A new Japanese hops research study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine analyzed the impact between the extract of a wild hop, known as Humulus japonicus, and symptoms associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
The plant is a part of the hemp family, according to Invasive Plant Atlas of New England. The Japanese hops plant may have herbal healing properties as well, including anti-inflammatory, anti‑oxidative and anti-microbial effects. Also, in one 2016 study, researchers concluded that continual ingestion of the substance may safely reduce body fat and abdominal visceral fat of those who are overweight.
As for the study at issue, conducted at the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology, it noted that the substance is widely used as an herbal medicine due to its anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial effects. Researchers investigated the potential therapeutic effects of the plant on rheumatoid arthritis using a mouse model and injecting it with collagen to induce arthritis.
The researchers noticed over the 21-day course of the study, the Humulus japonicus extract significantly decreased the gross arthritic sores and paw swelling, and it also reduced cartilage destruction and bone erosion. The mice were injected with about 200 mg/kg of the Humulus japonicus extract. There was also a control group by which to compare the non-control group’s results.
Although this study shows promise, it is important to note that it is not a conclusion. There are still additional studies and more research that needs to be conducted before it can be determined that Humulus japonicus extract can aid those with rheumatoid arthritis. Per the study's conclusion, they stated:
These findings suggest that Humulus japonicus (HJ) can play a role in suppressing the development of collagen‑induced arthritis (CIA) by overall regulation of articular inflammation. This study should provide new insights into the use of HJ as a therapeutically effective natural product against rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Regardless, findings like this give people who suffer from arthritis and bodily pains high hopes in finding natural alternatives that can alleviate aches and suffering. Whether or not Humulus japonicus extract can definitively benefit arthritis pains will require more research to be conducted, but for now this is a promising pathway into finding new healing therapies and exciting natural treatments. Who knows, in the new 2020 decade there may be Japanese hops supplements available for natural pain relief benefits in the near future, although CBD (cannabidiol) may have something to say about that.