Hops Flower


Also known as- Lupulus strobula. European Hops, and Lupulin.


A "hop" is a green cone around the female flower of the hop plant. Inside the hops are golden grains that form a sticky greenish yellow to organ-yellow powder.

Hops have been used for centuries to flavor beer, but they have been used even longer to aid sleep and to reduce libido. In fifteenth-century Germany, monks prescribed teas of hops to young males to help them remain chaste.


Up to 80% of grains of hops is a bitter resin. There are also tannins, flavonoid antioxidants, lupulone, and humulene.

Parts Used

The cone and grains of the hops flower, dried and cut.

Typical Preparations

Teas, infusions, tinctures, or encapsulations. Is also popularly used in dream and sleep pillows and many other cosmetic formulations.


Hops are sedating, but the chemicals responsible for this effect (humulone and lupulone) are strongest after an aging process of about 6 months to 2 years, which is the time required for them to form their sedative chemicals. Fresh hops provide bitters that stimulate digestion; these bitters are also found in the aged herb. In folk medicine, washes made with hops and waters are often used to treat sores and skin injuries. Hops teas are also used to relieve the pain of bladder infections. The hops used in beer are used "fresher," so drinking beer does not have the same effect as taking hops as an herb.

The German food chemist Udo Pollmer notes that soaking red or white meats in beer, before grilling, reduces the formation of cancer-causing HCA's (heterocyclic amines), and actually prevents the formation of these compounds, although "lite" or alcohol-free beers do not have this effect. Another way to avoid the HCA's, of course, is to serve vegan entrees.

Hops contain a flavonoid compound, xanthohumol, that may have antiviral, anti-clotting, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor activity. They have been used historically to promote sleep, often in combination with the sedative herb valerian. The effectiveness of this combination has been validated in a number of placebo-controlled studies. Additionally, hops have an anti-anxiety effect, which may help explain why you feel less tense after drinking hoppy beer.

Hops also appear to have estrogenic effects; extracts have been shown to reduce menopausal symptoms, and in one study with 100 postmenopausal women, a vaginal gel containing hops reduced vaginal dryness, painful intercourse, itching, burning and inflammation. However, the study was not designed to distinguish between the effects of hops and other components of the gel, including hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.


The hops in beer are responsible for an unfortunate condition in men known in German herbal medicine as "beer drinker's droop," or erectile dysfunction. Avoiding excessive consumption of beer or hops helps men retain potency.

This herb is sold by the ounce

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