The study, on the magnolia bark's anti-bacterial properties, was conducted by American researchers, who analyzed how it affected the bacteria in the mouths of a group of healthy adults shortly after they ate lunch.
The compound, which traces its history to Chinese herbalists, when added to mint killed almost 63 percent of the germs that cause bad breath - 20 times as many foul-smelling bacteria as the mints alone.
This bug-busting capacity puts it at par with many commercially available mouth-washes.
"Bad breath or halitosis is a major social and psychological problem that affects the majority of the general population," the Daily Mail quoted the researchers, as saying.
"Magnolia bark extract demonstrated a significant antibacterial activity against organisms responsible for oral mal-odour and can be incorporated into mints and chewing gum for improved breath-freshening benefits."
What's more, the researchers also reported that the extract was effective against a third type of bacteria leading to dental decay.
The preparations of magnolia bark extract also aim to solve a lot of health problems like menstrual cramps, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea and indigestion, as well as to ease coughing and asthma.
The study appears in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.