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Tree grows up to 90 ft, with big waxy oval leaves and very large white aromatic flowers with tough, thick petals. Magnolias are a prehistoric plant, dating beyond 95 million years ago. Most flowers are white, but some varieties are pink, shapes vary. Bark tea used for rash and itchy skin conditions, malaria, rheumatism. Seeds used as sedative, for spasms, digestive issues, heart problems, blood pressure, epilepsy and general illness. Some people have skin reactions after touching leaves. Leaves can be cut smaller and used like bay leaves in recipes. (Don’t use whole leaf or it will overpower). The huge white flowers are edible, but taste VERY strong, so most people only eat them pickled, and then only one petal at a time chopped fine and used sparingly. Magnolia flower is a historic treatment for opening nasal and sinus passages.
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz