What is Hops Extract?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 August 2019
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Hops extract is an herbal supplement that is made from the flowers of the hops plant. While these flowers, which are also sometimes known as seed cones, are more often associated with adding flavor to beer during its preparation, hops is also a useful herb that aids in calming the nervous system and promoting restful sleep. The extract makes it possible to administer a few drops when and as needed, allowing the user to obtain some relief from stress or to settle down enough to get to sleep.

The process of making hops extract normally involves drying and powdering the hops flowers or cones, then adding the powder to a good quality of alcohol, with vodka being preferred by many enthusiasts. The combination is sealed and stored in a cool dark place. Once a day, the container should be shaken. At the end of two weeks, the container should be left alone for a day or two, allowing the powder to settle to the bottom. The liquid can then be strained and placed into a dropper bottle, making it easy to use the extract when and as needed.


There are several essential nutrients contained in this extract. Significant amounts of the B vitamins, especially niacin, as well as potassium are present. In addition, there are moderate amounts of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C, as well as trace amounts of zinc and vitamin A. Many of these nutrients, when taken together can help promote a more balanced mood and alleviate difficulty sleeping.

Along with being a useful aid to help people sleep and relax during times of stress, herbalists note that hops can help with various types of gastrointestinal distress, including indigestion or sour stomach. Cramps are also said to calm when a few drops of the extract are taken every couple of hours. Anecdotal evidence also points to the nutritional supplement as being effective with relieving the pain of a gall bladder attack, or helping an individual through the difficulties associated with experiencing a panic attack.

Many of the claims for hops extract have not been confirmed by Western medicine. Primarily, it is practitioners of different alternative healing options who promote its use. People who have tried hops in some form, such as hops capsules or extract, often find that the supplement works best in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet and exercising for at least 30 minutes each day. As with any herbal supplement, care should be taken when combining it with various prescription medications. In particular, people who are currently taking anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication should check with a medical professional before trying the extract, since it may negatively interact with those medications.


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Post 6

Hops are great in beer and vodka. It gives it a nice subtle flavor. I use dried or fresh hops or hops extract when brewing beer. Hops extract is good in cooking and baking too. I put some in bread sometimes.

On completely random note, you can also use the dry stems of the hops plant as incense. It smells amazing.

Post 5

@alisha-- I think it's the same plant because my doctor recommended that I take hops herb extract for my menopause symptoms. She said it has estrogen in it. So it must be the same plant.

Post 4

This looks a lot like a herb we use in the Middle East to make hot tea, especially in winter. I'm not sure if it's the same as hops though.

Back home we drink this tea when we are sick. I also drink this when my period is late because it has natural estrogen in it and it helps with PMS symptoms as well.

The reason I'm not sure if the herb I'm talking about is the same as hops is because this herb tends to increase blood pressure. So it doesn't promote sleep.

Post 3

@MrsPramm - That's probably right, actually. I know they used all kinds of different bitter plants in beer before someone realized hops were perfect for it. And the extract is probably quite bitter as well. I wonder if all those valuable nutrients go into the beer?

Post 2
@browncoat - If just the scent of them will help, then you could probably put a few drops of the extract on a pillow in that case. I think it's more likely that people would have access to buying hops extract (perhaps online?) than they would to fresh hops.

I've often wondered how hops came to be added to beer in the first place. Maybe it was because it was used as a medicine first and they decided to give it a go in the process.

Post 1

I have definitely heard about the sleeping thing before. Although if you don't want to take hops extract internally apparently there is another way to use them to get a good night's sleep.

If you are any good at sewing you can make your own hops pillow that will help you to sleep better. Just dry out a bunch of hops and stuff the pillow with them.

I imagine you could probably just fill a porous bag with them and then put it into a pillow slip if you aren't any good at sewing. I saw it on a TV show about herbs and their medicinal uses and I haven't tried it myself, but it seems easier to do this than to make your own extract if you've got fresh hops on hand.

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