What are hops? What is its effect

What are hops? What is its effect? Hops (Humulus lupulus), also known as hops and yeast flowers, is a perennial herbaceous vine plant, genus Humulus in the Cannabis family, native to Europe, America, and Asia. It can be used to brew beer and make medicines.
The following is an introduction to the relevant knowledge of hops.

Characteristics of hops

Perennial climbing herb, grows up to 32.8 feet, with dense hairs and barbs on stems, branches, and petioles.

The leaves are oval or broadly ovoid, with 3-5 or more leaves, about 1.6-4.3 inches long and 1.6-3.1 inches wide. The base is heart-shaped or nearly round, with coarsely serrated edges, densely covered with small bristles on the back Sparse hairs and yellow gland spots;

Two female flowers are born between the axils of a bract, and the bracts are arranged in a near-globular spike.
The ears are cone-shaped, 1.2-1.5 inches in diameter. The persistent bracts are dry and membranous, the fruit is enlarged, about 0.4 inches long, glabrous, with oily spots.

The achene is flat and contains 1-2 axils per bract. Flowering period from July to August, fruiting period from September to October.

The origin of hops

Hops are native to Europe, America, and Asia. It was first cultivated in Europe, and there was a description of hops as far back as 736 AD. But it started in Germany as a raw material for the beer industry.
There are more than 20 countries in the world that produce commercial hops.

Mainly produced in the United States, Germany, the former Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Britain, Yugoslavia, and other countries, accounting for about 80% of the world’s total output. The quality is most famous in Germany and Czechoslovakia.

Ingredients of hops

Contains resins, including humulone, isohumulone, lupulone, etc.; contains volatile oils, including myrcene, humulene, linalool, lupeol, etc.
In addition, there are tannins, flavonoids, choline, fructose, sucrose, glucose and so on.

This is hops - what are hops
This is hops – what are hops

The medicinal value of hops

1. Antibacterial effect

Hop extract, lupulin, and humulone can inhibit the growth of Gram-positive bacteria, such as Bacillus anthracis, Bacillus cereus, Diphtheria, Pneumococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, etc.;

It has no inhibitory effect on Gram-negative bacteria, and it can also inhibit tuberculosis. It has a very weak or ineffective inhibitory effect on pathogenic and non-pathogenic fungi and actinomycetes.
Lupulone is more effective than humulone in inhibiting gram-positive bacteria or tuberculosis bacteria.

2. Sedation

The foreigner use hops for hysteria, restlessness, and insomnia. The hop extract has a small amount of sedation, a moderate amount of hypnosis, and a large amount of paralysis on the central nervous system. Lupulone and humulone have a sedative effect.
It is also said that this effect is caused by the contained isovaleric acid.

3. Estrogen-like effects

Most women who collect hops have menstrual cramps 2-3 days after contact with hops and can relieve dysmenorrhea. The β-acid in the resin has a strong estrogen-like effect, and each gram is 1500O units (measured by the uterine weighing method), Each unit is equivalent to 0.1μg of courtship element), the α-acid part has no effect.

4. Other functions

The addition of hops when brewing beer is not only due to the fragrance of the volatile oil, but also the antiseptic effect.
The ethanol extract of hops has a powerful antispasmodic effect on the isolated rabbit jejunum, guinea pig duodenum, and rat uterine smooth muscle, and can antagonize the spasmodic effects of acetylcholine and barium chloride. Its antispasmodic effect is directly relaxing smooth muscle.

The hop extract and volatile oil have a lighter and short-term antihypertensive effect on dogs (intravenous injection), but it has no preventive and therapeutic effect on carrageenin-induced plantar edema in rats. Intravenous lupulone can enhance Breathe.

Toxicity of hops

90-95% of people who have contact with hops have dermatitis, which is mainly caused by fresh flower powder.
The most common side effects of lupulin on humans are gastrointestinal reactions, such as loss of appetite, burning sensation, nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Individuals have headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, skin allergies, etc.

After treatment, except for a few cases of elevated transaminase, liver and kidney functions, and electrocardiogram were all normal. No abnormalities were found in blood and urine routine examinations.

In the acute toxicity test of animals, there were excitement and convulsions before death, and death was caused by difficulty in breathing. There was obvious congestion or hemorrhage in the liver, kidney, and lung. In the chronic toxicity test in mice, the lungs had obvious pathological changes.

Hops are toxic to dogs. It will cause the dog to pant, hyperthermia, seizures, and death if the dog ate it.

How to eat hops

Flowers are the raw material for brewing beer. In beer brewing, hops have an irreplaceable role:

  1. Make beer with a refreshing aroma, bitterness, and antiseptic power. The aroma of hops and the fragrance of malt give the beer a subtle flavor.
    Beer, coffee, and tea all win with fragrance and bitterness, which is also the charm of these beverages.
  • Hops itself is a natural preservative, which not only gives the beer a special aroma but also extends the shelf life of beer.
  1. Form excellent beer foam. Beer foam is a complex of clomazone in hops and foaming protein from malt.
    Excellent hops and malt can produce white, delicate, rich, and long-lasting beer foam.
  2. Conducive to the clarification of wort. In the process of wort boiling, due to the addition of hops, the protein in the wort can be complexed and precipitated, thereby clarifying the wort and brewing pure beer.
  3. The strong hop flavor of hops can balance the natural sweetness of wort and stimulate the appetite. The original beer tastes sweeter because of the addition of honey or date palms, but this beer does not quench your thirst.
  • This is why beer brewed with hops was very popular throughout the Middle Ages.
Through the above introduction, we learned in detail about hops. If you need more knowledge about plants, please follow us for more articles.
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