Hops as an antibiotic

Hops have been in use as an antibiotic already in the early Middle Ages. Hops killed off beer-spoilage germs and thus served as a preservative. This antibacterial property can be attributed mainly to hop bitter substances.

Use of hops as an agent against tuberculosis is particularly promising. Research was initiated in the 1950’s. The beta-acids of hops have been identified as main active substances.

Hop alpha-and beta-acids display a high activity against the Helicobacter Pylori bacterium that may have a role in triggering conditions such as duodenal ulcers, gastritis or stomach cancer. They are also effective against athlete’s foot fungi and bacteria occurring in the context of acne and neurodermatitis.

The sugar industry meantime also employs hops as a natural antibiotic. Hops are used for extraction of sugar beet. In the food industry, hops represent a harmless alternative to synthetic antibiotics and preservatives.