Hops are the flower of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) used to make beer. In addition to imparting flavor to ales and pilsners, hops are also believed to offer health benefits. Many of these are attributed to compounds found in the plant’s artichoke-shape buds, including the flavonoids xanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin and the essential oils humulene and lupuline.
Alternative practitioners believe that these compounds have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, analgesic (pain-relieving), and even anti-cancer properties.
The dried, flowering part of the plant is used to make medicine. Hops is used for anxiety, inability to sleep (insomnia) and other sleep disorders, restlessness, tension, excitability, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, nervousness, and irritability.