Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database rates effectiveness based on scientific evidence according to the following scale: Effective, Likely Effective, Possibly Effective, Possibly Ineffective, Likely Ineffective, Ineffective, and Insufficient Evidence to Rate. The effectiveness ratings for HOPS are as follows:

Insufficient evidence to rate effectiveness for…

  • The decline in memory and thinking skills occurs normally with age. Early research shows that taking bitter acids from hops for 12 weeks can improve thinking skills and mental fatigue in older people. But it doesn’t seem to improve memory.
  • Symptoms of the menopause. Early research shows that taking a specific product containing hops extract daily does not improve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes after 8-12 weeks of treatment.
  • Sleep disorder due to rotating or night shifts (shift work disorder). Early research shows that drinking non-alcoholic beer containing hops at dinner can reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep by about 8 minutes in nurses working rotating or night shifts. It also seems to decrease total activity during the night and anxiety. However, it doesn’t appear to increase the total amount of time slept.
  • Anxiety.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
  • Body odor.
  • Breast-feeding.
  • Breast cancer.
  • Excitability.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia).
  • Improving appetite.
  • Indigestion (dyspepsia).
  • Insomnia.
  • Intestinal cramps.
  • Irritability.
  • Leg sores caused by weak blood circulation (venous leg ulcers).
  • Nerve pain.
  • Nervousness.
  • Ovarian cancer.
  • Pain and swelling (inflammation) of the bladder.
  • Prostate cancer.
  • Restlessness.
  • Tension.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Other conditions.

More evidence is needed to rate the effectiveness of hops for these uses.

Side Effects Of Hops

When taken by mouth: Hops are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in amounts commonly found in foods. Hops are POSSIBLY SAFE when taken for medicinal uses, short-term.

Hops might cause dizziness and sleepiness in some people. Women taking hops might notice changes in their menstrual cycle.

Warnings & Precautions

  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn’t enough reliable information to know if hops are safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.
  • depression: Hops may make depression worse. Avoid use.
  • Hormone-sensitive cancers and conditions: Some chemicals in hops act like the hormone estrogen. People who have conditions that are sensitive to hormones should avoid hops. Some of these conditions including breast cancer and endometriosis.
  • Surgery: Hops might cause too much sleepiness when combined with anesthesia and other medications during and after surgical procedures. Stop taking at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Dosage Of Hops

The appropriate dose depends on several factors such as the user’s age, health, and several other conditions. At this time there is not enough scientific information to determine an appropriate range of doses for hops. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or physician or other healthcare professional before using.


Consult your doctor or pharmacist.


All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.