Hop Allergies

by Jonita Davis

Hop is an herb that can trigger a mild allergic reaction. Although it is commonly used as the primary ingredient in beer, the flowers are used in dried decorative arrangements.

Reaction

Hops can cause skin rashes, nasal and sinus swelling, drainage and pain. People who work in the hops harvesting sector also experience difficulty breathing.

Misconceptions

An allergy to hops can be misconstrued as a beer allergy. In reality, hop allergy sufferers can experience a reaction from the hop pollen and skin contact with the plant leaves, flowers or stems as well.

Identification

Hops plants are herbs with wide leaves and flowers that look like a small, green pine cone. When dried, the flowers have a sepia-toned color and are paper-like in appearance.

Uses

Hops are used in beer, as a dried herb in pill and powder supplements and as a liquid extract. Hop supplements are used as a sedative or remedy for insomnia.

Considerations

Hop allergies usually accompany severe allergies like those to bananas, peanuts and chestnuts. They can also cause reactions when used in conjunction with drugs that contain estrogen, depressants such as diazepam and narcotics such as codeine.

About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Work.com. Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.