Hops Extract (Humulus Lupulus)
The “common” hops plant is a very uncommon factory of beneficial phytochemicals, some of them unique to hops. This genus Humulus is related to cannabis, they both belong to the Family Cannabaceae and they have many chemicals in common, like the terpenes myrcene. The hop plants are dioecious, i.e. with unisexual flowers on separate plans that are wind pollinated. The hops used in the beer industry are the female inflorescences (group of flowers) and are shaped like cones of 2.5 to 5 cm long. The hops are used to bitter, flavor and provide a complex fruity and flowery aroma to beer, Hops are also used for various purposes in herbal teas, soft drinks and herbal medicines. They contain polyphenols, mainly phenolic acids, prenylated chalcones, flavonoids, catechins and proanthrocyanidins. Many clinical trials have shown significant reductions in the frequency of hot flushes following the administration of hop-containing preparations. The bitterness associated with hops is due to alpha acids, whereas the hops aroma and flavor are due to nonphenolic compounds in the essential oils. There are many beneficial chemicals present in hops extract including xanthohumol, alpha acids, polyphenols, ferulic acid, quercetin and more.