Hops Monograph

Scientific name of Hops:
Humulus lupulus

Action of Hops:
Non-addictive natural sedative

Hops is used for these common wellness concerns:
Occasional sleep difficulty caused by restlessness, nervous tension, occasional anxiety, mild to moderate mood changes, or jet lag

Find Hops in these Clarocet blends:

An Overview of Hops

The Hop plant is a flowering vine native to North America, Europe and Asia. Because of their sedative properties, Hops have been used for centuries to provide positive support for:

  • Occasional sleep difficulty caused by restlessness, nervous tension, occasional anxiety, mild to moderate mood changes and jet lag
  • Daytime drowsiness caused by occasional sleeplessness

In moderate doses, the sedative action of Hop extract is mild and will provide relief from occasional sleep problems without causing next-day grogginess. Hops have been classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration, and have maintained a long, safe history of common use.

Science and Pharmacology of Hops

Scientists have isolated the following active components from the Hop plant:

  • Flavonoids
  • Chalcones
  • Alpha Acids

While the exact mechanism of action of Hops has not yet been determined, their sedative qualities are not questioned due to longstanding historical documentation as well as some clinical research. Phytochemists believe that the Flavonoids, Chalcones and Alpha Acids contained in hop extract are responsible for its sedative activity. Hops are often combined in herbal preparations with Valerian Root, German Chamomile and Passion Flower to increase sedative effects.

Hops Safety and Usage

Hops maintain an excellent safety profile when used as directed. In the United States, Hops are classified as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) by the Food and Drug Administration. Substances that receive a GRAS classification have maintained a long, safe history of common use in foods, or have been determined to be safe based on proven scientific research. An effective adult dose is 100 to 325 milligrams for occasional sleep difficulties caused by restlessness, nervous tension, occasional anxiety, mild to moderate mood changes or jet lag.

What are the potential side effects of Hops?

Side effects are rare and have been documented as mild in clinical study. They may include drowsiness and dizziness. In the event that you experience an adverse reaction, discontinue use of this herb. Hops do not cause withdrawal or discontinuation effects.

Is Hops safe for children?

Hops are generally well tolerated when used by children between the ages of seven and 13. Because each child is different, Hops should not be administered without the supervision of a professional healthcare provider.

Does Hops adversely interact with prescription drugs?

Taking Hops in combination with prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) or SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) may cause drowsiness. If you are taking a prescription medication, it is recommended that you consult with your prescribing doctor before making any changes or additions to your current treatment plan.

What precautions should I take before beginning Hops?

Consult with your healthcare provider before beginning a wellness plan that includes dietary supplements like Hops.

  • Do not take Hops if you are pregnant or nursing
  • Do not take Hops if you are currently taking a prescription MAOI
  • Do not take Hops if you are currently taking a protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS
  • Do not operate vehicles or heavy machinery until you know how Hops affects you

Hops Clinical Studies

1. Humulus Lupulus Monograph
Thorne Research, Inc. USA
Alt Med Rev. 2003; 8(2):190-192. [Read the Review]

2. Treatment of Insomnia: An Alternative Approach
Anoja S. Attele, DDS, Jing-Tian Xie, MD, and Chun-Su Yuan, MD, PhD
Thorne Research, Inc., Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago, USA
Alt Med Rev 2000; 5(3):249-259 [Read the Review]

3. New insight in the neuropharmacological activity of Humulus lupulus L.
Zanoli P, Rivasi M, Zavatti M, Brusiani F, Baraldi M.
Department of Pharmaceutical Science and National Inter University Consortium for the Study of Natural Active Principles, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2005 Jul 18; PMID: 16046089 [Read the Abstract]

4. Effect of a fixed valerian-Hop extract combination (Ze 91019) on sleep polygraphy in patients with non-organic insomnia: a pilot study.
Fussel A, Wolf A, Brattstrom A.
Zeller AG, Seeblickstr. 4, CH-8590 Romanshorn, Switzerland. axel.
Eur J Med Res. 2000 Sep 18;5(9):385-90 PMID: 11003973 [Read the Abstract]

5. Comparative study for assessing quality of life of patients with exogenous sleep disorders (temporary sleep onset and sleep interruption disorders) treated with a hops-valarian preparation and a benzodiazepine drug
Schmitz M, Jackel M.
Institut fur Psychosomatik, Vienna, Austria
Wien Med Wochenschr. 1998;148(13):291-8. PMID: 9757514 [Read the Abstract]

6. Interactions of valerian extracts and a fixed valerian-hop extract combination with adenosine receptors.
Muller CE, Schumacher B, Brattstrom A, Abourashed EA, Koetter U.
Universitat Bonn, Pharmazeutisches Institut, Pharmazeutische Chemie Poppelsdorf, Germany.
Life Sci. 2002 Sep 6;71(16):1939-49. PMID: 12175708 [Read the Abstract]

7. In vitro binding experiments with a Valerian, hops and their fixed combination extract (Ze91019) to selected central nervous system receptors.
Abourashed EA, Koetter U, Brattstrom A.
Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia.
Phytomedicine. 2004 Nov;11(7-8):633-8. PMID: 15636177 [Read the Abstract]

8. Vigilance-decreasing effects of 2 plant-derived sedatives
Gerhard U, Linnenbrink N, Georghiadou C, Hobi V.
Psychologische Abteilung, Psychiatrische Universitatsklinik, Basel.
Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax. 1996 Apr 9;85(15):473-81. PMID: 8657986 [Read the Abstract]

9. Expanded Commission E: Humulus Lupulus
M. Blumenthal, et al.
American Botanical Council, Austin, Texas, USA, Boston Integrative Medicine Communications
Herbalgram Publication [Read the Review]

Related online research destinations

Last Updated: February 2015 [PHMF-03-0]