Hops Essential Oil Uses and Benefits


Used in cosmetics, perfumes, and aromatherapy hops essential oil has many amazing properties that have been known to mankind since ancient times. Keep reading to read more about this unique essence of hops cones. We collected all aroma data to the list of essential oils with the description.

What is hops?

The properties of the flowering hops of the Cannabaceae family have been known to mankind since time immemorial. Since the early days, they have been used as a medicinal product. To the present day, hops have been considered a valuable natural material that is used quite extensively in many different areas. The inflorescences and cones of hops have been used to make medicinal infusions.

Over time, people have learned to extract the essential oil from hop cones from the plant’s stems. Currently, hops oil is actively used in medicine, pharmacology, brewing, as well as in the food industry. The stems are also used to produce strong vegetable fibers used to manufacture sacks and strong ropes.

Main constituents

Hops exist in many varieties that differ based on the chemical composition of essential oil. The main wild species is Humulus lupulus var. pubescens. All cultivated species are divided into three groups: North American, Japanese, and European. These three groups are associated with the respective locality-specific wild species and are related to the main wild species.

The main European species is Humulus lupulus L. In America, the species Humulus americanus Nutt is cultivated along with European hops. In Japan, it’s Humulus japonica Sieb. et Zucc.

Hops cones contain resins and essential oils which give the beer a bitter aroma. Dried cones contain a yellowish-brown mass called lupulin, consisting of resin (α-, β- and γ-form) and essential oil. The resin imparts a bitter taste to the beer and the oil imparts a specific aroma. The α- and β-resin consists of α-lupulic acid (humulone) and β-lupulic acid (lupulone). These crystalline substances which are soluble in petroleum ether are also called hop bitters.

Cohobation (repeated steam distillation) of fresh dried cones of Humulus lupulus or Humulus americanus Nutt. yields 0.4-0.5% essential oil, a pale liquid with a pleasant, characteristic aroma. It contains:

  • β-pinene
  • cis-δ-1(6), 8-iridadiene
  • Myrcene
  • Pseudolimonene
  • 2-methylbutylisobutyrate
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • undecanone-2
  • methyl cis-dec-4-enoate
  • Methylcaprinate
  • α-ylangene
  • α-copaene
  • geranyl acetate
  • Isocaryophyllene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Humulene
  • β-selinene
  • δ-selinene
  • γ-cadinene
  • δ-cadinene
  • Valencene
  • caryophyllene oxide
  • humulene oxide
  • nerillinalool
  • Geranyllinalool

Main characteristics

Extraction: essential oil is obtained from the cones by steam distillation. For cosmetic purposes, an absolute is also extracted.

Physical characteristics: pale yellow or reddish liquid.

Aroma: rich, spicy, fruity, grassy, tart, with a woody note.

Blends well with: pine, hyacinth, nutmeg, as well as citrus and spice oils.

Hops essential oil uses and benefits

This oil is widely used in multiple areas. Here are some of them:

Healing properties

Hops oil is used to treat:

  • Bruises
  • Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • toothache
  • Anxiety

Hops oil also has antimicrobial, antispasmodic, astringent, bactericidal, diuretic, hypnotic, sedative properties.

It’s also used for treating amenorrhea (promotes estrogen production), heart disease, bacterial dysentery, liver and stomach diseases. In China, they use it to treat pulmonary tuberculosis and cystitis.

It helps relieve dermatitis, is used for treating asthma, chronic cough, indigestion, nervous dyspepsia. It relieves menstrual pain and sexual overstimulation.

Cosmetic effects

  • relaxes muscles
  • heals wounds and cuts
  • regenerates skin

Psycho-emotional effects

  • Cures insomnia, nervous tension, and neuralgia.
  • Relieves anxiety.
  • Has a soothing effect on the nervous system.

Other uses

Used as a base in perfumes, especially oriental fragrances. the oil is also used to flavor tobacco as well as sauces, spices, and beer.

Side-effects and precautions

Non-toxic does not cause skin irritation. May cause allergic reactions in some people. Avoid during depression.

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