Common hop. Hop cones

Common hop. Hop cones

Common hop. Hop cones

Specification & Spread

Hop infructescences («cones») — strobili lupuli
Common hop— humulus lupulus l.
Hemp family — саппаbасеае

It is a perennial dioecious herbaceous vine 3-6 m long.
The stems are weakly woody at the bottom, hexagonal, hollow, rough from covering hooked bristle spines. The leaves are opposite, macropodous, 3-5-palmatilobate or whole, heart-shaped at the base, acuminate at the apex, serrate on the edge. The flowers are dicate, staminate – with a pentamerous perianth, gathered in axillary paniculate inflorescences; the pistillate leaves are  with undivided, membranous perianth, arranged in 2 in the axils of opaque scales, internally seated with small glands, gathered in pineal oblong-elliptical, light green drooping goslings, growing into cone-seeds. The fruit is an oblate nut with a membranous perianth remaining at the base.

It flowers in June – July, bears fruit in August – September.

Spreading. Hop is widespread in nature and it is a cultivated plant. It occurs almost everywhere in countries with a temperate climate, including in the European part of the country, in the Caucasus, in Western Siberia, and occasionally in the mountains of Kazakhstan and Central Asia.

Habitat. It grows along river valleys, in coastal wet shrubs and on the edges of moist forests. It is grown in hop gardens.


The chemical composition of hop
«Cones» of hop are rich in essential oil (0.3-1.8%), which included 224 components related to mono- and sesquiterpenoids. The main components of the essential oil are myrcene, farneseene, caryophilne, and gumulene. There are found esters, alcohols, organic acids, aliphatic ketones.

The infructescences contain bitter and resinous substances (11-21%). The bitterness is represented by two groups of bitter acids, which are derivatives of acylfluoroglucides. The main representative of alpha-acids is humulone, and the group of beta-acids is lupulone. The content of alpha and beta acid depends on the place of growth and is a varietal feature. There are found phenolic compounds: flavonoids, coumarins, anthocyanidins, catechins, phenolic acids.

Vitamins of group B, ascorbic acid, tocopherols, estrogenic hormones are found in the raw materials.

Harvesting and storage of raw materials

Harvesting. Hop infructescences are harvested unripe at the end of July – August when it has a yellowish green colour. There are brown and yellow «cones», «cones» with protruding scales are indicators of poor quality raw materials. The infructescences are harvested together with the stalks so that it does not disintegrate. On the plantations, the harvesting of the raw materials is carried out by hopping machines.

Drying. The drying should be fast in the shade or well-ventilated area, scattering a thin layer. The best raw materials are obtained by drying in dryers at a temperature of 55-65ºС and a layer thickness of 30-40 cm, active ventilation with heated air, when the «cones» are in suspension.

Storage. Bitter acids are labile and can not withstand long storage.

External signs of raw materials

«Cones» are egg-shaped stems and consist of a common axis that carries numerous, sculpted, scales, with or without fruits. The scales are of yellow-green or golden-green colour, on the inside are densely dotted with numerous golden glands (Glandulae Lupuli), resembling shiny seeds, bitter taste and pleasant aroma. The pieces are obtained by sieving dried «cones» through a sieve, and this type of the raw material is called «lupulin». In general, the taste of raw materials is bitter, the smell is characteristic – «hop». In the raw material should not be a lot of fruit.

Properties and application

Pharmacotherapeutic group. Sedative, hypnotic, bitter gastric and analgesic agent.
The pharmacological properties of hop

Biologically active substances of hop have:

  • soothing
  • hypnotic action.

Bitter substances improve digestion. The amount of biologically active substances has a bactericidal effect.

Application of hop

Hop cones are used:

  • as improving digestion and
  • painkiller (for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract),
  • both sedative and
  • hypnotic.

In traditional medicine, hop is used very interestingly: a small pillow is sewn («small pillow»), which is stuffed with dry «cones» of hop. This small pillow is used for insomnia, nervousness, irritability as usual, putting it under your head before bedtime or rest.
In traditional medicine, infusion of «cones» of hop is prescribed to stimulate the appetite and improve digestion.
«Cones» of hop are used to make some cosmetics.