Hops Essential Oil
Most commonly known for its use in crafting beers, "hops" as they're commonly called, are the female flowers (cones) of Humulus lupulus, a climbing plant most commonly grown in Europe.
Aromatically, I find Hop Essential Oil to be a bit too bitter/sharp for my liking when used alone, but it is a wonderful aromatic when blending at low dilutions with other oils for either therapeutic or fragrance blending. I find that aromatically, it blends particularly well with most other categories of essential oils including the woods, florals, citrus, spice and herbaceous oils.
Emotionally, Hops Essential Oil is considered to be sedating and can be potentially helpful in instances of anxiety, stress and insomnia.
I am hearing more and more about its use in natural deodorants, particularly at very low dilutions. Within his Tisserand Institute Complete Skin Series course, Robert Tisserand suggests its use in a natural deodorant formulation at 0.2%.
Common Method of Extraction
Plant Part Typically Used
Flowers known as cones or strobiles
Strength of Initial Aroma
Fresh and sweet with a somewhat sharp (bitter), earthy/herbaceous aroma.
Hops Essential Oil Uses
Sedative, Anxiety, Stress, Insomnia. [Jeanne Rose, 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols (Berkeley, CA: Frog, Ltd, 1999), 90.] Also used in fragrancing, perfumery and anti-bacterial/deodorant applications.
See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents.
[R.A. Malizia, J.S. Molli, D.A. Cardell, et al. Essential Oil of Hop Cones *Mumulus lupulus L.) (Journal of Essential Oil Research 11, 1999), 13-15. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 305-306.]
Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young do not precaution against any specific hazards or contraindications within their safety summary. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 306.] Julia Lawless mentions that it should be avoided by those with depression, however, she does not confirm why nor do I see this forewarning in other sources. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 149.]
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General Safety Information
Do not take any oils internally and do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin without advanced essential oil knowledge or consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Use extreme caution when using oils with children. It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. For in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
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