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Relora Review – Is it Effective?

By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

Reviewed by Rebecca Williams, MD, MA, MB, BChir

Last Updated:

Evidence Based | Facts | Nutrition Facts | Pros & Cons | Potential Side Effects | Cautions | Cost | Where to Buy? | Directions | Bottom Line

Relora is a patented proprietary blend of two herbal extracts: Phellodendron Amurense and Magnolia Officinalis.

For centuries these herbs have been effectively used to help manage stress, reduce anxiety, and ​improve sleep. Relora is also being used in weight loss and weight management supplements, but this only in recent years.


1) Relora Quick Facts

This synergistic combination of Magnolia Officinalis and Phellodendron Amurense is advertised to promote a positive mood and helps mediate everyday stress-related emotions, eating behavior, and muscle tension.[1][2]


Relora was first introduced[3] by Next Pharmaceuticals, a company based in California. Today, the proprietary blend is utilized by many other supplement manufacturers in their blends.

Other companies that manufacture the supplement include Lifetime, Lindberg, NOW Foods, Best Vite, Source Naturals, and The Vitamin Shoppe.

2) The Company Behind Relora

Next Pharmaceuticals, the first company that produced the proprietary blend, was bought by InterHealth Nutraceuticals, a pharmaceutical company founded in 1987.

InterHealth Nutraceuticals were known for producing a wide range of proprietary blends, just like Relora, which were then either used as ingredients for other products or used as supplements. InterHealth Pharmaceuticals was later acquired by Lonza, which now owns the Relora patent.[4]

Our Relora review will focus on the product made by NOW Foods, but all Relora formulations contain the same proprietary extracts.

NOW Health Group, Inc. (also known as NOW Foods) is recognized as being a pioneering company that manufactures quality healthy foods and dietary supplements at value prices.

The company has over 500 employees in Nevada and 1,200 overall. The business owns an advanced suite of analytical laboratories that allow for rapid and comprehensive testing of both incoming ingredients and outgoing finished products, as well as a modern warehouse with softgel, capsule, tablet, and powder manufacturing lines.[5]

How to contact NOW Foods company:

  • Address: 244 Knollwood Drive, Bloomingdale, IL 60108
  • Phone: 888-669-3663
  • Website: nowfoods.com
Nutrition Facts

3) Relora Nutrition Facts

NOW Foods Relora contains the following active ingredients: Relora Proprietary blend (Magnolia officinalis bark extract and Phellodendron amurense bark extract) 300 mg.

Other ingredients include rice flour, hypromellose (cellulose capsule), and stearic acid (vegetable source).

4) Does Relora Work?

The two core active ingredients in Relora (Magnolia extract and Phellodendron extract) work by binding to key central nervous system receptors, including those for the serotonin and GABA transporter, which promotes feelings of satiety and relaxation.[6]

Magnolia Officinalis is a tree plant belonging to the magnolia species. These trees are found mainly in China. Plants of the magnolia species contain a group of similar chemical compounds secreted in their barks. Two chemical compounds – Magnolol and Honokiol- are viewed as the active constituents in these plants.[7]

Preclinical studies have determined that honokiol and magnolol have, anti-microbial, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties.[8][9]

Honokiol and magnolol also have weight management properties. An animal study conducted on mice concluded that there seemed to decrease fat gain when mice were given honokiol or magnolol in a fat diet.[10]

Phellodendron Amurense belongs to tree species in the family Rutaceae. Extracts obtained from the tree were traditionally used as painkillers.[11]


Today, Phellodendron is used for stress, obesity, osteoarthritis, acne, and other conditions, despite the fact that there is no trustworthy scientific evidence to substantiate these claims.

Since it was first introduced by Next Pharmaceuticals, Relora has been the subject of numerous clinical studies and trials to determine the blend’s exact properties and benefits.

For instance, a pilot clinical trial reported that Relora was well tolerated and helped promote emotional well-being.[12] A follow-up trial reported similar results and indicated that supplementing with Relora may help encourage healthy eating habits and decrease stress-related sugary snack cravings.[13]

An animal study further demonstrated the supplement’s ability to support relaxation and mood.[14]

The Relora blend works by reducing cortisol levels, the stress hormone that encourages the storage of fat in the belly area.

According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, another study to check the weight-loss claims of Relora found that women who took the supplement lost weight while those who took a placebo gained weight.[15]

Pros & Cons

5) Relora: Pros and Cons

NOW Foods Relora claimed benefits include:

  • Promotes relaxation and calmness without being a sedative – Relora may support the body’s response to minor, temporary stress, resulting in irritability, fatigue, nervous tension, sadness, and nervous eating.
  • Stress and appetite control – Relora may help control appetite and stress-related eating, thereby managing your weight.
  • Made in an NPA A-rated GMP facility – Every aspect of the NOW Foods manufacturing process has been reviewed, including laboratory and testing methods (for potency, stability, and product formulation).
  • Kosher, vegetarian, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free.
  • Packaged in the USA by a family-owned and operated company since 1968.
Potential Side Effects

6) Potential Side Effects from Relora Ingredients

As is the case with other supplements, individuals may react differently to Relora. While most users experienced no adverse effects, others reported mild side effects from using the supplement.

Some potential Relora side effects[16] include:

  • Heartburn
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tiredness
  • Pain in the joints
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Shaking hands
  • Skin rashes
  • Thyroid dysfunction

7) What You Need to Know Before Taking Relora

Relora is likely UNSAFE during pregnancy. Phellodendron contains a chemical called berberine, which can cross the placenta and might harm the fetus.

Phellodendron is also known to interact with several prescriptions like Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) and medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates).[17]

Furthermore, the magnolia extract in Relora may interact with alcohol and certain sedative medications (Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines, and CNS depressants).[18]

Where to Buy?

8) Where to Buy Relora

You can purchase Relora locally at supermarkets, health food establishments, grocery stores, or local drug stores close to you.

You can also order the supplement online by visiting the official NOW Foods website or retailers like GNC, Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.


9) How Much Does Relora Cost?

NOW Foods Relora is available in two packages:

  • 120 vegetarian capsules bottle – $20.40
  • 60 vegetarian capsules bottle – $10.71

10) Directions For Taking Relora

For adults, take one (1) vegetarian tablet in the morning with food.

11) What the Customer Relora Reviews Say

"I received my Relora in a very timely manner. I read the reviews from others that have tried it, and so far, it appears to be helping with curbing my sugar and carb cravings. I will continue to use this and see how it does during the holidays when we tend to pack on the pounds." [Read full review]

---Connie J. Grindstaff

"I just started taking this about a week ago, once a day, along with another supplement (l-theanine) for helping reduce my stress/anxiety. So far, I think it's really helping. I noticed a slight discomfort in my stomach one time I took it, but I think I took it with not enough water and an empty stomach." [Read full review]


"Maybe it's different for other people, but this supplement seems to work at a certain threshold for me; for every day, non-serious stress or low levels of anxiety, I have found that they do no good; when I am a nervous wreck, and my hands are shaking, and I'm suffering from insomnia, these things work great!" [Read full review]


Bottom Line

12) Our Bottom Line

Relora is a potent dietary supplement that may help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety, reduce food cravings, and potentially help with weight loss.

Many of Relora’s documented benefits result from the direct interaction that the two herbal extracts that make up the blend have on hormone systems in the body and anti-inflammatory pathways.

One of the most interesting of these benefits is how Relora interacts with the stress response and how it can help with weight loss.

NOW Foods Relora is made by a reputable American brand known for producing high-quality dietary supplements. This is further supported by thousands of positive reviews and testimonials available online from actual users who have taken the supplement and were happy with the results.

Relora is also included in other mood-enhancing formulas like Theanine Serene with Relora.

3.8/5 - (12 votes)

Reference Sources

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Joe Pillera

I have just gone off Prozac. QUESTION: for how long do I have to “wait” before I can take Relora safely?


I have been taking Relora for two months and it has helped with my anxiety and tummy fat. I love it. It works as long as I take it. I fall asleep better and faster. More relaxed at nights now.


I bought NOW brand relora and it did help with my anxiety 100% BUT it gave me severe jaw pain and a rash on my arm so I had to stop. I read on Amazon that happened to others.


It really helps with my insomnia, but the next day I feel unmotivated and have really poor concentration levels. It doesn’t seem like anyone else is experiencing this, though. I wonder if it’s because my cortisol levels are too low. I just had a saliva test done that showed low cortisol levels from morning to night.


I haven’t seen anything posted lately. Can someone post that has actually seen a difference with this product. I have gain almost 20 pds in a month and the Dr. can’t find anything wrong except tremendous stressed caused by horrifing circumstances.I am to the point that I can’t take what life is dishes out. Gaining weight on top of everything else is not what I needed. Before this “event” happened I had lost 43pds. Does anyone know of anything that will honestly work. I NEED HELP!!

Reply to  Marjorie

Marjorie, my gosh I feel your angst and can relate to your testimony! Yes, this product works very well for curbing the edges of life’s daily dish…especially the smaller irritating stuff that jumps onto the existing pile. I incorporate a few other things to assist, as they target additional areas. Here’s the regimen that works for me: Relora (9a, 1p, 5p); L-Theanine (midafternoon); Ashwagandha (at bedtime). There are other vitamins/herbs I use as well (took a few years to find the right blend). Happy to share what I know. Oh, one more thing, I reduced the timing of when I consume calories to be between 6-8hr a day…meaning, I’m able to fast 16-18hrs daily. That’s been a game-changer too.

Reply to  Sheri

Can you expand on other supplements you take I was taking Sam-e but it has backfired on me causing depression anxiety so decided to try this
also wondering if Relora can cause liver damage and if anyone has tried milk thistle ( known to cleanse liver) Thanks


I have lost 15 lbs, with Relora, it has stopped my craving for sweets, I would recommend this for anyone trying to lose weight without the diet pill side effects, the relora has no side effects that I have noticed. You just don’t crave the sweets or salty foods anymore so you lose weight.


I’ve been taking relora for 2 weeks now and it worked wonders for my appetite! It has controlled it better than any other product on the market..I bought a 1 month supply and i will weigh my self after i have used it for the month. So far so good


Relora has been great as a stress relief although I have seen no sign of appetite control. I hoped for both. I have been using it for 30 days and will continue because I am glad to feel less stress.


I am a full time nursing student. I work part time and have a family. I use Relora occassionally when I start to feel stressed to the max or anxious. I find that it takes me down a notch and alows me to get through that period of high stress in a much more managable way. I have taken prescription medications for anxiety and stress and know how crappy the side effects are. I have not had any negative side effects from this OTC. I would recommend this and other OTC’s before trying prescription medications for stress.


my doctor tried me on this product b/c i was having a lot of hormonal issues which had led to a great deal of depression that i was finding hard to deal with. i had prayed and prayed and the Lord answered my prayers with this medicine. i am almost completely off my rx med for anxiety. this is a true God send!


This product is fantastic! I have been using it for stress and anxiety issues. Initially, I didn’t feel any difference, but after about two weeks I felt a lot of difference. I will continue taking it for as long as I need too.


Now Foods Relora worked for me for nervousness, anxiety/stress, AND as an appetite suppresant. I’ve been using it for about two weeks, and I do notice a substantial difference.


I bought this for my daughter who has uncontrolable eating disturbances and it is absolute fantastic it worked so well that when she ran out of the product i saw the difference immediately and quickly ordered some more. super.

Lewis Thomas

This is a good product for helping with stress and anxiety. I was having bad problems at work but seem to be a bit better now. I have used this Relora for 3 weeks so far and would recommend it.

Reply to  Lewis Thomas

I can notice a difference when I don’t use it! I am a teacher and Lord knows the stress that comes with that. Relora helps me feel more calm. For the weight loss issue:It has not made a difference there!


Due to stress and other factors, I’ve started to develop a mild attention disorder lately. My therapist advised me to center my attention on the core issues; otherwise I’d make very little progress. Relora helped me focus better at my workplace and gave me some breathing time to deal with my personal life.

Boris Anelli

I’ve tried a great number of similar products, but Relora is the only one that really works for me in stressful situations. I’ve experienced no negative side effects.