Hops (Humulus lupulus L.)

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Hops are the seed cones from the Humulus lupulus plant. The plant is a climbing vine belonging to the family Cannabaceae and is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Hops are mostly grown in the United States, Germany, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and China.
Hops are widely used to preserve beer and provide the aroma and flavor. Hops varieties include Willamette, Victoria, Pride of Ringwood, Cascade, Southern Hallertau, Millennium, Southern Saaz, and Super Pride. Hops essential oils are used in perfumes, cereals, beverages, and tobacco.
Hops contain phytoestrogens, compounds that may have hormonal effects. It is unclear how phytoestrogens may impact hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, or endometriosis (a disorder in which uterine cells grow in other body parts).
Traditionally, hops preparations have been used for relaxation, anxiety, and sleep problems. Early studies have looked at the combined use of hops and valerian for the treatment of sleep difficulty.
There is limited human evidence supporting the use of hops as an antioxidant or deodorant. Evidence is lacking in support of hops as a treatment for menopause symptoms, asthma, joint diseases, ulcers, or metabolic syndrome.

Related Terms

6-Prenylnaringenin (6-PN), 8-prenylnaringenin (8-PN), adenylate isopentenyltransferase, bitter acids, Cannabaceae (family), catechin, chalcones, cohulupone, colupulone, common hops, Elusan®, epicatechin, European hops, geranyl(geranyl)diphosphate synthase, hop, hop strobile, Hopfen (German), houblon (French), hulupinic acid, humulon, humulus, Humulus lupulus, iso-alpha-acids, isoxanthohumol (IXN), kaempferol glycosides, kaempferol-7-O-rutinoside, Lupuli strobulus, lupulin, lupulus, myrcene, oxidized cohumulinone, oxidized hop alfa-bitter acids, oxidized humulinone derivatives, prenylated 2`-hydroxychalcones, prenylflavonoids, procyanidin dimer B, quercetin, rutin, silicon, spent hops, volatile thiols, xanthohumol (XN), Ze 91019.
Combination product examples: Avena Sativa Compound in Species Sedative Tea, Hova®-Filmtabletten, HR 129 Serene, HR 133 Stress, Melatonin with Vitamin B6, Meta050 (reduced iso-alpha-acids from hops, rosemary extract, and oleanolic acid), Seda-Kneipp®, Snuz Plus, Stress Aid, Valverde®, and Zemaphyte®.

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
 
Antioxidant (Grade: C)
Limited evidence suggests that hops extract may decrease oxidative stress and markers of heart disease risk and inflammation. Further research is needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.
Asthma (Grade: C)
Limited evidence suggests that hops extract may improve quality of life in adults with asthma but may not affect lung function. Further research is needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.
Circulation problems (Grade: C)
Chronic venous insufficiency is a condition in which the leg veins cannot pump enough blood back to the heart. People who have this condition may develop sores on the lower limbs. Limited evidence suggests that Idrastin®, a combination product containing hops, may help treat these sores when used with conventional therapy. Further research is needed on the possible benefit of hops alone.
Deodorant (Grade: C)
Limited evidence suggests that a combination treatment containing hops extract may help reduce odor and fight bacteria when applied to the underarms. Further research is needed on the use of hops alone.
Heart disease prevention (Grade: C)
Limited evidence suggests that hops extract may decrease oxidative stress and markers of heart disease risk and inflammation. Further research is needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.
Menopause (Grade: C)
Common menopause symptoms may include vaginal dryness, burning, itching, pain during sex, low sex drive, and reduced quality of life. When used in combination with other products, hops may help improve symptoms such as hot flashes and difficulty sleeping. However, more research is needed before a firm conclusion can be made.
Metabolic syndrome (coronary heart disease) (Grade: C)
Some evidence suggests that a combination treatment including hops may help treat metabolic syndrome. Further research is needed to determine the effects of hops alone.
Rheumatic diseases (Grade: C)
Early research suggests that a combination treatment containing hops may help reduce symptoms of diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and fibromyalgia. However, further research is needed on the use of hops alone.
Sedation (Grade: C)
Hops have been used as a sedative to promote relaxation and reduce anxiety. Early research suggests that combination treatments containing hops may reduce alertness and improve sleep quality. However, there is limited evidence on the use of hops alone. More information is needed before a conclusion can be made.
Sleep disorders (Grade: C)
Early studies report that hops may have sleep-enhancing benefits. However, there is limited information on these effects in humans. Further research is needed in this area before a conclusion can be made.