10 Hop Oil Benefits You Will Be Interested To Read
Did you know that hop is one of the key ingredients in beer? Well, yes. Also, it is suspected to cause the so-called “beer belly” effect. But not many are aware of the various hop oil benefits.
From healing menstrual problems to treating sleep disorders, hop oil can do wonders. Let’s understand its therapeutic properties, chemical composition, history, facts, and much more in detail.
What is Hop oil?
Hop essential oil is extracted from the female strobilus of Humulus lupulus plant. Strobilus is the cone-like reproductive structure in the plant. It belongs to the Moraceae family or the fig family, a group of flowering plants with more than 1100 species.
For the extraction of hop essential oil, the dried membranous female strobilus are used. They are processed via steam distillation or solvent extraction method.
England, Hungary, Croatia, Germany, and France are the principal producers of Hop essential oil.
The plant is native to Europe & Western Asia. Hop plant is commonly grown in Europe but it is also found in the United States. While male plants have no commercial value, the females are economically important.
Scientific Name of Hop Oil
The botanical name of hop is Humulus lupulus L.
History of Hop Oil
Hop’s Scientific name Humulus lupulus is originated from Latin. The meaning of the word Humulus is believed to be “hop,” but it is uncertain.
The species epithet lupulus literally means “small wolf.” Since the hop plant is a climber, the plant was once called “willow-wolf” due to its tendency to climb willows.
In olden days, hops were a part of food & medicine. Historians believe that hop would have been a part of the ancient beer industry.
The ancient Egyptians & Greeks used hops to make healthy salads.
The modern hop is believed to be developed from the ancient wild species. The history of which is too long.
Pliny the Elder, a philosopher, mentioned about hop plant as an appetizer.
Until the 13th Century, Gruit was used to flavor beer. But after that, hop was used, and its cultivation increased. People started using hop to make beer.
It was only in the 19th century when hop became extremely popular. It was widely used in beer and is also suspected to be the cause of “beer belly.”
Color, Consistency, and Smell of Hop Oil
- The color of hop oil is pale to dark yellow.
- The consistency of hop oil is medium.
- The smell of hop oil is fresh, sweet, and herbaceous.
Properties of Hop Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of hop essential oil include:
- Analgesic – Reduces pain sensation
- Antibacterial – Prevents bacterial growth
- Anticatarrhal – Effective against catarrh
- Antidepressant – Alleviates depression
- Antifungal – Prevents fungal growth
- Anti-infectious – Prevents infections
- Anti-inflammatory – Reduces redness, swelling, and pain
- Antimicrobial – Prevents microorganism growth
- Antioxidant – Inhibits the process of oxidation
- Antiseptic – Kills the microbes and prevents their development
- Antispasmodic – Relieves spasms, contractions, and convulsions
- Antitoxic – Neutralizes toxins
- Antitussive – Treats coughs
- Antiviral – Prevents viral growth
- Astringent – Tightens the tissues
- Balsamic – Eases sore throat and cough
- Calmative – Effective sedative & calming agent
- Carminative – Gets rid of bloating, flatulence, and abdominal pain
- Cicatrizing – Promotes the formation of scar tissue and heals faster
- Circulatory – Enhances proper blood flow
- Cytophylactic – Promotes cell turnover and heals faster
- Decongestant – Reduces congestion
- Deodorant – Removes unpleasant smell
- Depurative – Effective cleanser and detoxifier
- Digestive – Digests the food better
- Disinfectant – Prevents the germs from spreading
- Diuretic – Removes excess water from the body
- Emmenagogue – Regularizes menstruation
- Emollient – Softens the skin
- Expectorant – Removes excess mucus from the body
- Hypnotic – Has a sedative effect
- Hypotensive – Lowers blood pressure
- Immunostimulant – Stimulates the action of the immune system
- Mucolytic – Breaks down mucus
- Pectoral – Treats chest & respiratory issues
- Regenerative – Tends to regenerate
- Restorative – Strengthens the body
- Sedative – Relaxes both psychological & physical activity
- Soporific – Induces sleep
- Spasmolytic – Eases smooth muscle spasms
- Stimulant – Enhances the overall function of the body
- Tonic – Restores the bodily functions
- Vasodilatory – Promotes the dilation of blood vessels
- Vulnerary – Heals wounds & sores when applied topically
Chemical Compounds in Hop Oil
The chemical composition of Hop essential oil include:
a-Caryophyllene (36.7%), b-Myrcene (25.4%), b-Caryophyllene (9.8%), g-Cadinene (5.5%), d-Cadinene (4.1%), a-Muurolene (3.0%), a-Copaene (1.5%), Geraniol (1.5%), Sabinene (1.4%), b-Selinene (1.2%), Linalool (1.1%), a-Selinene (1.0%), and (E)-b-Ocimene (1.0%). (3, 4)
Health Benefits of Hop Oil
Though hop oil benefits are abundant, the most prominent ones that have been proved by different researchers in recent times include:
- Improves skin health
- Regularizes menstruation
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps overcome stress
- Relieves pain
- Promotes hair growth
- Cures stress-related indigestion
- Heals wounds and cuts
- Cures cough & congestion
- Treats insomnia
1. Improves skin heath
Everyone needs good, young, and healthy-looking skin. But that, of course, needs a good amount of care. However, essential oils can do a great deed in maintaining your skin.
The antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties of hop essential oil make it easy for you to give the required care for your skin.
Hop oil helps to cure acne, pimples, scars, and inflammation. This is mainly due to its compounds – Caryophyllene, b-Caryophyllene, g-Cadinene, d-Cadinene, a-Copaene, Sabinene, and Linalool. (5)
In addition, it acts as an emollient and helps in keeping your skin soft and clean. All you have to do is add 1 – 2 drops of hop oil in 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and apply it to your skin. It is better to apply before going to bed because it acts as a sedative. This would keep your skin moisturized all through the night, making your skin soft and supple over time.
2. Regularizes menstruation
Most women experience uncomfortable menstruation. Though there are plenty of problems associated with it, irregular menstrual cycle is a growing problem. It is caused due to unhealthy lifestyle, hormonal imbalance, and stress.
Hop essential oil is capable of solving stress-related issues. Thanks to its analgesic properties present in these 4 compounds:
Together, these compounds help relieve menstrual cramps and pain. (6)
Make a blend using 5 drops of hop oil, 5 drops of Rosemary oil, and 8 drops of Chamomile Roman oil. Take 2 – 3 drops from the blend and dilute it using 2 tablespoons of suitable carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba oil. Massage your lower back, moving all the way up and then, to your abdomen. Massage your abdomen in a small circular clockwise motion.
3. Reduces inflammation
a-Caryophyllene, b-Myrcene, g-Cadinene, d-Cadinene, a-Copaene, Geraniol, and Linalool are the compounds attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of hop essential oil.
When hop oil (but diluted with a carrier oil) is applied topically on the affected region, it prevents the generation of histamines. It reduces itching, redness, and irritation caused due to inflammation (7).
Dilute 2 drops of hop oil in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and apply it on the affected region. The oil acts as an antiseptic as well. It prevents further infection in and around the affected region.
4. Helps overcome stress
With hectic lifestyles, stress is common. It harms your inner health to a great extent. It gives rise to multiple diseases.
To relieve stress, essential oils have always been helpful. Talking of hop essential oil, its aromatic compounds can calm you down and uplift your mood. Thanks to the compounds b-Myrcene, a-Muurolene, and Ocimene. (8)
5. Relieves pain
If you look at the chemical composition of hop oil, almost all the compounds exhibit extraordinary analgesic property.
They help in making you forget the sensation of pain. Be it cramps, muscle pain or ache, just apply diluted hop oil on the affected region and massage gently. (9)
You can even make a blend using 3 drops of hop oil, 2 drops of lemon oil, and 3 tablespoons of jojoba oil. Apply the oil blend on the affected region for immediate pain relief.
6. Promotes hair growth
Hop essential oil promotes hair growth. This is mainly due to its antifungal property. It prevents dandruff or any fungal infection on the scalp.
Also, massaging the scalp using diluted hop oil increases blood circulation. When there is proper blood flow, hair growth is faster.
Dilute 2 to 3 drops of hop oil in 2 tablespoons of lukewarm coconut oil. Massage on your scalp. (10)
7. Cures stress-related indigestion
Indigestion may be caused due to various reasons. One of the most underrated reason is stress. When you are under stress, your body fails to digest the food properly.
Stress-eating leads to many serious issues. Digestion is not only about processing the food and eliminating the rest. But rather it is about assimilation and absorption of nutrients in the food. When you suffer from stress-related indigestion, it may also lead to a gastric headache.
Hop oil is generally good for the stomach and helps increase metabolism. This is mainly due to the compounds Caryophyllene, b-Caryophyllene, and Selinene.
All you have to do is apply diluted hop oil on your left abdomen and massage in a clockwise direction. Make sure you do not eat anything unless you are REALLY HUNGRY. (11)
8. Heals wounds and cuts
When diluted hop oil is applied topically in wounds and cuts, the healing process is much faster. This is due to its cicatrizing property.
Hop oil is a well-known antiseptic. It helps in preventing infection in the areas around the wound. Moreover, it prevents the appearance of scars.
Its antioxidant property helps in the regeneration of cells & tissues. Its astringent and emollient properties help in making your skin smooth, soft, and healthy.
9. Cures cough & congestion
In ancient times, people used to inhale “hop smoke” to decongest and breathe easily. Hop essential oil is antiviral, anti-infectious, and mucolytic.
It helps to breakdown phlegm and relieve respiratory congestion. You can either diffuse the oil or make a chest rub.
Dilute 3 to 4 drops of hop essential oil in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Apply the diluted oil on your chest and inhale the aroma from it.
You can also use hop oil in steam inhalation method. However, it may cause eye irritation. So make sure you close your eyes tightly during the inhalation process. Diffusing the oil before sleep helps you helps in getting rid of congestion (14).
10. Treats insomnia
Sleep disorder (or insomnia) can occur due to various reasons. Stress, anxiety, work pressure, addiction to gadgets, and heartbreaks are some of the common known causes. Hop pillows are famous for their sedative effects.
The fresh and herbaceous aroma plays a big role. It relaxes your mind and helps you to fall asleep soon. (15).
Hop essential oil has similar effects on your mind when inhaled. The compound linalool in it is attributed to its sedative effect.
Just diffuse a few drops of the oil using a diffuser before going to bed. This helps you to have a sound sleep.
What Blends with Hop Oil?
Hop essential oil blends the best with:
- Amyris oil
- Cananga oil
- Carnation oil
- Cedarwood oil
- Chamomile Maroc oil
- Chamomile Roman oil
- Clary sage oil
- Geranium oil
- Lemon oil
- Mandarin oil
- Marjoram (sweet) oil
- Nutmeg oil
- Orange (sweet) oil
- Spikenard oil
- Spruce oil
- Valerian oil
- Vetiver oil
How To Use Hop Oil?
It is crucial to purchase high-quality and therapeutic-grade essential oil to enjoy its fullest benefits. This applies to hop oil too.
- Topical Application: Like any other essential oil, hop essential oil is potent in its concentrated form. Hence, it is vital to dilute it with a carrier oil before use. Perform a patch test before using the oil for intended purposes. Wait for 24 hours and observe how your body reacts to the oil. If you find it irritating, dilute the oil even more. If you find any allergic symptoms, suspend the use.
- Aromatherapy: For aromatherapy benefits, dilute the oil using a diffuser or a vaporizer. Make sure you do not congest the room with the aroma, as it can cause headaches.
- Ingestion: The United States Food & Drug Administration has granted GRAS status for hop essential oil. It means that hop oil is GENERALLY REGARDED AS SAFE to be used in food or as intended, as long as the oil is solvent-free.
Side Effects of Hop Oil
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using this oil.
- Keep the oil away from the reach of children.
- The aroma of the oil has a sedative effect. Make sure you do not use the oil before driving, operating a machine, or performing any work that requires concentration.