Latin Name: Humulus lupulus
Hops have been used to brew beer for over 1,000 years. Native Americans believed in the herb to help with insomnia and pain of the teeth, ears, and joints. Further, the bitter taste of hops has been used to stimulate digestion. Modern research has demonstrated its usefulness in calming anxiety and promoting sleep.
The listings of research below represent a compilation of scientific articles found on the species, with a very brief overview description of each article/study. Research found is catalogued by therapeutic action. This categorized compilation of research articles does not necessarily imply that there are adequate results to demonstrate safe and/or effective human use.
- Natural Medicines (2015). Hops Monograph. Retrieved in July, 2016. Retrieved from www.naturalmedicines.com
- Petersen, D. (2016). Course Material. HERB503, Advanced Herbal Materia Medica II. American College of Healthcare Sciences. www.achs.edu.
- In this review of research, terpenes found in cannabis and hops showed the following therapeutic actions in scientific studies: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, anxiolytic, anticancer, antitumor, neuroprotective, anti-mutagenic, anti-allergic, antibiotic and anti-diabetic. From: Nuutinen, T. (2018). Medicinal properties of terpenes found in Cannabis sativa and Humulus lupulus. European journal of medicinal chemistry.
- This review of research discussed hops and its therapeutic potential, including antimicrobial, sedative and estrogenic properties. From: Bocquet, L., Sahpaz, S., Hilbert, J. L., Rambaud, C., & Rivière, C. (2018). Humulus lupulus L., a very popular beer ingredient and medicinal plant: overview of its phytochemistry, its bioactivity, and its biotechnology. Phytochemistry Reviews, 17(5), 1047-1090.
- Hops was first recorded as being used in brewing beer in 1067. From: Weil, A., et al. (2010). National Geographic Guide to Medicinal Herbs. National Geographic. Washington D.C.
- Not recommended during pregnancy or lactation due to insufficient evidence (Natural Medicines, 2015).
- May have an estrogenic action; avoid with certain estrogen dependent health conditions.
- May have a sedative effect: avoid with operation of heavy machinery.
- May not be recommended for those with depression (Petersen, 2016).
- May be skin sensitizing (Petersen, 2016).
ANTIMICROBIAL / ANTIBACTERIAL / ANTIVIRAL
- Hops showed in vitro activity against bacteria that cause body odor and reduced underarm odor in a clinical evaluation. From: Dumas, E. R., Michaud, A. E., Bergeron, C., Lafrance, J. L., Mortillo, S., & Gafner, S. (2009). Deodorant effects of a supercritical hops extract: antibacterial activity against Corynebacterium xerosis and Staphylococcus epidermidis and efficacy testing of a hops/zinc ricinoleate stick in humans through the sensory evaluation of axillary deodorancy. Journal of cosmetic dermatology, 8(3), 197-204.
- Hops extract had an antiviral effect in vitro against a tested flu virus. From: Di Sotto, A., Checconi, P., Celestino, I., Locatelli, M., Carissimi, S., De Angelis, M., … & Di Giacomo, S. (2018). Antiviral and Antioxidant Activity of a Hydroalcoholic Extract from Humulus lupulus L. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity, 2018.
- Hops extracts of xanthohumol and the lupulones showed in vitro activity against bacteria that cause acne. From: Yamaguchi, N., Satoh-Yamaguchi, K., & Ono, M. (2009). In vitro evaluation of antibacterial, anticollagenase, and antioxidant activities of hop components (Humulus lupulus) addressing acne vulgaris. Phytomedicine, 16(4), 369-376.
- Hops extracts showed an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect in vitro. It was antimicrobial against the bacteria that cause acne. From: Weber, N., Biehler, K., Schwabe, K., Haarhaus, B., Quirin, K. W., Frank, U., … & Wölfle, U. (2019). Hop Extract Acts as an Antioxidant with Antimicrobial Effects against Propionibacterium Acnes and Staphylococcus Aureus. Molecules, 24(2), 223.
- Flavonoids from hops showed in vitro chemopreventive activity against human breast and ovarian cancer. From: Miranda, C. L., Stevens, J. F., Helmrich, A., Henderson, M. C., Rodriguez, R. J., Yang, Y. H., … & Buhler, D. R. (1999). Antiproliferative and cytotoxic effects of prenylated flavonoids from hops (Humulus lupulus) in human cancer cell lines. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 37(4), 271-285.
- Flavonoids from hops showed in vitro activity against human prostate cancer cells. From: Delmulle, L., Bellahcene, A., Dhooge, W., Comhaire, F., Roelens, F., Huvaere, K., … & De Keukeleire, D. (2006). Anti-proliferative properties of prenylated flavonoids from hops (Humulus lupulus L.) in human prostate cancer cell lines. Phytomedicine, 13(9), 732-734.
- A daily supplement of hops over 4 weeks was given to young adults who reported at least mild symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Results showed significantly improved mood compaired to the placebo. From: Kyrou, I., Christou, A., Panagiotakos, D., Stefanaki, C., Skenderi, K., Katsana, K., & Tsigos, C. (2017). Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. Hormones, 16(2), 171-180.
- In this double blind study with 50 participants, ingesting beta eudesmol from hops reduced stress in test taking participants compared to placebo. From: Ohara, K., Misaizu, A., Kaneko, Y., Fukuda, T., Miyake, M., Miura, Y., … & Tsuda, A. (2019). β-Eudesmol, an Oxygenized Sesquiterpene, Reduces the Increase in Saliva 3-Methoxy-4-Hydroxyphenylglycol After the “Trier Social Stress Test” in Healthy Humans: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Cross-Over Study. Nutrients, 11(1), 9.
- In a review of research, ten herbs offered human trails and demonstrated potential in reducing anxiety by affecting the Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) inhibitory neurotransmitter. These included: kava, valerian, pennywort, hops, chamomile, ginkgo biloba, passionflower, ashwagandha, skullcap, and lemon balm. From: Savage, K., Firth, J., Stough, C., & Sarris, J. (2018). GABA‐modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytotherapy research, 32(1), 3-18.
- In a study of 17 nurses who drank beer with supper for 14 days, night sleep quality was improved. From: Franco, L., Sánchez, C., Bravo, R., Rodríguez, A. B., Barriga, C., Romero, E., & Cubero, J. (2012). The sedative effect of non-alcoholic beer in healthy female nurses. PloS one, 7(7), e37290.
- In a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of 184 participants, a hops and valerian combination reduced insomnia. From: Morin, C. M., Koetter, U., Bastien, C., Ware, J. C., & Wooten, V. (2005). Valerian-hops combination and diphenhydramine for treating insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Sleep, 28(11), 1465-1471.
- A combination of valerian and hops were more effective than both the placebo and valerian alone in a four week clinical study to treat patients with insomnia. From: Koetter, U., Schrader, E., Käufeler, R., & Brattström, A. (2007). A randomized, double blind, placebo‐controlled, prospective clinical study to demonstrate clinical efficacy of a fixed valerian hops extract combination (Ze 91019) in patients suffering from non‐organic sleep disorder. Phytotherapy research, 21(9), 847-851.
- In this double blind, placebo controlled, EEG measuring study of sleep, a valerian / hops combination improved sleep measurements. From: Dimpfel, W., & Suter, A. A. (2008). Sleep improving effects of a single dose administration of a valerian/hops fluid extract. A double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled sleep-EEG study in a parallel design using the electrohypnogram. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie, 29(S 1), P06.
- The author discusses that the triptophan component of hops can aid in sleeping and improved Circadian rhythm. From: Bravo, R., Franco, L., Rodríguez, A. B., Ugartemendia, L., Barriga, C., & Cubero, J. (2018). Tryptophan and hops: Chrononutrition tools to improve sleep/wake circadian rythms.
- Hops, taken before beedtime, reduced nocturnal activity and thus improved sleep in birds with similar sleep wake cycles to humans. From: Franco, L., Sánchez, C., Bravo, R., Rodriguez, A., Barriga, C., & Juánez, J. (2012). The sedative effects of hops (Humulus lupulus), a component of beer, on the activity/rest rhythm. Acta Physiologica Hungarica, 99(2), 133-139.
- Ingestion of derivatives from hops improved memory in vivo. From: Ayabe, T., Ohya, R., Taniguchi, Y., Shindo, K., Kondo, K., & Ano, Y. (2018). Matured Hop-Derived Bitter Components in Beer Improve Hippocampus-Dependent Memory Through Activation of the Vagus Nerve. Scientific reports, 8(1), 15372.
- Constituents isolated from hops inhibited fatty liver disease in vivo. From: Mahli, A., Koch, A., Fresse, K., Schiergens, T., Thasler, W. E., Schönberger, C., … & Hellerbrand, C. (2018). Iso-alpha acids from hops (Humulus lupulus) inhibit hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis. Laboratory Investigation, 1.
- The use of an isolated phytoestrogen from hops in treating menopausal symptoms was discussed. From: Štulíková, K., Karabín, M., Nešpor, J., & Dostálek, P. (2018). Therapeutic perspectives of 8-prenylnaringenin, a potent phytoestrogen from hops. Molecules, 23(3), 660.
Compiled by: Kathy Sadowski
Last Updated: 7/12/19