Humulus lupulus

Humulus lupulus                           Common name: Hops

Parts used: Strobile

Constituents: Oleo-resins containing bitter substances (acylphloroglucides, humulone, lupulone, valerianic acid), volatile oil (humulene), tannins, estrogenic substance, flavonoids (kaempferol, quercetin, rutin), chalcones, aspargin

Medicinal actions: Nervine, strong sedative, hypnotic, tonic, diuretic, analgesic, aromatic bitter, anti-bacterial (topically), astringent, anti-pyretic, antispasmodic, anaphrodisiac.

Medicinal use: The main internal indications for Humulus are sleeplessness from worry and anxiety, nervous gastropathies. Phytoestrogens have an anti-androgen effect in men to reduce sexual overexcitement (i.e. premature ejaculation). Can be used for restlessness associated with nervous tension and headache and/or indigestion. Great for restful sleep and restless leg syndrome.


  • Oleo-resins containing bitter substances stimulate appetite, gastric secretion and bile flow, thus improving digestion.
  • Humulone & lupulone are antibacterial.
  • Valerianic acid is a sedative.
  • Volatile oils including humulene are sedative, hypnotic, analgesic, antiseptic, carminative and antispasmodic.

Pharmacy: Infusion:  1 tsp/ cup, 1 cup TID. Powder: 0.5 – 1.0 g/ day. Tincture (1:5, 60%), 2-3 ml TID, weekly max = 40ml. Hop pillow for insomnia (effective for some and for others will produce nausea and headache).

Toxicity: No adverse effects expected. Use caution depending on occupation due to sedative/hypnotic effects.

Contraindications: Depression – may potentiate symptoms of depression.

Interactions: Barbiturates and other sleeping aids may have additive effects.

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