Hops
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Hops Usage

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Effect of Hops on Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of hops for "discomfort due to restlessness or anxiety and sleep disturbances." However, scientists have had difficulty proving that hops causes...

Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Hops.

Effect of Hops on Panic Disorder

Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of hops for "discomfort due to restlessness or anxiety and sleep disturbances." However, scientists have had difficulty proving that hops causes sedation.2...

Read more about Panic Disorder and Hops.

What Are Hops Used for Today?

Germany's Commission E authorizes the use of hops for "discomfort due to restlessness or anxiety and sleep disturbances." However, scientists have had difficulty proving that hops causes sedation. 1 Because its sedative effect is mild at most, the herb is often combined with other natural treatments for anxiety and insomnia , such as valerian . One small, double-blind study found evidence that a proprietary combination of hops and valerian extract is more effective as a sleep aid than placebo; the results of this trial also hint that hops plus valerian is more effective than valerian alone, but this possible finding did not reach statistical significance. 2 In addition, hops has fairly strong estrogen-like properties, making it a phytoestrogen. 3 4 5 The basis for this activity is a constituent called 8-prenyl naringenin. Like soy (another phytoestrogen), hops has been proposed as a treatment for menopausal symptoms . It is also marketed as a breast enhancement product. However, there is no direct evidence as yet that it works for either of these purposes.

For reasons that are not at all clear, a water extract of hops (called “hop water”) has shown promise for reducing allergic reactions. 6 In a small, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, use of hop water at a dose of 100 mg daily significantly reduced symptoms of allergy to the Japanese cedar. 7 (The Japanese cedar is a strong allergen, similar in its sensitizing power to ragweed.)

A special extract of the hop plant called “hop bract polyphenols” has shown promise for preventing cavities and treating or preventing periodontal disease . 8 Like other bitter plants, hops is also used to improve appetite .

References

  1. Schulz V, Hansel R, Tyler VE. Rational Phytotherapy: A Physicians' Guide to Herbal Medicine. 3rd ed. Berlin, Germany: Springer-Verlag; 1998:83.
  2. Koetter U, Schrader E, Käufeler R, Brattström A. 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. 21(9):847-51.
  3. Zava DT, Dollbaum CM, Blen M. Estrogen and progestin bioactivity of foods, herbs, and spices. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 217(3):369-78.
  4. Schaefer O, Hümpel M, Fritzemeier KH, Bohlmann R, Schleuning WD. 8-Prenyl naringenin is a potent ERalpha selective phytoestrogen present in hops and beer. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 84(2-3):359-60.
  5. Rong H, Boterberg T, Maubach J, Stove C, Depypere H, Van Slambrouck S, Serreyn R, De Keukeleire D, Mareel M, Bracke M. 8-Prenylnaringenin, the phytoestrogen in hops and beer, upregulates the function of the E-cadherin/catenin complex in human mammary carcinoma cells. Eur J Cell Biol. 80(9):580-5.
  6. Segawa S, Takata Y, Kaneda H, Watari J. Effects of a hop water extract on the compound 48/80-stimulated vascular permeability in ICR mice and histamine release from OVA-sensitized BALB/c mice. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 71(6):1577-81.
  7. Segawa S, Takata Y, Wakita Y, Kaneko T, Kaneda H, Watari J, Enomoto T, Enomoto T. Clinical effects of a hop water extract on Japanese cedar pollinosis during the pollen season: a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 71(8):1955-62.
  8. Shinada K, Tagashira M, Watanabe H, Sopapornamorn P, Kanayama A, Kanda T, Ikeda M, Kawaguchi Y. Hop bract polyphenols reduced three-day dental plaque regrowth. J Dent Res. 86(9):848-51.
 
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