Health Library Home>Natural & Alternative Treatments>Herbs & Supplements>Article

Hops

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names:

Lpulo, hop, common hop, Humulus lupulis

Introduction

Hops are small flowers that come from the hop plant. They have been used to flavor beer. Hops have also been used to reduce symptoms of menopause, to ease anxiety, and to improve sleep quality. They can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Hops can also be made into a tea and a gel.

Dosages

500 milligrams once daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Anxiety —may ease symptoms A1
  • Insomnia —may improve sleep D1-D4
  • Menopause —may reduce symptoms E1-E3
  • Obesity —may reduce body fat F1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Body odor B1
  • Depression C1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to take hops in small doses for a short time, but stomach upset is possible. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to take for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse such as:

  • People taking sleeping medication should talk to their doctors before taking hops. It may interact with their medicine.
 

References

A. Anxiety

A1. Kyrou I, Christou A, et al. Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. Hormones (Athens). 2017 Apr;16(2):171-180.

A2. Savage K, Firth J, et al. GABA-modulating phytomedicines for anxiety: A systematic review of preclinical and clinical evidence. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):3-18.

B. Body Odor

B1. Dumas ER, Michaud AE, et al. Deodorant effects of a supercritical hops extract: antibacterial activity against Corynebacterium xerosis and Staphylococcus epidermidis and efficacy testing of a hops/zinc ricinoleate stick in humans through the sensory evaluation of axillary deodorancy. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Sep;8(3):197-204.

C. Depression

C1. Kyrou I, Christou A, et al. Effects of a hops (Humulus lupulus L.) dry extract supplement on self-reported depression, anxiety and stress levels in apparently healthy young adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover pilot study. Hormones (Athens). 2017 Apr;16(2):171-180.

D. Insomnia

D1. Morin CM, Koetter U, et al. Valerian-hops combination and diphenhydramine for treating insomnia: a randomized placebo-controlled clinical trial. Sleep. 2005;28(11):1465-1471.

D2. Koetter U, Schrader E, et al. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, prospective clinical study to demonstrate clinical efficacy of a fixed valerian hops extract combination (Ze 91019) in patients suffering from non-organic sleep disorder. Phytother Res. 2007 Sep;21(9):847-851.

D3. Dimpfel W, Suter A. Sleep improving effects of a single dose administration of a valerian/hops fluid extract - a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled sleep-EEG study in a parallel design using electrohypnograms. Eur J Med Res. 2008 May 26;13(5):200-204.

D4. Maroo N, Hazra A, et al. Efficacy and safety of a polyherbal sedative-hypnotic formulation NSF-3 in primary insomnia in comparison to zolpidem: a randomized controlled trial. Indian J Pharmacol. 2013 Jan-Feb;45(1):34-39.

E. Menopause

E1. Heyerick A, Vervarcke S, et al. A first prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study on the use of a standardized hop extract to alleviate menopausal discomforts. Maturitas. 2006 May 20;54(2):164-175.

E2. Erkkola R, Vervarcke S, et al. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over pilot study on the use of a standardized hop extract to alleviate menopausal discomforts. Phytomedicine. 2010 May;17(6):389-396.

E3. Aghamiri V, Mirghafourvand M, et al. The effect of Hop (Humulus lupulus L.) on early menopausal symptoms and hot flashes: A randomized placebo-controlled trial. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016;23:130-135.

F. Obesity

F1. Morimoto-Kobayashi Y, Ohara K, et al. Matured hop extract reduces body fat in healthy overweight humans: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled parallel group study. Nutr J. 2016 Mar 9;15:25.

Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 5/27/2020