Hops has been around for a long time –its first use can be traced back to the 9th century. If you drink beer, then you are familiar with the slightly bitter and aromatic taste that’s usually caused by the addition of hops.
But, hops isn’t just popular for this, it is also used for a ton more things. Hop extracts are obtained from the parent plant called Humulus lupulus which are readily found in North America, Asia and Europe.
Even more interesting is that hops belongs in the same family as the marijuana plant. Now, just because they belong to the same family, doesn’t mean that hops contains compounds that will induce drug related symptoms.
Hops extracts have suddenly become even more popular, particularly in the fitness and weight loss industry owing to its purported ability to help individuals shed some weight and get rid of excess fat.
We’ll explore this shortly when we talk about its benefits. Either way, this doesn’t mean that you should go drink more beer. Truth is that that won’t help you lose the weight. If anything, you’ll probably gain more weight, particularly around the midriff –there’s a reason it’s called “beer belly”.
Benefits of Hops Extracts
1. Improved Skin Care
Some of the more popular skin care brands have hops extracts as one of their key ingredients. This is because of its skin rejuvenating activity. It is often found in organic creams and lotions designed to treat stressed or dry skin.
The extracts dissolved in the lotions or creams can also help lighten and fade away skin blemishes like acne and its scars, resulting in a fairer and clearer complexion. Its anti-inflammatory properties helps minimize skin inflammation.
And if you can’t find a cream with hops extracts, skin care experts recommend that you make skin care poultices with hops extracts and apply to the particular troublesome skin area.
A good example of a body serum rich in hops extracts is the Balancing Oil Free Skin Conditioning Serum, a globally recognized skin care serum designed to firm, moisturize and heal your skin of all blemishes and injuries.
2. Helps With Anxiety, Nerves and Pain
Maybe this is why beer can help you become less tense –although there’s no study to corroborate the statement. However, hops extracts taken in the form of tea or any other form, can be relaxing.
This may be due to the soothing effects similar to that produced by marijuana. It is also a common ingredient found in certain painkillers, making it useful for pain relief. So, if you’re having headaches and migraines, hops extracts supplements just might help.
3. Improves Hormonal Balance
This is particularly important for women approaching or currently undergoing menopause. The Hops plant is one of nature’s richest sources of estrogen. This makes it rather effective in relieving symptoms associated with menopause e.g. hot flashes and well as improving bone health.
Menopausal women tend to suffer from brittle bones or osteoporosis owing to the reduced amount of estrogen in their body. Its ability to provide relief is courtesy of an active ingredient called 8-prenylnaringenin gotten from the plant and found in its extracts.
4. Can Make Your Hair Healthier
No one likes dry hair or watching their hair break. The same applies to hair that’s riddled with lice, dandruff and many other hair conditions. Hops extracts have been known to help reduce the incidence of dandruff and hair breakage when applied as oil to the hair.
This is because the oil extracted from the flower of the hops plant contains antiseptic properties which can help minimize incidences of scalp infection or any other condition that could result in inhibited hair growth.
The oil is also effective for stimulating hair growth as well as strengthen and thicken available hair. For best result, add to other hair oils and massage deeply into your scalp every day.
5. Hops Extracts May Help Combat Insomnia
In many cultures, hops has been used to improve sleep as well as relax the nerves. Naturally, it follows that you’re likely to sleep better when you’re less tense. For best results, you should combine hops extracts supplements with valerian root supplements.
These tend to help people fall asleep faster and helps them sleep deeper. So, if you’re aiming for a natural way to go to sleep quickly and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night, this should help you do so.
6. Hops Extracts Can Aid Weight Loss
It might also prevent weight gain in individuals. This is courtesy of a 2005 Japanese study on mice that were injected with isomerized hops extracts while they were placed on a high fat diet.
The weight of the mice’s tissues were measured against a second group that weren’t given the isomerized hops extract, even though they were placed on the same diet. The first group that were given the ops extract ended up weighing less than the second group.
Please note however, that hops extracts can be appetite stimulants. So, taking it on an empty stomach might defeat the weight loss purpose.
7. Might Help Reduce Swelling in the Joints
Multiple research and studies have shown that hops extracts can be pretty effective at preventing and reducing inflammation in general.
This makes them one of the best sources of natural anti-inflammatory agents in the world patients suffering from joint related problems will often find that taking hops extracts in the specified dosages can do help with their pain management.
Doctors and alternative medicine specialists routinely recommend the supplements for patients suffering from osteoporosis related pain.
Hops Extract Side Effects
There are no concrete side effects of hops extracts. Most are just precautions outlined to cover all bases. For instance, WebMD clearly states that there isn’t enough information about the safety of hops extracts. So, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers need to err on the side of caution and avoid using it.
However, because hops is rich in plant based estrogen, individuals suffering from certain types of cancer –particularly those that could be worsened by an increase in the amount of present- might want to avoid using it. Some examples of these cancers include endometrial cancer and breast cancer.