properties.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of Magnolia champaca includes essential oils, particularly from its flowers, which contribute to its fragrance and medicinal properties. These oils contain compounds like linalool, which may have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and calming effects.

The bark and roots are known to contain alkaloids and other phytonutrients that could have febrifuge and emmenagogue properties. These components are believed to work by targeting various pathways in the body, such as reducing inflammation, fighting microbial infections, and possibly influencing hormonal balance to achieve their therapeutic effects.

Ayurvedic Properties

RASA (Taste)KATU (Pungent), TIKTA (Bitter)
ANU RASA (After Taste)
GUNA (Main Quality)LAGHU (Light)
VIRYA (Potency)SHEETA (Cold)
VIPAKA (Resultant)KATU (Pungent)
DOSHA KARMA (Effect on Humors)Pacifies KAPHA DOSHA and Detoxifies PITTA DOSHA
Dhatu (Tissue) EffectRASA, RAKTA, MEDAS
Organs EffectKidneys, Bladder, Uterus

Dosha Karma

PacifiesKapha Dosha.
DetoxifiesPitta Dosha.
SuitableKapha and Pitta Disorders.
UnsuitableVata Body Type and Niram Vata Disorders
Ama Dosha EffectLikely to prevent formation of Ama Dosha.

Therapeutic Indications

Magnolia champaca is traditionally indicated for a range of conditions including skin ailments such as leprosy, boils, and itch. It’s also used for digestive issues like dyspepsia and nausea, as well as for fever. The plant’s leaves, when treated, may address mental health issues such as mania and delirium. Furthermore, its root and bark are applied for anti-inflammatory purposes, and its essential oil is employed in treating headaches, eye conditions, and gout.

  • Dysuria.
  • Vaginal order (including bacterial infections) – local application.
  • Amenorrhea.
  • Dysmenorrhea.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (Sa-ama state).
  • Arthritis (all types of arthritis – to relieve pain and inflammation).
  • Skin conditions like leprosy, boils, and itch.
  • Digestive issues such as dyspepsia and nausea.
  • Fever reduction.
  • Intestinal worms (parasitic worms).
  • Blood disorders.
Magnolia Champaca flower

Magnolia champaca’s Benefits and Medicinal Uses

Each part of the Magnolia champaca has been traditionally utilized to treat various ailments:


Dysmenorrhea refers to the severe and often debilitating cramps women may experience before or during their menstrual period. The pain is typically in the lower abdomen but can also radiate to the lower back and thighs.

The root bark of Magnolia champaca possesses emmenagogue (stimulating blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus) and antispasmodic (reducing muscle spasms) properties. These characteristics are believed to help alleviate menstrual pain by both stimulating menstrual flow to relieve congestion, and by reducing the muscle spasms in the pelvic region that contribute to the pain.


Amenorrhea is the absence of menstruation. It can be categorized as primary (if periods have never occurred by age 15) or secondary (if periods stop for three months or more).

The emmenagogue effect of Magnolia champaca, similar to its use in dysmenorrhea, can induce menstrual flow in cases where periods are delayed or absent. This action promotes reproductive health by potentially restoring normal menstrual cycles.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition causing chronic inflammation of the joints, whereas osteoarthritis involves the wear-and-tear damage to joint cartilage.

The hot infusion made from the flowers of Magnolia champaca is said to alleviate joint pain through its anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain-relieving) effects, offering relief from the discomfort associated with these conditions.

Vaginal Odor

Vaginal odor can be a result of various conditions, including infections. The herbal paste made from Magnolia champaca flowers, combined with licorice root powder and jasmine flowers (in equal proportion), or the use of its flower oil, is traditionally used to address this issue. This remedy may work by addressing underlying bacterial infections, thus reducing odor through its potential antimicrobial properties.

Malaria Fever

Malaria is a life-threatening disease transmitted through the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito, characterized by fever, headaches, and other symptoms.

Traditionally, the cooling effect of Magnolia champaca has been leveraged to reduce fevers. This might be attributed to its potential impact on the body’s thermoregulation processes.

The root bark of Magnolia champaca is used in traditional medicine to reduce fever, likely due to its antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties. While not a cure for malaria, it may help alleviate one of its primary symptoms.

Burning Urination

Burning urination can be a symptom of urinary tract infections (UTIs) or other medical conditions.

A hot infusion of the flowers of Magnolia champaca is traditionally used to soothe the burning sensation during urination. This remedy likely works through its anti-inflammatory action, reducing irritation and discomfort in the urinary tract.

Skin Conditions Like Leprosy, Boils, and Itch

Magnolia champaca flowers possess anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, aiding in the treatment of skin conditions. The application of flower extracts can help soothe the skin and reduce the symptoms of boils and itchiness.

Digestive Issues Such as Dyspepsia and Nausea

The soothing qualities of Magnolia champaca, especially when its extracts are used in teas or consumed directly, can aid in alleviating digestive discomforts such as dyspepsia and nausea.

In summary, Magnolia champaca is utilized in traditional medicine to address a variety of health conditions due to its emmenagogue, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, and antipyretic properties. However, it’s important to note that while traditional use and anecdotal evidence support these applications, scientific research is necessary to fully understand the efficacy and safety of Magnolia champaca in these contexts.

Dosage and Administration

The classical Ayurvedic dosage for Magnolia champaca root bark is typically between 750 mg to 1500 mg of the powder.

Dosages can vary widely depending on the form of the plant used (e.g., flower, leaf, bark), the condition being treated, and the individual’s constitution. Ayurveda emphasizes personalized healthcare, tailoring treatments, and dosages to each individual’s unique balance of doshas (biological energies).

It’s crucial to follow this guideline and consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized advice, especially when integrating it into your health regimen for specific conditions.

Safety Profile

The safety data is not available for Magnolia champaca. Emphasis should be placed on the importance of professional guidance for its use, especially in sensitive conditions or alongside other medications.

Side Effects

Not widely documented.

Toxicity & Allergic Reactions

There are no widespread reports, but individual sensitivities can vary.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Due to emmenagogue properties, which can stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus, Magnolia champaca is not recommended during pregnancy. Its suitability during breastfeeding is also cautioned against, as compounds may pass into breast milk.


Specific contraindications aren’t widely known, indicating the need for further research.

Drug Interactions

There’s a lack of comprehensive data on interactions with pharmaceutical drugs.


Information on the effects of overdose is not extensively documented, underscoring the importance of adhering to recommended dosages.

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Dr. Jagdev Singh

Dr. Jagdev Singh is a qualified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Herbalist with B.A.M.S. and M. Sc. in Medicinal Plants. He has a wealth of experience in using Ayurveda to treat patients, including the use of herbal medicine and personalized Ayurvedic diets. His passion for spreading accurate and scientific information about Ayurveda and Medicinal Plants led him to create Ayur Times, a trusted resource for those seeking reliable information on the topic. Through his dedicated work, Dr. Singh has helped thousands of patients find relief and improve their health with Ayurveda and Herbal Medicine.

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