phytochemicals Phytochemicals

More plants with phytochemicals



Humulus lupulus

What is hop?

Hop originates from Northern temperate areas (Europe, North America and Asia). Hop is a perennial creeper of up to 8 m in height. During spring, the hop forms annual stems twist in a clockwise direction. The hop plant gives to 3-5-lobed sharply-toothed leaves with a rough surface. Male and female flowers form on separate hop plants. The hops used for brewing are the female flower cluster, which contains many small flowers. The hop plant favours hedgerows, woodlands and waste ground.
The hairs on the female hop flowers contain lupulin, a yellow powder that contains most of the phytochemicals.

Parts used

The dried hop flowers from the female plant hop plant. The hop flowers are harvested in August and September. In spring, the young shoots are also harvested and used as delicious food. Young hop leaves are also eaten in salads.


These are typical phytochemicals found in hop: 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, lupulone, humulone, valerianic acid, quercetin, tannins, phytoestrogens, gallic acid.

Benefits of hop

Hop pickers used to tire easily. This has lead to the reputation that hop has sedative and calming effects. The sedative activity of hop is caused by 2-methyl-3-buten-2-ol, which can be present in the hop is formed during digestion. Hop is a central nervous relaxant used to treat insomnia. Hop pillows are often used to induce sleep.
Hop has been used to increase breast milk and calm irritable infants.
Humulone and lupulone have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity and help to preserve beer. These components are active especially against gram-negative bacteria. Hop is used for the treatment of infections of the upper digestive tract and wounds.
Hop contains phytoestrogens, which can help to ease menopausal symptoms. The estrogenic activity of hop may cause loss of libido in men.
Hop is also used for controlling diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease.

Other facts

Hop was first mentioned by the roman Plinius. He described that hop was cultivated as a vegetable and the hop shoots were eaten as asparagus. Hops has been used for brewing beer for many centuries. Hops were first used in Dutch breweries at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The name Hop comes from the Anglo-Saxon hoppan, which means to climb.

Other names

Hoppu, Lupulin, Lupulo, Omerotu, Oubion, Serbetciotu, Humulus lupulus

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