Hops plant for Herbal Naturopathy: properties, benefits, uses, side effects

Hops ( Humulus lupulus ) is a plant belonging to the Cannabaceae family. Useful against stress and headaches, it helps digestion and regeneration of skin and hair. Let’s find out better.

Properties of hops

Hops have always accompanied the history of many Nordic peoples not only for the production of beer but also for its outstanding properties, given that over time hundreds and hundreds of different active ingredients have been analyzed in it.

It is able to act on the nervous system as a hypnoinducer and mild sedative, excellent for fighting insomnia, headaches and many forms of gastritis and gastric reflux of nervous origin.

In addition, it supports the work of digestion, contributes to soothe ailments related to menopause and helps the regeneration of the skin and hair. This historical use has made it enter the National Galenic Formulary in mixture with other herbs by species for herbal teas for sedative and calming use.

How to use

The hop plant has over 100 active ingredients and in particular numerous terpenes, bitter acids, tannins, flavonoids and phytoestrogens that can be used both internally and externally.

INTERNAL USE: the herbal tea in the form of an infusion of hops is ideal for facilitating sleep, to combat headaches and to calm coughs and stomach pains. To prepare it you need 5 g of dried hop cones for 250 ml of water.

The intake is one cup of infusion up to 3 times a day after the main meals is sufficient to have the beneficial effects, for example as a remedy for insomnia or to calm coughs.

For internal use we can find dry extract capsules to be taken during the day according to the dosage shown on the package.
There are also natural products such as mother tincture, powder and other single-dose remedies all deriving from the substance that is extracted from the female flower of the hops which is called lupulin.

The properties are always aimed at counteracting the disorders of insomnia, nervousness, dysmenorrhea and digestive problems .

EXTERNAL USE : the infusion is also excellent for compresses in case of dry skin , muscle pain and inflammation. By concentrating the infusion, very effective lotions can be obtained.

Contraindications of hops

Among the numerous active ingredients of hops there are some not indicated in case of pregnancy, hormonal treatments, taking psychotropic drugs or alcohol. In case of use of barbiturates it is not recommended because it adds up the effect by increasing the duration of sleep.

Description of the plant

Hops are baptized as Humulus lupulus and are a perennial climbing plant that can grow up to 7 meters in height.

It has heart- shaped leaves with serrated edges and engraved with 3 to 5 lobes. The underside of the leaf is resinous while the top is rougher.

In the hop plant we find unisexual greenish flowers : the flowers of the female plants are membranous cones while those of the male plants are pendulous panicles that carry pollen. They are not showy flowers precisely because it is the wind that is responsible for pollination and therefore the coloring of the flower is not necessary to attract insects. Flowering occurs in summer.

The part that is used to obtain herbal remedies are the cones of the female flowers which are rich in resinous glands, producing bitter substances and essential oils, specific to the properties of hops.

Habitat of hops

Generally, hops like humic and fresh soils, even better if worked. It is easily found along rivers and streams below 1200 meters


Hops are from the C annabaceae family,  the same as Cannabis sativa and, in fact, as has been written, it is an excellent sedative and analgesic that can be used in natural medicine in many situations, including clinical ones.

In the traditional peasant cuisine, in spring the young hops were harvested like asparagus and cooked in the same way, obtaining excellent homemade dishes.

The hop plant is known for its use as an ingredient in beer that in history gives its bitter taste to this drink but perhaps not everyone knows that it was chosen also because in addition to its flavor it keeps the beer with less foam and preserves it for more time thanks to the presence of its active ingredients with natural antibacterial action.

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