Hops is a plant. The dried, flowering part of the plant is used to make medicine.
Hops is used for anxiety, inability to sleep (insomnia) and other sleep disorders, restlessness, tension, excitability, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), nervousness, and irritability. It is also used to improve appetite, increase urine flow, start the flow of breast milk, as a bitter tonic, and for indigestion. Other uses include prostate cancer, breast cancer, ovarian cancer, high cholesterol, tuberculosis, bladder infections, intestinal cramps, an intestinal disorder called mucous colitis, nerve pain, and prolonged painful erection of the penis (priapism).
Hops is sometimes applied to the skin for leg ulcers and as an antibacterial agent.
In foods and beverages, the extracts and oil are used as flavor components. Hops are also used in brewing beer.
In manufacturing, the extract is used in skin creams and lotions.
How does it work?
The chemicals in hops seem to have weak estrogen effects.
- Body odor. Early research suggests that applying a deodorant that contains hops and a specific zinc salt to the underarm can reduce body odor.
- Insomnia. Some research suggests that taking a combination of hops extract plus valerian extract at bedtime helps some people fall asleep faster. It appears to take 28 days of treatment to see these benefits. However, a combination of valerian extract and hops extract seems to improve sleep quality similarly to bromazepam (Lexotanil) when taken for only 14 days. Sleep quality does not appear to be improved by taking a combination of hops, soya oil, soya lecithin, and Cannabis sativa (Cyclamax) for one month.
- Menopausal symptoms. Early research suggests that taking hops extract daily does not improve menopausal symptoms after 8-12 weeks of treatment. However, it might improve the severity of hot flashes after 6 weeks of treatment.
- Postmenopausal conditions. Some research suggests that applying 1-2 grams of a vaginal gel that contains hops, hyaluronic acid, liposomes, and vitamin E can reduce vaginal dryness, burning, itching, and rash in postmenopausal women.
- Leg ulcers. Early research suggests that applying a cream containing bladderwrack, English ivy, horse chestnut, gotu kola, butcher’s broom, horsetail, and hops (Idrastin), together with compression therapy, might help decrease pain and inflammation in people with leg ulcers and poor blood circulation in the legs.
- Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Improving appetite.
- Prostate cancer.
- Breast cancer.
- Ovarian cancer.
- High cholesterol.
- Intestinal cramps.
- Pain and swelling (inflammation) of the bladder.
- Nerve pain.
- Start the flow of breast milk.
- Other conditions.
Side Effects & Safety
Hops are considered LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods. Hops are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth for medicinal uses.
Special Precautions & Warnings:Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking hops if you are pregnant or breast feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Depression: Hops may make depression worse. Avoid use.
Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Some chemicals in hops act like estrogen. People who have conditions that are sensitive to hormones should avoid hops. Some of these conditions including breast cancer and endometriosis.
Surgery: Hops might cause too much sleepiness when combined with anesthesia and other medications during and after surgical procedures. Stop taking hops at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Moderate Interaction Be cautious with this combination
- Alcohol interacts with HOPS
Alcohol can cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Hops might also cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Taking large amounts of hops along with alcohol might cause too much sleepiness.
- Sedative medications (CNS depressants) interacts with HOPS
Hops might cause sleepiness and drowsiness. Medications that cause sleepiness are called sedatives. Taking hops along with sedative medications might cause too much sleepiness.
Some sedative medications include clonazepam (Klonopin), lorazepam (Ativan), phenobarbital (Donnatal), zolpidem (Ambien), and others.
The appropriate dose of hops depends on several factors such as the user's age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hops. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.