SCIENTIFIC NAME(S): Humulus lupulus L.
Family: Moraceae or Cannabaceae

COMMON NAME(S): Hops, European hops, common hops, lupulin

The hops plant, Humulus lupulus, is a climbing plant native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Hops are the cone-like, fruiting bodies (strobiles) of the plant and are typically harvested from cultivated female plants. Hops are most commonly used as a flavoring agent in beer.

In a few small laboratory studies, chemicals in hops have shown to have some anti-infective activity. Hops may also have anticancer properties. In several small studies of laboratory cultures or animals, hops prevented different cancer types from starting, growing, or spreading.


The major use of hops is in beer production, where oxidation of the bitter principle humulene yields the characteristic flavor. Extracts are used as flavors in foods and beverages. Traditionally, hops had been used as a diuretic and in the treatment of intestinal cramping, tuberculosis,cancer, and cystitis. Brewery sludge baths were used medicinally for their rejuvenating effects and for menstrual problems.

Botany :- Hops are climbing perennial plants with male and female flowers on separate plants. Hops can attain heights of 7.5 m. Commercially, the female cone-like flowering parts are collected and dried. Lupulin is composed of the separated glandular hairs and contains more resins and volatile oil than hops but may also contain more adulterants.

Uses of Hops

Hops have been used as a flavoring, diuretic, sedative, and treatment for intestinal cramping, tuberculosis, cancer, cystitis, menstrual problems, and nervous conditions.

Side Effects of Hops

Contact dermatitis has been reported after exposure to hops pollen


Hops is available as capsules, liquid extracts, tea leaves, and other dosage forms. Directions for use vary considerably. If you decide to take hops, follow the instructions on the manufacturer's label of the package that you purchase. The standard dosage of hops is 0.5 g (about 1 heaping teaspoonful) taken 1 to 3 times daily.

Extracts can be allergenic, contact dermatitis has been reported after exposure to hops pollen. However, bronchial hyperresponsiveness among hops packagers occurred with an incidence similar to that in the general population.

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