Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Lupulus humulus

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Part Used: Flower inflorescence.


Volatile oil, composed mainly of humulene (= x-caryophyllene), with b-caryophyllene, myrcene, farnesene, 2-methylbut -3-ene-2-ol, 3-methylbut-2-ene-l-al, 2, 3, 5-trithiahexane and similar compounds; with tracesof acids such as 2-methylpropanoic and 3-methylbutanoic, which increases significantly in concentration in stored extracts.
Flavonols; mainly glycosides of kaempferol and quercitin
Resin, composed of x-bitter acids such as humulone, cohumulone, adhumulone and b-bitter acids such as lupulene, colupulone, adlupulone
Oestrogenic substances of undetermined structure;
Miscellaneous; tannins, lipids the chalcone xanthohumol.
Actions: Sedative, hypnotic, antiimicrobial, anti-spasmodic, astringent.
Indications: Hops is a remedy that has a marked relaxing effect upon the central nervous system It is used extensively for the treatment of insomnia. It will ease tension and anxiety, and may be used where this tension leads to restlessness, headache and possibly indigestion. As an astringent with these relaxing properties it can be used in conditions such as mucous colitis. It should, however, be avoided where there is a marked degree of depression as this may be accentuated. Externally the antiseptic action is utilized for the treatment of ulcers.

CAUTION: Do not use in cases with marked depression.

Ellingwood considered it specific for "marked cases of nerve irritation and wakefulness where anxiety and worry are the cause." He recommends it for the following pathologies: hysteria, insomnia, acute local inflammations, facial neuralgia, delirium tremens, sexual excitement.

Preparations & Dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l teaspoonful of the dried flowers and let infuse for l0-l5 minutes. A cup should be drunk at night to induce sleep. This dose may be strengthened if needed. Tincture: take l-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Hops is high in copper and selenium and low in magnesium.

FASEB J. 2005 Dec 30; [Epub ahead of print]
Mechanisms of the antiangiogenic activity by the hop flavonoid xanthohumol: NF-κB and Akt as targets.
Albini A, Dell'eva R, Vene R, Ferrari N, Buhler DR, Noonan DM, Fassina G.

Xanthohumol (XN), the principal flavonoid of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus L.) and a constituent of beer, has been suggested to have potential cancer chemopreventive activities. We have observed that most cancer chemopreventive agents show antiangiogenic properties in vitro and in vivo, a concept we termed "angioprevention." Here we show for the first time that XN can inhibit growth of a vascular tumor in vivo. Histopathology and in vivo angiogenesis assays indicated that tumor angiogenesis inhibition was involved. Further, we show the mechanisms for its inhibition of angiogenesis in vivo and related endothelial cell activities in vitro. XN repressed both the NF-kappaB and Akt pathways in endothelial cells, indicating that components of these pathways are major targets in the molecular mechanism of XN. Moreover, using in vitro analyses, we show that XN interferes with several points in the angiogenic process, including inhibition of endothelial cell invasion and migration, growth, and formation of a network of tubular-like structures. Our results suggest that XN can be added to the expanding list of antiangiogenic chemopreventive drugs whose potential in cancer prevention and therapy should be evaluated.

Mol Nutr Food Res. 2005 Sep;49(9):827-31.
Broad spectrum anti-infective potential of xanthohumol from hop (Humulus lupulus L.) in comparison with activities of other hop constituents and xanthohumol metabolites.
Gerhauser C.
Division of Toxicology and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany.

This review summarizes the capacity of xanthohumol (XN) in comparison with additional hop constituents and metabolites to act as an antiinfective agent against microorganisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi and malarial protozoa. XN was shown to inhibit the Gram-positive bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans. Antiviral activity was demonstrated against bovine viral diarrhea virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 and human immunodeficiency virus 1. Inhibition of two Trichophyton spp. was indicative of antifungal activity. Finally, XN potently inhibited the replication of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria. This effect was linked to the inhibition of glutathione-mediated degradation and detoxification of haemin, a by-product of the parasitic digestion of haemoglobin. Overall, these activities further contribute to the broad spectrum of biological effects observed with XN.

 Eur J Cancer. 2005 Sep;41(13):1941-54.
Beer constituents as potential cancer chemopreventive agents.
Gerhauser C.
Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum (DKFZ), Abteilung Toxikologie und Krebsrisikofaktoren, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany.

Beer is a complex alcoholic beverage made from barley (malt), hop, water and yeast. Phenolic constituents of beer are derived from malt (70-80%) and hop (20-30%). Structural classes include simple phenols, benzoic- and cinnamic acid derivatives, coumarins, catechins, di-, tri- and oligomeric proanthocyanidins, (prenylated) chalcones and flavonoids as well as alpha- and iso-alpha-acids derived from hop. Compounds belonging to different structural classes have distinct profiles of biological activity in in vitro test systems, and in combination might lead to enhanced effects. Scientific evidence has accumulated over the past 10 years pointing to the cancer preventive potential of selected hop-derived beer constituents, i.e., prenylflavonoids including xanthohumol and isoxanthohumol, and hop bitter acids. Chemopreventive activities observed with these compounds relevant to inhibition of carcinogenesis at the initiation, promotion and progression phases, as well as results from in vivo studies on metabolism, bioavailability and efficacy are summarised in this review.