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Hops

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Also indexed as: Humulus lupulus
Hops: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Humulus lupulus

How It Works

Hops are high in bitter substances. The two primary bitter constituents are known as humulone and lupulone. These are thought to be responsible for the appetite-stimulating properties of hops. Hops also contain about 1–3% volatile oils. Hops have been shown to have mild sedative properties, although the mechanism is unclear. Some herbal preparations for insomnia combine hops with more potent sedative herbs, such as valerian. Hops also contain phytoestrogens that bind estrogen receptors in test tube studies but are thought to have only mild estrogen-like actions.

How to Use It

The German Commission E monograph recommends a single application of 500 mg of dried herb for anxiety or insomnia. The dried fruits can be made into a tea by pouring 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water over 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) of the fruit. Steep for ten to fifteen minutes before drinking. Tinctures, 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–2 ml) two or three times per day, can also be used. As mentioned above, many herbal preparations use hops in combination with herbal sedatives, including valerian, passion flower, and scullcap.

Copyright © 2011 Aisle7.

The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2013.

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