HOPS (Humulus Lupulus)
Hops is a weed which is widespread in distribution due to it's application in the brewing of beer, but thought to have originated from Egypt. The dried, flowering part of the plant is harvested to compound natural medicines.
We make no therapeutic claims for any product not listed with the TGA. This information is to provide history for educational purposes only. Only use on the advice of a registered health professional.
Hops was primarily used throughout history for insomnia, anxiety, tension, excitability and ADHD. Other reported traditional applications include appetite stimulation, urine flow stimulation, breast milk stimulation, high cholesterol, bladder infection, intestinal cramping, priapism and others. Hops was sometimes applied to the skin for leg ulceration or as an antibacterial agent. Hops extract is still used in modern skin creams and lotions.
Beer aficionados are known to vaporize the hops flower for it's lovely earthy, spicy, and sweet flavor, similar to a high quality Indian Pale Ale. Others have reported a mildly sedative and euphoric effect. The ideal temperature for releasing the most useful active compounds via aromatherapy is reported to be 155C.
Standardized extracts, tinctures, and solid formulations prepared by a health professional may provide more reliable dosage, however there is no guarantee of strength, purity, or safety of herbal medications, so effects can vary. As with any medicinal preparation, to ensure the correct dose, patients have been encouraged to measure all liquid medications with an appropriate device such as a dropper, measuring spoon, or cup. Some forms of hops have been brewed to form a tea for drinking. Using different formulations of hops together greatly increases risk of an overdose.
At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for Hops. The appropriate dosage of Hops depends on several factors such as the patient's age, health, and other medical conditions. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician before taking.
While Hops has some immediate effects, they are said to build up and increase over a period of weeks. As with many herbs, consuming regularly in smaller amounts has resulted in longer lasting benefits, while high doses are said to have a short lived but more intense effects. After a period of regular consumption of any herb, a pause of a few weeks is always recommended.
Tea is often considered the most effective method of administration, and is best taken at regular intervals over a period of a couple of weeks. Volume can be reduced by boiling off excess fluid. Honey can be added for flavor and sweetness.
The least common method of administration. Smoking Hops is considered harmful to your health due to harmful toxins released in the process of combustion.
Another common and effective way to extract and consume medicinal compounds is the use of vodka as a solvent. Patients have been known to soak medicinal herbs such as Hops in vodka for around 14 days to extract aromatic oils and other active compounds.
Very few side effects have been listed due to lack of scientific studies and very low usage as a medicinal agent. Some of the more commonly reported adverse effects include potential sleepiness and drowsiness.
Other medical conditions -
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Avoid use due to shortage of reliable information.
Depression: Hops may worsen depression. Avoid use.
Hormone sensitive cancers and conditions: Some components of the hops plant may mimic the hormone estrogen. If sensitive to hormones, avoid hops and it's extracts.
Surgery: Hops may increase sedation when combined with medication used during and after a surgical procedure. Cease hops at least 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery.
Drug interactions -
Alcohol and other central nervous system depressants may potentially interact with Hops due to it's sedative nature. Antidepressants may also have their effects reduced by administration of Hops flower and it's derivatives. If using these medications together, start with a very low dose of Hops then titrate up whilst closely monitoring side effects. Due to the number of generic brands on the Australian market we cannot possibly list them all. Here is a list of some of the more common molecules and brand names:
CNS Depressants (Sedatives):
Alprazolam: Xanax, Alprax, Kalma.
Clonazepam: Paxam, Rivotril.
Diazepam: Valium, Antenex, Ranzepam.
Nitrazepam: Mogadon, Alodorm.
Oxazepam: Serepax, Murelax, Alepam.
Temazepam: Temaze, Normison, Temtabs
Zolpidem: Stilnox, Somidem,
Zopiclone: Imovane, Imrest,
Citalopram: Cipramil, Celapram, Talam, Citalo, Celica, Ciazil.
Escitalopram: Lexapro, Loxalate, Esipram, Esicor, Esitalo, Lexam.
Fluoxetine: Prozac, Lovan, Zactin.
Fluvoxamine: Luvox, Faverin, Movox, Voxam
Paroxetine: Aropax, Paxtine, Extine, Paroxo, Roxet.
Sertraline: Zoloft, Eleva,
Venlafaxine: Efexor, Enlafax,
Desvenlafaxine: Pristiq, Desfax,
Duloxetine: Cymbalta, Coperin,
Oestrogen Replacement Hormones:
Although rare, allergic reactions to Hops may occur. Stop taking Hops and seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a serious allergic reaction including difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives.