Humulus lupulus (common hop or hop) is a species of flowering plant in the Cannabaceae family, native to Europe, western Asia and North America. It is a dioecious, perennial, herbaceous climbing plant which sends up new shoots in early spring and dies back to a cold-hardy rhizome in autumn. Strictly speaking it is a bine rather than a vine, using its own shoots to act as supports for new growth.
H. lupulus is the main ingredient of many beers, and as such is widely cultivated for use by the brewing industry (for more information, see the main article on Hops). The fragrant flower cones impart bitterness and flavor, and also have preservative qualities. H. lupulus contains myrcene, humulene, xanthohumol, myrcenol, linalool, tannins, and resin.
The five varieties of this species (Humulus lupulus) are:
- H. l. var. lupulus – Europe, western Asia
- H. l. var. cordifolius – eastern Asia
- H. l. var. lupuloides (syn. H. americanus) – eastern North America
- H. l. var. neomexicanus – western North America
- H. l. var. pubescens – midwestern North America
Many cultivated varieties are found in the list of hop varieties. A pale, ornamental variety, Humulus lupulus 'Aureus', is cultivated for garden use. It is also known as golden hop, and holds the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Pests and diseases
- H. lupulus contains the potent phytoestrogen 8-prenylnaringenin, which may have a relative binding affinity to estrogen receptors.
- H. lupulus extract is antimicrobial, an activity which has been exploited in the manufacture of natural deodorant.
- Spent H. lupulus extract has also been shown to have antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activities, raising the possibility this waste product of the brewing industry could be developed for medical applications.
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- "Humulus lupulus 'Aureus' AGM". RHS Plant Selector. Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
- Plantlife website County Flowers page
- "Identification of a potent phytoestrogen in hops (Humulus lupulus L.) and beer". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. June 1999. Retrieved 20 July 2009.
- "Hops [CO2] Extract". Toms of Maine. Retrieved 2009-06-06.[dead link]
- Rozalski M, Micota B, Sadowska B, Stochmal A, Jedrejek D, Wieckowska-Szakiel M, Rozalska B (2013). "Antiadherent and Antibiofilm Activity of Humulus lupulus L. Derived Products: New Pharmacological Properties". BioMed Research International. Article ID 101089. doi:10.1155/2013/101089. PMID 24175280.
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