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The sedating activity of hops.

Schiller H, Forster A, Vonhoff C, Hegger M, Biller A, Winterhoff H. 2006. Sedating effects of Humulus lupulus L extracts. Phytomed 13:7;535-41. (JS)

Humulus lupulus (hops) has traditional and modern use in phytotherapy to promote sleep or to reduce stress and tension. Previous studies have demonstrated marked efficacy as a soporific agent, usually in combination with valerian (Valeriana off) and passionflower (Passiflora incarnata). This study attempted to confirm previously discovered sedative and anxiolytic activity observed in animal models in vivo.

Hops ethanolic and C[O.sub.2] extracts were given orally to rats which were tested for any changes in locomotor activity, ketamine induced sleeping time, body temperature and elevated plus maze tests. Hops extracts were found against control to reduce locomotor activity and increase ketamine induced sleeping time, this reflecting a sedative action.

Curiously hops was discovered to significantly reduce the body temperature of the rats at higher doses, reflecting a traditional understanding of hops being energetically 'cooling'. In the majority of tests the sedative activity of hops was dose dependant.

In contrast to the results depicting sedative activity, in the elevated plus maze test no anxiolytic action was discovered as demonstrated in the control group (diazepam), which spent more time and had more entries into the open arm of the maze. The constituents which were responsible for the sedative action of hops were discovered to be the [alpha]bitter acids, [beta]-bitter acids and hop oil.

Jerome Sarris

3 Widgee Place, Chapel Hill Qld 4069

Cara Barnes

20 Brendon Street, Tarragindi Qld 4121
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Publication:Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 22, 2006
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