St John's Wort: Benefits, Side Effects And Drug Interactions
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Hops are female cone-shaped flowers of the hop plant, Humulus lupulus. The dried flowers are used to treat anxiety, insomnia, tension, nervousness, and many more. Hops are full of alpha acids which is why they are used as a primary bittering and flavouring agent while making beer . If we trust the history, hops have been used since the Roman times to make beer and later, after seeing their amazing benefits, they were used in the making of medicines for sedation , diarrhoea and Crohn's disease.
Hops are cultivated around the world and that's why they have different species depending on the region they are grown. They come with a sour taste and strong aroma. Hops contain bitter acids like humulone and lupulone that come with a sedative property and tannins , asparagine, and flavonoid glycosides. Common names of hops include asperge sauvage, hop, hop strobile, and houblon.Types Of Hops
Just like there are varieties of grapes used for making wine, there are tons of varieties of hops used for brewing. Different types of hops bring different types of flavour and aroma on the table. They vary according to the alpha acid and essential oil content in them. The category of hops according to their geography of origin are as follows :
St John's Wort: Benefits, Side Effects And Drug InteractionsActive Compounds Present In Hops
Female hops contain biologically active compounds like bitter acids, volatile oils, polyphenols and prenylflavonoids.
The flavonoids in hops are xanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin . The volatile oils in hops are myrcene , farnesene and humulene. Bitter acids in hops are humulone, lupulone , adlupulone and adhumulone.Health Benefits Of Hops
1. Treat insomnia: The two essential oils humulene and lupolene found in hops have sedative property which helps in easing insomnia, anxiety, and headache .
2. Manage oestrogen level in females: Hops naturally contain phytoestrogen (8-prenylnaringenin) that mimics the female hormone estrogen and ease symptoms of hypoestrogenism .
3. Prevent ageing: The antioxidants in hops prevent the body from oxidative stress and help to keep the skin radiant and glowy .
4. Prevent cardiovascular disease: The compound xanthohumol in hops relaxes blood vessels and improves the blood circulation in the body, thus preventing cardiovascular disease .
5. Prevent cancer: The compound xanthohumol in hops possesses anticancer property. A study says that the compound is cytotoxic and it kills cancer cells in the body .
6. Relax muscles: The sedative property of hops helps in relaxing and soothing the muscles .
7. Improve digestion: The polyphenols in hops improve the stomach juice production without affecting its acid levels and reduce the inflammatory protein production easing digestion.
8. Relieve toothache: The polyphenols present in hops help relieve toothache and plaque growth. They block the inflammatory response caused by gum disease .
9. Treat menstrual cramps: The compound 8-prenylnaringenin in hops is very effective in treating menstrual cramps and menopause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats .
10. Improve sexual performance: The flavonoid 8-prenylnaringenin in hops improve sexual performance by preventing vaginal dryness in women and premature ejaculation in men .
11. Treat cough and congestion: The anti-inflammatory mechanism of hops aid irritation in the respiratory tract thus, treating coughing, congestion and other lung disorders .
12. Act as an analgesic: The alpha acid isohumulones found in hops act as an analgesic and help relieve the painful teeth, ears, nerves, and other chronic pains.
13. Prevent kidney diseases: A antioxidant compound xanthohumol found in hops help in preventing kidney-related problems like kidney stones and kidney cancer .
14. Prevent bad body odour: Hops prevent the growth of two bacteria which are responsible for the production of bad body odour in underarms and foot .
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15. Manage blood glucose: The essential oil called isohumulones present in hops reduce insulin resistance and manage blood glucose in the body .
16. Help in weight loss: Xanthohumol and iso-alpha acids compound present in hops reduce the body fat by preventing excessive fat accumulation in the body.
17. Fight allergies: Hops reduce the production of cytokine in the body that causes an allergic response in the body and help fight allergies like nose swelling, sneezing and others .
18. May prevent liver damage: Xanthohumol and isohumulones in hops help in preventing liver disorders like fatty liver, inflammation in the liver and tissue scarring in the liver .
19. Prevent neurodegenerative disease: Xanthohumol in hops prevent the build-up of protein in the brain that causes neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's.Side Effects Of Hops
Exposure to a high amount of hops causes certain side effects like the following:
Hops interact with certain medications and cause harm to the body. They are as follows:
Strain the mixture in a glass or pitcher.